After a slowish start, the first points of the game came at roughly ten minutes from the boot of Stephen Jones. In what I thought was a harsh decision for Ireland, Wales were awarded a penalty for the tackler not rolling away. Jonathan Sexton kicked a penalty for Ireland eight minutes later to equalise at 3-all, in the interim Wales had missed an opportunity to go six ahead.
Just after the 21st minute the first really lovely bit of play made an appearance, an inside pass to Tommy Bowe saw him running away with the ball. Wales stopped the attack but as Ireland had advantage it went back for a penalty which Sexton duly kicked to take Ireland 6-3 ahead.
Wales went a man down, and Ireland responded with an attack. The attack stopped metres from the line, but Wales conceded a penalty in the process. Ireland took a quick penalty and Keith Earls rolled over the line to score.
Sexton did not convert, the ball bounced off the posts.
Soon after, Tomas O'Leary collected the offload from a tackled player, he ran clear to be tackled by Halfpenny as he approached the line. Sexton failed to convert, this time kicking wide.
With 36 minutes on the clock, Lee Byrne returned. The score was now 16-3.
Wales went on the attack, they looked like they'd score a try, but were held up just before the line. Wales did win a penalty, though, and so the score reached 16-6.
Within the first ten minutes of the second half, Wales went on the attack, and we had a series of scrums just metres from a Welsh try. Ireland held on and prevented the Welsh from scoring.
Within minutes the Welsh conceded a soft penalty due to throwing the ball away after it had been carried to touch. Throwing the ball like that being equivalent to killing the ball. Jonathan Sexton kicked the penalty, bringing the score to 19-6.
David Wallace soon gave away a penalty for not releasing the tackled player. Stephen Jones kicked it over scoring the first Welsh points of the half. 19-9 to Ireland.
Halfway in the second half, Tomas O'Leary made a break and drew in lots of Welsh players. He offloaded to Keith Earls who again was tackled on the line and rolled in to score. Sexton failed to convert, and so the score became 24-9. A penalty for Wales took the score to 24-12.
With eight minutes to go, Stephen Jones kicked to touch deep into Ireland's side - but no advantage was gained, they conceded a penalty and Wales got it clear.
With four minutes to go, Ireland were on the attack and after a good run of play Jonathan Sexton kicked a drop goal to bring the score to 27-12, beyond the reach of Wales.
Wales would have to score two converted tries and a kick. This would have been difficult in the time remaining even if Ireland had gone to the showers early.
As the clock went red, Ireland had the ball in hand, but Hook passed the ball into touch ending the game.
Ireland 27, Wales 12.
|Table Built: Saturday, 13 March 2010 16:25 UK|