Six Nations

Monumental effort from Ireland sees them beat Wales 26-3 at the Aviva Stadium

Carl O'Malley Sat, Feb 8
LIVE: Six Nations

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  • 13:46

    Well, if there is a quota for barnstorming starts on days like this, it has probably just been used up by Liverpool's 18 minute 4-goal blitz against Arsenal at Anfield, so any hopes you or I had of Ireland blowing Wales away with straigh-out-of-the-traps no-holds-barred come-and-have-a-go start on Lansdowne Road may as well be parked for now.

    That said, it's a perfect day for it in Dublin, the sunny is shining, the birds are singing and maids are milking. And there's not a breath of wind out there, certainly not compared to the near biblical conditions we've experienced of late.

  • 13:50
    Presumably, by now, you know Gerry Thornley's match preview off by heart but just in case, here it is, complete with video preview by Gavin Cummiskey, looking uncannily like an extra from 300.
  • 13:55
    Chis Henry is getting his chance this season in the absence of Seán O'Brien and he's revelling in it.
  • 14:00

    Warren Gatland (booooooo!) on the box now.  

    "Really impressed" with Ireland's performance against New Zealand, and Ireland played "really well" against Scotland last week.

    Deals well with the BOD issue that keeps up raising its ugly and tedious head.

    "What a great player Brian has been we should celebrate his last year in rugby."  

  • 14:10
    Irish Times columnist Alan Quinlan and Brent Pope holding court on the sideline at the Aviva. It's so much better having two experts just discussing something rather than having one being poked and prompted by a media guy. Nobody in charge here, they might as well have a pint in front of them. No idea what they're saying, mind, I've been typing this.
  • 14:11
    Oh, by the way, Raheem Sterling has made it Liverpool 5 Arsenal 0.  
  • 14:14

    The Panel, today with Shane Horgan filling the Brent Pope-sized hole in the middle, are discussing the scrum.  

    Or at least they were until George Hook changed the subject to Gatland.

    Shaggy admits he did not rate him very highly in the tactical department back in the day but stresses the Kiwi was very young then.  

  • 14:16
    The Wayne Barnes-factor has shoe-horned its way into the studio. Not that we are getting our excuses in early but here are some interesting stats from our betters in the paper today.
  • 14:16

    Ireland have had a difficult history with today’s match referee Wayne Barnes. the English official has refereed eight Irish games, of which Ireland have won two and lost six, and even the two wins were unforgettably fraught affairs.

    The first was Ireland’s harrowing 16-14 win over Georgia in Bordeaux in the 2007 World Cup, while the second ended with Stephen Jones’ unsuccessful long-range penalty with the last kick of the game as Ireland won the second 2009 Grand Slam in 2009.

    The penalty count that day was 15-5 against Ireland.

    2007 Georgia (World Cup) W 16-14
    2008 Wales Home L 12-16
    2009 Wales Away W 17-15
    2010 France Away L 10-33
    2010 New Zealand Away L 66-22
    2012 Wales Home L 21-23
    2012 SA Home L 12-16
    2013 Scot Away L 8-12

  • 14:18
    The comeback is on at Anfield, thanks to an Arteta penalty after Gerrard fouled Oxlade-Chamberlain. 5-1 now to the homeside. 17 mins to go.
  • 14:22
    The teams are out on the pitch, almost, Ireland arrive fashionably late. Firecrackers and whizzpoppers explode. Remember our soldiers sued for deafness? The IRFU might have some bill from the ballboys in a few years time.
  • 14:23
    President Michael D Higgins saying 'hello' to the Welsh now. I like to think he's squeezing their hands extra hard and giving them the a stare that suggests he's just hexed them.
  • 14:25
    It's my understanding that the comment box isn't working. this saddens me, so if there is something you really want to say or need to get off your chest, tweet me up @carlomalley or email me at
  • 14:27
    By the way, just so yisser are in the loop, like, John O'Sullivan will be sending a match report, on the whistle (ISN'T THAT RIGHT, JOHN?), Gavin Cummiskey will have Irish reaction and Johhny Watterson will have Welsh reaction.  
  • 14:29
    I'll say one thing for Ireland's Call, it's an easier 'aul sing than Amhrán na bhFiann, as any rendition from an actual rugby player will prove.
  • 14:29
    Here we go.
  • 14:30

    Quite the atmosphere, it seems. The Welsh are monsters. Not really, that would be terrifying.  

    Sexton gets it under way.

  • 14:31
    1 min: Nice height and distance but Wales clear and Sexton puts one up early for Rob Kearney and Halfpenny gathers.
  • 14:32
    Wales knock on, though, and it's scrum for Ireland. Gethin Jenkins appears to have rolled his ankle. Not good news for Wales.
  • 14:32
    He's back on his feeet, though. Murray to put in.
  • 14:33
    Scrum collapses on Ross's side, reset by Barnes. Ross down again and Barnes pings the homeside this time.
  • 14:34
    3 min:  Hibbard with a lineout on the Irish 22
  • 14:35
    Wales go infield and Phillips dictates. Warburton takes it on but Ireland keeping them at bay here.
  • 14:36
    It goes wide to George North but he's swallowed up Trimble and, infield, Ireland win it back thanks to O'Connell's big hit and O'Mahony's snaffling. Wales pinged and Sexton hits the Welsh 22.
  • 14:36
    5 min:  Heaslip takes.Barnes says 'use it'
  • 14:37
    BOD taken down, it goes loose but O'Connell gatheres and Dave Kearney does well to make ground when isolated. Advantage Ireland and then Wales penalised for not rolling away.
  • 14:38
    7 min:  Sexton has a clean sight of the posts here. Should be routine for the Racing outhalf, just off to the left of the uprights.
  • 14:39

    8 mmin: IRELAND 3 WALES 0

    No mistake, over it goes and Ireland lead after a good foray up field followed by some solid defence.

  • 14:40
    Toby Faletau thunders down the touchline and is helped out of play by Rob Kearney, who takes out the camera man. Still, great close up of gorgeous Rob #dreamboat.
  • 14:41
    Ireland claim lineout and Wales pinged for bring down the maul. Sexton clears. Lydiate gave away his second pen there.
  • 14:41
    Here's another lineout.
  • 14:42
    POC taps down and Murray makes ground through the gap. D'Arcy bundled up by Warburton, but Ireland still have on the 10m line.
  • 14:43
    BOD dinks in behind Cuthbert and Halfpenny claims before being put into touch.
  • 14:44
    12 min:  Ireland take lineout again but BOD's on the deck after a hard hit in midfield. Looked like a Roberts hit, Wales have now on the halfway.
  • 14:45
    Sorry it was Scott Williams who hit BOD and he's still catching his breath. Barnes tells him to take a second.
  • 14:46
    The great man is back on his feet with a grin on his face and a few sharp puffs. Some trooper, in fairness, that would have knocked most men out cold.
  • 14:47

    15 min: Ireland win their lineout again and move forward. Murray in control and then Sexton's crossfield kick is just too long for Trimble in the far corner.

  • 14:47
  • 14:48
    POC robs the Welsh lineout. He has had a brilliant start to this game. Not sure how many times he's been scrumhalf and Ireland have the advantage.
  • 14:48
    Can't overstate O'Connell's infleunce so far in this game.
  • 14:49
    17 min: Penalty Ireland
  • 14:49
    Scott Williams has gone off!! he came off worse from that collision and leaves holding his shoulder.  
  • 14:49


    Sexton fires another over.

  • 14:50
    18 min:   A good clearing kick from Murray there and Ireland up to the 10m line again.
  • 14:51
    Wales take, though, and Priestland sends it high. Trimble claims and Liam Williams doesn't let go of him.
  • 14:52
    Sloppy by Sexton who misses touch but Rob Kearney runs back the clearance. It's put up again and Halfpenny marks. Chance wasted for Ireland.
  • 14:53

    Kearney knocks on another up and under, Wales attack with North, who has moved to the centre to accomodate Liam Williams in the absence of Scott Williams.

    Wales penalty. O'Mahony pinged.

  • 14:54
    22 min:  Priestland finds touch and Wales have a platform here. Coombs takes but Ireland have turned it over again. O'Mahony is some man at the breakdown.  
  • 14:55
    A bit of tennis here before Wales find the Irish 22 through Priestland.
  • 14:57

    POC takes, with majesty, Dave Kearney scampers up the blindside, but Murray's box kick gifts possession back. Halfpenny returns it and Wales knock on in the chase.

    Donal Lenihan reckons Wales are all out of ideas.

  • 14:57
    Scrum reset, Murray prepares another put in.
  • 14:58
    It collapses again and Ireland win the pen. Sexton for touch. Decent kick and Ireland are just outside the 22.
  • 15:00
    26 min:    Toner takes. BOD makes yards and then Trimble jinks brilliantly inside to bring them within yards of the line. But the ball is won back by Wales and the danger is cleared.
  • 15:01
    28 min:  Sexton puts another one up. Liam Williams takes ahead of Trimble.  
  • 15:02

    Faletau down the line again but his loose pass inside is jumped on by O'Mahony.  Murray's box kick is taken by Halfpenny, he's not looked shaky under those yet.

    30 min: Penalty Wales.

  • 15:02
    Heaslip was 'off his feet'
  • 15:04
    Wales down to the Irish 22. Hibbard throws and Toner nicks it.  Murray box kicks, Trimble chases, Hibbard spills, Ross recovers it. Some tennis here, until Kearney beats Halfpenny to his own kick, just.
  • 15:05
    Ireland recycle and Sexton's kick to the corner is chased by Heaslip and taken into touch by Priestland.
  • 15:05



  • 15:06
    Toner takes the lineout, everyone in behind Henry and Ireland charge over in the corner. No TMO needed. Try Ireland.  
  • 15:07

    Sexton from the touchline?

    Oh yeah!

    IRELAND 13 Wales 0

  • 15:09
    Liam Williams fumbles but regains possession, dinked through and Trimble feeds Dave Kearney. He makes great progress through two tackles. Sexton finds a tidy touch inside the Wales 22.
  • 15:10
    36 min:  Ireland penalised for not maintaining the gap at the lineout. They got some notice from Barnes to be fair. He was shouting for them to move back.
  • 15:11
    Best finds Toner at the back of the Irish lineout. Sexton plants a beauty of a kick in behind Williams again and we're back where we started. This is turning into an excellent Ireland performance.
  • 15:13
    Wales win it, clear to Trimble and Rob Kearney concedes the penalty. But Ireland right back at them and Coombs done for blocking an irish tackler. It's inside the Irish half but Sexton thinks he can land it.
  • 15:13
    Nope, he can't. Last kick of the half and Ireland lead Wales 13-0 at the break.
  • 15:18
    George Hook finding it hard to credit Ireland. He just can't do it without qualifying it with some sort of sly dig in the ribs.
  • 15:20
    Conor O'Shea highlighting the "little battles" being won by Ireland. Kearney v Halfpenny, O'Connell v Alun Wyn Jones and O'Mahony v the entire Welsh backrow.
  • 15:23
    Celtic have been beaten 2-1 by Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup quarter-final.  
  • 15:26

    'Be patient' is the nessage from the studio as the tgeams return to the field.  

    No changes, it seems.

  • 15:26

    Priestland restarts but Ireland clear to halfway.

  • 15:28
    Brilliant by O'Mahony who boots one down the line and deep into the Welsh 22. Priestland's clearance is blocked and Ireland have possession back after a frantic skirmish.
  • 15:29
    BOD feeds Best and then finds touch in behind the Welsh defenders. That caught Prieslant and Best has a lineout to manage here.
  • 15:29
    POC takes.
  • 15:30
    Best makes ground. POC takes three men out and Murray snipes, well inside the 22 now. Ireland get a penalty after play called back for POC being taken out under the lineout ball earlier.
  • 15:31
    45 min: O'Connell points to the posts and Sexton lines it up from right of the posts on the 22.
  • 15:32

    IRELAND 16 Wales 0

    He lands it! Ireland extend their lead.

  • 15:32
    Cuthbert takes the restart well. Wales not out of sight yet.
  • 15:33
    Phillips and then Halfpenny make headway. Jamie Roberts into the 22 through BOD's tackle.  
  • 15:34
    Ireland asked to defend here. Toner and D'arcy take Phillips down. Murray and BOD take Faletau.
  • 15:34
    Warburton ducks low and O'Mahony is an animal!!!
  • 15:35
    Wales pinged, Warburton pinged and talked to by Barnes. Peter O'Mahony is giving a masterclass at the breakdown.
  • 15:36
    Ireland find touch, Toner takes Best's throw. Ireland go to the maul and Wales collapse.
  • 15:36
    50 min:   Sexton boots ireland further down field. Just outside the 22 now.
  • 15:37
    POC takes and Ireland put it up the jumper before Murray breaks and passes forward.
  • 15:39
    Scrum Wales. North tries to run it out of defence and Ireland penalised for not coming off the ball. BOD the culprit.
  • 15:40
    Wales find touch in the 22 thanks to Priestland's ugly but very effective kick in behind.
  • 15:41
    Wales steal just as Lenihan lauds Ireland's lineout. Inside Ireland's 22 now. Ireland up quick and Warburton forced into a knock on thanks to homeside pressure. He's having a stinker and question marks over whether he is fit.
  • 15:41
    POC comes off and Dan Tuohy comes on.
  • 15:42
    54 min:  Martin Moore comes on for Mike Ross.  The frontrow arguably just got stronger.
  • 15:43
    Maybe not, Ireland go down as Moore is penalised.  It's the posts for Halfpenny. The first sight of them in 55 mins. Remarkable.
  • 15:44

    Ireland 16 WALES 3

    It's over. Wales are off the mark and there's 25 mins to get back into this game.  

  • 15:44
    The rain starting to come down now so things might get sloppy form here.  
  • 15:46
    Rob Kearney held back by Halfpenny after he blocked the clearance kick. Nothing from Barnes.  
  • 15:47

    Penalty Ireland, O'Mahony's involved again. Gethin Jenkins off his feet.


    Sexton in front of the posts, more or less. Should be routine.

  • 15:48

    IRELAND 19 Wales 3

    It is. And Ireland have their 16-point lead again in the 60th minute.

  • 15:49

    Priestland hit hard and Wales lose it forward. Big hit by Sexton.  

  • 15:50
    Fergus McFadden replaces Trimble. Big game from the Ulster man and a big chance for the Leinster man.
  • 15:50
    Rhodri Jones replaces Alun Wyn Jones.
  • 15:51

    Concern here for O'Mahony but he's back up.

    "He needs a good rub every game," adds Lenihan, curiously.  

  • 15:52
    Rob Kearney puts one high and Halfpenny knocks on. Ireland scrum.
  • 15:53
    Heaslip takes and goes form the back, sort of, he's snared by a tackle.  
  • 15:55

    WHAT??!  Ireland don't get the lineout and O'Mahony is pinged for making contact in the air in the lineout. O'Mahony was forearmed in the face in the aftermath and was not happy. That following a bad call from the linesman that denied Ireland a perfect attacking platform.

  • 15:56
    69 min: Tommy O'Donnell on for Tuohy after the latter injured his hand.  
  • 15:57
    Wales have but Ireland are quick up and forcing them backwards. Still dangerous, though and into the 22 now.
  • 15:57
    Ireland pinged, Phillips takes, 5 metres out now.
  • 15:57
    Penalty Ireland!!!
  • 15:58
    Right on the line, two movements from Rhodri Jones.  Think Barnes might have been reading the Irish Times this morning.
  • 15:58
    68 min: Cian Healy off for Jack McGrath.  
  • 16:01

    Best lineout, Toner tips, Heaslip holds, Murray clears but after McFadden takes the catcher Ireland are penalised. O'Mahony into the secondrow by the way.

    Wales forced back into their half and then Priestland's kick is ill-advised and Wales concede the pen.  

  • 16:02
    A big hairy man is aboout to come on for Wales, as well as Justin Tipuric.
    Sexton finds a good touch.
  • 16:03

    Jake Ball replaces Coombs and Tipuric on for Lydiate.

    Ireland take and roll into the 22.

  • 16:04
    Wales clear but Rob Kearney sends it back and Heaslip then chips and chases after Ireland reclaim. Halfpenny taps it down for a 22 that Wales launch up field immeadiately. Desperate times, desperate measures.
  • 16:05
    74 min: Ireland pinged on the Welsh 22 and Wales break again, in hope it seems rather than expectation
  • 16:06

    And Sexton hits Roberts!! The big man knocks on. Ireland on the front foot again. Sexton on his clubmate there, brilliant hit.

    That's his last involvement. Jackson on in his stead.  Fantastic performance!

  • 16:07
    He hit one out on the full but other than that it was borderline flawless.
  • 16:07
    BOD makes ground, Murray spreads the play.  D'Arcy takes it into the 22.
  • 16:08
    Butter fingers Mcfadden spills it forward, just when Ireland looked like they might open Wales up. Scrum Wales.
  • 16:10

    North tries beat his way through, Wales have shown very little invention today.  

    And Ireland turn it over!! Phillips and  O'Mahony have a go at each other.  He's been a demon today, Peter.

  • 16:11

    O'Mahony named MOTM, rightly so, O'Connell's first 20 minutes was immense but big Pete, well,  indomitable.

    Ireland hit the corner and take the lineout.!!!!

  • 16:12



  • 16:13
    Argy bargy after a late hit by Liam Williams on Jackson prompts Kearney and then Phillips to get involved but it won't change anything. Jackson converts and Ireland lead 26-3 with 30 seonds remaining.
  • 16:14
    A 23-point win over Wales, folks. An utterly dominant performance. And we think Phillips has been sin binned.
  • 16:15
    Just realised how misleading that last sentence was, Game still on ;)
  • 16:15
    Wales into the Ireland 22 but away come Ireland with Isaac Boss!!
  • 16:16
    Boss, Jackson, and Dave Kearney take it up field and all of a sudden there's another one on here for Ireland?
  • 16:16

    Nope, it's knocked forward. No matter, that's it. Super show from Ireland.

    IRELAND 26 Wales 3

  • 16:17
    Twickers in 2 weeks time up next. Pfft, nay bodger!
  • 16:17
    Thanks for reading, if you did, we'll have a match report and reaction, including video content, asap.
  • 16:20

    George Hook says that was the "best Irish performance since the Grand Slam under Kidney."

    Ireland "demolished" Wales.

  • 17:38
    Alright folks, here's some analysis from Gerry Thornley and Liam Toland. Don't they dovetail nicely as a double act?
  • 17:57
    Beep-bidda-beep-bidda-beep. This just in. Dan Tuohy has a suspected broken forearm.
  • 18:09
    If you're interested, our next victims are currently leading Scotland 13-0 at Murrayfield.
  • 18:43

    It's full-time in Murrayfield. A 20-0 win for England. All pretty convincing really. Tries came from Luther Burrell and Mike Brown. Two conversions and a pen from Andy Farrell and a drop-goal from Danny Care.

  • 18:52
  • 18:54

    Crikey Scotland missed 27 tackles against England. That's unforgivable.  

    Anywho, we'll have a match report on that soon, and it will be piled in HERE  with everything else.