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Inspired Ireland rout Wales
An inspired Ireland shattered Welsh dreams of a third consecutive Six Nations Championship with an emphatic 26-3 victory at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Jonny Sexton controlled the game superbly for Ireland in a man of the match performance and a personal contribution of 14 points while Chris Henley and replacement Paddy Jackson crossed the line for the home team.
Despite enjoying much of the possession Wales looked toothless on attack and struggled to break the defensive game plan of the Irish which clearly centered around keeping George North quiet.
Warren Gatland will be extremely concerned with the lack of discipline shown by his team when they conceded 8 penalties in the first half alone gaving Ireland the early initiative and a 13-0 lead at the break.
Superb tackling by the Irish defence forced a number of handling errors by the Welsh, another standout area of the home teams play that contributed to their stunning win.
Sexton controlled the game masterfully throughout with his decisive boot and decision making while opposite number Priestland might find himself out in the cold next week following a performance that simply wasn’t up to international standard.
Contrasting fortunes for Ireland this season following their lackluster campaign in 2013 and with 2 victories from their opening 2 matches they remain on course for a repeat of their heroics of 2009.
Ireland travel to Twickenham next and the performances of Sexton, Trimble, Rob Kearney and O’Connell whill give Stuart Lancaster plenty to think about. They then host Italy and finish their campaign away against France while Wales will need a home win next week to keep their hopes alive before they head to Twickenham and finish at home to Scotland