Ireland's win over Wales, Scotland's defeat in London as they happened

Emmet Riordan Fri, Feb 1
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  • Good afternoon and welcome to the opening day of the Six Nations campaign and 80 minutes of rugby that will shape the hopes and expectations of Ireland’s spring.

    It’s the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff where Ireland’s hopes will rise or fall against a Welsh side that won a third Grand Slam in eight years against France last March.

    They have lost their seven Test matches since that victory, including a loss to Samoa during the November series, while injuries deprive them of their regular outhalf and both secondrows.

    Declan Kidney and Ireland will be hoping to carry the momentum from the victory over Argentina last time out and all the noises coming out of the camp have been positive in the build-up.

    My name is Emmet Riordan and I’ll be keeping you updates throughout the afternoon, with the Calcutta Cup clash between England and Scotland to come at 4pm.

    We still have plenty of time before the 1.30pm kick-off in Cardiff, so you have time to read Gerry Thornley’s preview and also his big interview with Ireland forward coach Gert Smal.

  • RTÉ have already blown most of their budget on one of those big scene setters invoking the memory of every famous Irish international, while Shane Horgan has already used the word of the Six Nations so far as he talked of vacillating about Ireland's chances all week.
  • Jonathan Davies sat down with Brian O'Driscoll during the week for a one to one and the video is now up, although you won't be able to access on your phone.
  • Declan Kidney says the team meeting was intense, with experienced players feeling it every bit as much as youngsters such as Gilroy and Zebo.
  • O'Driscoll talked during the week of this possibly being his last Six Nations campaign as he prepares to make his 121st cap. He has scored 45 international tries, 8 more than the other 14 in the side today have in total.
  • So with just 20 minutes to kick-off, here's the starting line-ups for today's game and the tale of the tape between the sides down through the years.

     WALES: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), G North (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), M Phillips (Bayonne); G Jenkins (Toulon), M Rees (Scarlets), A Jones (Ospreys), A Coombs (Newport Gwent Dragons), I Evans (Ospreys), A Shingler (Scarlets), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

    Replacements: K Owens (Scarlets), P James (Bath), C Mitchell (Exeter), O Kohn (Harlequins), J Tipuric (Ospreys), L Williams (Cardiff), J Hook (Perpignan), S Williams (Scarlets).

    IRELAND: R Kearney (Leinster); C Gilroy (Ulster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster), G D’Arcy (Leinster), S Zebo (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), D Ryan (Munster), P O’Mahony (Munster), S O’Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt).

    S Cronin (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), C Henry (Ulster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O’Gara (Munster), K Earls (Munster).

    Referee: Romain Poite (France).

    Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa) and Pascal Gauzere (France).

    All-time head to head: Played 118, Wales won 65, Ireland won 47, drawn 6.

    Biggest winning margins: Wales - 29-0 at Cardiff, 1907. Ireland - 54-10 at Lansdowne Road, 2002.

    Highest score: Wales 34-9 at Lansdowne Road, 1976. Ireland - 54-10 at Lansdowne Road, 2002).

    Most points (individual): Wales - Neil Jenkins 113. Ireland - Ronan O'Gara 100.

    Most tries (individual): Wales - 8 Johnny Williams. Ireland - 6 Brian O'Driscoll.

    Five-game formguide: Wales - 19-20 v Australia (a); 12-26 v Argentina (h); 19-26 v Samoa (h); 10-33 v New Zealand (h); 12-14 v Australia (h). Ireland - 10-42 v New Zealand (a); 19-22 v New Zealand (a); 0-60 v New Zealand (a); 12-16 v South Africa (h); 46-24 v Argentina (h).

    Betting (Paddy Power): ¾ Wales, 22/1 Draw, 6/5 Ireland. Handicap odds (Ireland +2pts) Evens Wales, 20/1 Draw, Evens Ireland.
  • You can contact us here using the comments section. We want to know your predictions, first try scorer or just where you are following us from. You can also contact me on Twitter on @emmetrd and I'll retweet the best comments received.
  • George Hook goes with Wales by 2 points, Brent Pope has Ireland by a score and Shane Horgan swings it to Wales with his prediction.
  • And it's a beautiful looking spring day in Cardiff with the roof open letting in the sunbeams. There was only 25 hours of sunshine in Dublin in January, so this has to be promising. And hold on, what's this we are hearing from America...
  • Pearse McCaughey Time to jump behind the couch.
  • Ah Ireland's Call isn't that bad Pearse, although the clarinet player was throwing a few shapes in the middle there.
  • Now for some proper singing, if you haven't witnessed the choirs at the Millennium, well then you've missed one of sports great sounds.
  • And we're off and running in Cardiff.
  • Gilroy knocks on from a high ball, scrum to Wales.
  • Early engagement from Ireland and free to Wales, who run with the ball
  • Ireland win the ball back and after a good spell, Sexton kicks inside the Welsh 22 for the game's first lineout.
  • Heaslip wins Ireland's first lineout and Ireland attack through their forwards.
  • Seán O'Brien playing a big part but Wales are going in low to try and scupper the Tullow Tank.
  • Great kick from Sexton and Halfpenny claims a great catch under pressure from Kearney.
  • Penalty to Scotland and Biggar kicks to halfway between the 10m line and 22.
  • Messy Welsh lineout and Ireland get a late advantage and the scrum.
  • Penalty to Ireland as Gethin Jenkins done for not hitting straight in the scrum.
  • Ryan takes the lineout from the penalty and Ireland building big momentum.
  • And the first good backline move as Kearney holds on to a loose pass from Sexton before Wales knock-on from Gilroy's pass back inside.
  • TRY - IRELAND: What a pass from O'Driscoll as Zebo goes in for his first Six Nations try.
  • CONVERSION - Ireland: Sexton makes it 7-0 and Ireland cap a great first 12 minutes by putting scores on the board.
  • The Fields of Athenry get an early airing in Cardiff
  • Pearse McCaughey That'll do nicely.
  • Blood sub for Wales as Ken Owens comes on at hooker for Matthew Rees.
  • Pat O'Kelly Irelands' Call - a fine accompaniement to the National Anthem BUT its NOT the National Anthem Bring back Amhrainn na bhFiann
  • Penalty to Ireland as Adam Jones pulls down Mike Ross's arm. The worrrying sign is that Ross looks to have hurt his neck.
  • Pressure coming all from Ireland in Cardiff and the signs are very promising.
  • Serious pressure on the Wesh line and the penalty gives Ireland the scrum about 5 metres out.
  • We must be close to a penalty try here as Coombs comes over from an offside position. And Sexton to take the kick.
  • PENALTY - IRELAND: No problem from Sexton as Ireland go 10-0 up.
  • Well the first quarter has been all Ireland
  • TRY - IRELAND: Cian Healy crashes over after Rory Best charges down Biggar. Zebo then uses his foot to collect the ball in an amazing bit of skill
  • Pearse McCaughey A couple more of them and we'll forgive him doing that Z thing...
  • Pearse McCaughey Right it's ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZtime!
  • CONVERSION - IRELAND: Sexton knocks over the extras and Ireland are on fire in Cardiff.
  • We'll be watching that piece of skill from Zebo for a long, long time. What a talent the Munster man is and you can see now why the likes of Toulouse were interested in him.
  • Even Mike Phillips is full of indecision now as Ireland smother the home side. Penalty chance for Sexton.
  • PENALTY - SEXTON: Great kick from the Ireland outhalf and it's 20-0 after 29 minutes.
  • Penalty to Wales in midfield and they kick to Ireland's 22.
  • Jonathan Davies is having a shocker so far, with a second pass behind his man and this one goes into touch
  • Ireland done for holding on to the ball and Wales have a chance to get on the scoreboard.
  • PENALTY - WALES: Leigh Halfpenny opens his side's account.
  • Tanveyboyo Like them Leprechauns on wings
  • Wales finally finding some time on the ball as we approach half-time.
  • Ireland brilliant in defence as they win the penalty and get a chance to clear.
  • Gethin Jenkins off with a blood injury, with Paul James coming on.
  • Penalty to Ireland for blocking by Warburton.
  • Lineout to Ireland with last play of the half.
  • Shingler pinged for not moving away and Ireland will have a chance to make it a 20-point game once more as Sexton lines up a kick.
  • PENALTY - IRELAND: Sexton makes it and that's half-time.
  • And Cian Healy dives over for Ireland's second try.
    And Cian Healy dives over for Ireland's second try.
  • Jonathan Davies looks distraught, his hair no longer spikey as he dissects Wales' poor play
  • Back in the RTÉ studio as O'Driscoll's pass and Zebo's side-shoe shuffle have the panel in raptures.
  • Aaron Brennan What a performance all-round quality Gilroy & Zebo showing their class, BO'D still at his very best!:)
  • "Ireland have used the scalpel, not just the bludgeon," reckons Shane Horgan.
  • 40 mins: The sides are back on the pitch and Sexton gets the second half underway. Ireland can't afford to drop the momentum but it's theirs to lose here.
  • 42 mins: Good field position straight away for the visitors as the choke tackle yields an Irish scrum straight under the posts. Heaslip breaks from the back, O'Mahony makes some ground and Ireland are pressing hard.
  • TRY - IRELAND: O'Driscoll pops over for his 46th try and Ireland start where they left off.
  • The Wales defence left a gaping hole and O'Driscoll won't get an easier try.
  • 44 MINS: CONVERSION - IRELAND: Sexton makes it 30-3.
  • 45 mins: Some bad news for Ireland as D'Arcy goes off injured and Keith Earls comes on.
  • 46 mins: And Justin Tipuric replaces Shingler for Wales.
  • Rory Best charges down Dan Biggar’s kick to set up the attack that led to Ireland’s second try.
    Rory Best charges down Dan Biggar’s kick to set up the attack that led to Ireland’s second try.
  • Ireland's biggest win against Wales came in 2002 at Lansdowne Road with a 54-10 win. That 44-point margin must be under threat today.
  • 48 mins: In saying that, Wales are now attacking on the Ireland line.
  • 48 mins: TRY - WALES: Cuthbert cuts through a big gap to score for Wales.
  • Earls rushes up and misses the tackle and it's too easy for Cuthbert.
  • 49 mins: CONVERSION - WALES: Halfpenny on the money with the extras.
  • 51 mins: Frantic passage of play as Wales launch another stunning attack that is eventually ended when Phillips knocks on after pressure from O'Driscoll and Ireland counter.
  • 52 mins: IRELAND SUB: Chris Henry on for Peter O'Mahony, who took a knock.
  • O'Mahony's had a huge game, like most of the pack, with Mike McCarthy getting through a huge amount of work.
  • 52 mins: Gilroy's kick goes out on the full and Wales have a lineout close to Ireland's 22.
  • 54 mins: Wales attacking in waves now and Conor Murray knocks on, scrum Wales.
  • Ireland have had to make 96 tackles to 86 for Wales, so plenty of hard work done already and plenty left in the final 26 minutes.
  • 55 mins: Penalty to Wales and Phillips upset that he wasn't allowed to take it quickly.
  • 58 mins: YELLOW CARD - IRELAND: Rory Best gets the bin for not realeasing and it looks a terrible call as he was on his feet.
  • 59 mins: Halfpenny looks to have got over but Poite calls to the TMO
  • 59 mins: TRY - WALES: And that is good.
  • Irish medical staff deal with injury to Jonny Sexton who came in for some terrible treatment during that period of play.
  • 60 mins: MISSED CONVERSION: Halfpenny fails to add to his try from the right touchline.
  • 60 mins: We enter the last quarter of a brilliant opener to the Six Nations and it's certainly game on at the Millennium.
  • Brian O'Driscoll receives some running repairs
    Brian O'Driscoll receives some running repairs
  • 63 mins: Ireland get the ball back after wales fail to release. Rob Kearney with a huge tackle in that period of play
  • Huge pressure being soaked up here by Ireland, who are still down to 14 men with Rory Best off the pitch.
  • 63 mins: And Ireland doen for not realesing now after a barnstorming run from O'Brien is stopped by a great tackle from Halfpenny.
  • And Declan Kidney will be delighted that there's 8 days to the England game at the Aviva as this has been a slugfest on a poor pitch.
  • 66 mins: Inch perfect kick from Sexton and there's a bit of ping-pong going on here.
  • 67 mins: Scrum to Ireland as ball goes dead, but O'Brien done for late tackle. Terrible decision as O'Brien eas committed.
  • And Wales kick to the corner.
  • 68 mins: Kearney knocks on in trying to collect the ball, scrum to Wales.
  • Cian Healy getting some treatment here before the scrum is set.
  • 69 mins: Healy is pinged for collapsing and penalty which Wales kick to the corner.
  • 69 mins - SUB IRELAND - Declan Fitzpatrick on for Ross, a huge 12 minutes for the Ulster prop
  • 70 mins: Wales think Faletau touched the base of the post but not given. Penalty though to Wales and Conor Murray is given a yellow card
  • So Ireland will complete this game with 14 men.
  • 73 mins: And that's brilliant defence from Ireland as Wales eventually knock on.
  • 152 tackles now made by Ireland and the hits have been massive.
  • Sean O'Brien 20, Mike McCarthy 18 tackles, amazing performances.
  • 74 mins: And Brian O'Driscoll has taken over at scrumhalf.
  • Alex Cuthbert bursts through to gets the Welsh back into the contest.  Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images)
    Alex Cuthbert bursts through to gets the Welsh back into the contest. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images)
  • 76 mins: Poite goes up to the TMO as Wales get over through Craig Mitchell
  • 76 mins: TRY - WALES: And it's been given.
  • 76 mins: CONVERSION - WALES: Halfpenny makes it an 8-point game with 4 minutes to go.
  • 79 mins: Ireland holding Wales in their 22 now as the clock runs down.
  • Brian O'Driscoll is given the man of the match and what a performance it has been from the centre/flanker/scrmhalf/legend.
  • FULL-TIME: Wales 22 Ireland 30: What a game of rugby, breathtaking from start to finish.
  • Ireland were brilliant in both halves, the first as an attacking force, but in the second the defence was remarkable to a man. Played the last 20 minutes with 14 players, but at times it looked like there was 20 players in green out there.
  • BOD: "We owed Wales one, we came out of the blocks in the first half and then sat back and defended"
  • Of course, the worry now is what sort of injury has Mike Ross shipped today. With England coming up next Sunday at the Aviva, the Leinster prop will be vital. Need we mention Twickenham last year!
  • Siobhan Greer Great start lads!!!
  • Brent Pope makes the point that the bruises are never as sore after a victory, although  I'd say Ireland will keep the full sessions to a minimum next week at Carton House.
  • Kidney talking about the small margins, Best's knockdown, making all the difference. Says O'Driscoll was "brilliant".
  • Well how do you possibly follow that game in Cardiff? In truth you can't, but the Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham is next up in less that 10 minutes time.
  • Pearse McCaughey Has Brian booked his Lions' place?
  • England: Goode; Ashton, Barritt, Twelvetrees, Brown; Farrell, B Youngs; Marler, T Youngs, Cole, Launchbury, Parling, Wood, Robshaw, Morgan.
    Replacements: Hartley, Wilson, Vunipola, Lawes, Haskell, Care,Flood, Strettle.
    Scotland: Hogg; Maitland, Lamont, Scott, Visser; Jackson, Laidlaw, Grant, Hall, Murray, Gray, Hamilton, Strokosch, Brown, Beattie.
    Replacements: Ford, Low, Cross, Kellock, Denton, Pyrgos, Weir, Evans.
    Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
  • And we're off and running at Twickers.
  • 2 mins: Penalty to England after a strong start.
  • 3 mins: PENALTY - ENGLAND: Owen Farrell knocks it through the posts.
  • 6 mins: England's backrow gaining some huge yardage early in the game.
  • 10 mins: TRY - SCOTLAND: On his debut New Zealand-born winger Sean Maitland goes in at the corner flag.
  • MISSED CONVERSION - SCOTLAND: Greig Laidlaw can't land the extras from wide on the right.
  • Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg was brilliant in the build-up for their try, cutting the English defence apart with a great run.
  • 13 mins: PENALTY - ENGLAND: Farrell on the mark and puts England back in front after Scottish indiscipline in the loose.
  • 14 mins: SUB - SCOTLAND: David Denton on at blindside after Alasdair Strokosch ships an early knock.
  • 17 mins: Scotland's scrum looks solid at Twickenham, which is half the battle.
  • 18 mins: Denton's crazy pass from the base of the scrum puts his side in a world of trouble as Scotland backpeddle.
  • 19 mins: PENALTY - ENGLAND: Farrell makes it three from three
  • 20 mins: Tom Youngs coming in from the side and Laidlaw with a penalty chance.
  • 20 mins: PENALTY- SCOTLAND: Laidlaw makes no mistake.
  • 22 mins: Great kick and chase from Tom Visser gets Scotland into the England 22.
  • 23 mins: Scotland win the ball at the back of the line-up but are penalised as they close in on the line.
  • This is pedestrian compared to Cardiff, so here's Zebo's moment of brilliance leading to Cian Healy's try.
  • 31 mins: Alain Rolland goes up to the TMO for Chris Ashton's effort.
  • 31 mins: TRY - ENGLAND: Ashton scores his 17th international try.
  • CONVERSION - ENGLAND: Farrell kicks the conversion.
  • PENALTY - ENGLAND: Farrell is good with the kick after Jonny Beattie done for a swinging arm in the tackle.
  • 40 mins: PENALTY - SCOTLAND: Laidlaw kicks penalty after Wood penalised for coming in from the side. And that's half-time at Twickenham.
  • The stats are in from Cardiff and they make for some great reading. Seán O'Brien made 23 tackles and carried the ball 12 times. He'd win MVP in the Superbowl if he did that tomorrow night. He couldn't beat Brian O'Driscoll to the man of the match at the Millennium. Read the stats here.
  • We're back underway at Twickenham, let's hope Scotland give England a good pounding in the second half ahead of next week's game in Dublin.
  • 43 mins: TRY - ENGLAND: So much for that idea as Billy 12trees scores on his debut as England take control.
  • 44 mins: CONVERSION- ENGLAND: Farrell makes it 6 for 6.
  • Here's the first-half highlights from the Ireland v Wales game.
  • And that bruising second half.
  • 53 mins: Joe Launchbury got over for an England try, but play is brought back for a penalty as Tom Youngs done for a high tackle
  • And Tom Youngs goes off to be replaced by Dylan Hartley.
  • 54 mins - TRY ENGLAND: Geoff Parling scores his first international try following great work from Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell
  • 56 mins: MISSED CONVERSION: Farrell misses his first attempt at goal.
  • 58 mins: Danny Care on for Youngs at scrumhalf and Mako Vunipola on for Marler at loosehead.
  • 60 mins: England looking very good now as they attack at will. Robshaw bundled into touch close to the line.
  • 62 mins: And fair play to Hogg, who attacks from behind his own tryline as Scotland make big gains up the pitch.
  • 64 mins: Denton knocks on in a great position on the left wing and England get the scrum.
  • 65 mins: Courtney Lawes ready to come on for England.
  • 65 mins: Launchbury goes off for Lawes after a fine performance. The battle of the secondrows will be vital next weekend in Dublin.
  • 68 mins: Outhalf Toby Flood on for Twelvetrees as Farrell moves to centre.
  • 71 mins: TRY - SCOTLAND: Brilliant effort from Stuart Hogg as he hacks the ball over the line and touches down in the corner.
  • 72 mins: CONVERSION - SCOTLAND: Laidlaw makes the kick from a tight angle.
  • Hogg has had a great game in Twickenham and certainly added his name to the Lions chatter for the coming weeks.
  • 73 mins: Scotland win a penalty.and kick to the corner/
  • 74 mins: Jackson kicks through for his backs but Mike Brown has all day to get back and cover.
  • 80 mins: Owen Farrell wins man of the match at Twickenham
  • 80 mins - ENGLAND TRY: Sub Danny Care dives over on the buzzer and that's full-time at Twickenham.
  • Here are the first-half highlights from Twickenham.
  • Some good news coming to us from Cardiff is that the injuries to Mike Ross and Peter O'Mahony are not as bad as feared. Gordon D'Arcy will need a scan on his leg after coming off after 44 minutes.
  • Simon Zebo looks like he's just woken up after a nap instead of scoring a try and dazzling with his skills on his Six Nations debut. He said he has no fear of trying things on the pitch and has the full backing of the coaches to play his own game. Long may in continue.
  • And if you missed it (what were you thinking of?) here's the highlights from Cardiff and a remarkable game of rugby.
  • Well it's time to wrap things up for the evening, but not before a final injury update from Cardiff. Gerry Thornley tells us that the main worry concerns centre Gordon D'Darcy, who took a bang to the knee in the first half, before leaving the field with a thigh injury four minutes into the second half. Peter O'Mahony took a few bangs to the head and will be observed over the coming 24 hours under the normal protocols. Rob Kearney is set to undergo a precautionary X-ray after a knock to the shoulder, while team management had no concerns over Mike Ross despite the fact he had to leave the pitch. And on that positive note, we'll bid you goodnight until the next time.