Ireland 31-7 Wales: Warren Gatland's side well-beaten in third Six Nations defeat

  • Wales head coach Warren Gatland says today's loss to Ireland is a learning experience for his players.

Wales lost their third match of the Six Nations on Saturday afternoon, going down 31-7 to Ireland.

Warren Gatland's side were well-beaten in Dublin with the hosts continuing their pursuit of a Grand Slam.

The men in green opened the scoring when Nick Tompkins was penalised for a high tackle just inside his own half. Fly-half Jack Crowley clipped the penalty between the sticks, put his side in the lead after seven minutes.

A clever lineout move then saw hooker Dan Sheehan steamroll Josh Adams on his way up the near touchline and Wales were penalised for offside at the next ruck.

This time they went to the corner and tried to maul their way over. But Wales defended it brilliantly and earned a turnover.

Warren Gatland's side were forced to make more crucial defensive stops throughout the first quarter of the match but barely had a sniff of the ball, with the hosts dictating play.

Ireland's Ciaran Frawley scores his side's third try. Credit: PA Images

In the 21st minute, an Irish try that had felt inevitable for some time eventually game. More Welsh indiscipline gave the hosts a five metre lineout and hooker Dan Sheehan was carried over by a well-organised driving maul. Crowley added the extras.

As the game ticked towards the half-hour mark, Ireland were in complete control and referee Andrea Piardi was losing patience with Wales, who were an infringement away from receiving a yellow card.

But when James Lowe crossed for his side's second try of the match, the game was being played almost exclusively in the Welsh 22. The winger strolled over in the corner after Wales ran out of defenders, with Crowley's conversion making it 17-0.

Wales had an attacking opportunity in the Irish 22 before the half was done but did little to stress the hosts, who took their commanding lead into the break.

Gatland's side started the second half well and kicked to the corner after some Irish indiscipline around multiple breakdowns.

The red maul collapsed on its way to the tryline and Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne was sent to the sin bin for bringing it down illegally. Referee Piardi also gave Wales a penalty try.

Wales couldn't add any further scores whilst they had a man advantage, despite spending most of their time in Ireland's half.

  • Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins believes his side can take a lot out the match.

Bundee Aki thought he'd scored on the hour mark but the try was ruled out for a knock-on in the build-up that was initially missed by the officials.

But by now Ireland had re-established their ascendency and started enjoying extended spells of possession and eventually the pressure told again. In the 68th minute, Wales were stretched in defence and Irish full-back Ciaran Frawley went over by the posts without a Welshman laying a hand on him.

Wales went down swinging and unleashed one final barrage on the Irish line. James Ryan was sin-binned as the hosts defended furiously and eventually Aaron Wainwright was held up.

Lock Beirne scored in the final play of the match, securing a victory that seemed inevitable from the moment the hosts took the lead.

Ireland: Ciaran Frawley; Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jack Crowley, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Joe McCarthy, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O'Mahony (C), Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Reps: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Oli Jager, James Ryan, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Stuart McCloskey.

Wales: Cam Winnett; Josh Adams, George North, Nick Tompkins, Rio Dyer; Sam Costelow, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Keiron Assiratti; Daf Jenkins (C), Adam Beard; Alex Mann, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Reps: Ryan Elias, Corey Domachowski, Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Mackenzie Martin, Kieran Hardy, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady.

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