Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Ireland well off the pace as Grand Slam champions Wales run riot

Ireland well off the pace as Grand Slam champions Wales run riot

Schmidt will step down as Ireland head coach after the World Cup later this year and this was not the way he would have wanted his final Guinness Six Nations match in the role to have played out.

"The Irish players probably didn't expect England to lose to Scotland, so in their heads they were playing for second or third".

"I thought the referee was pretty harsh on them on a number of occasions, but in saying that, Wales were by far the better team". Today was a nightmare for Johnny Sexton.

"Those two guys are not the reason we lost and those two guys we'll continue to invest in", Schmidt declared.

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"All I do is try to get the preparation right and the best preparation for top-class players is to be in pressure cooker situations and to try and work their way through them".

Larmour did dance his way over with the last play of the game to at least save face for Ireland, but they were a long way off their rampant opponents, who will enjoy their night.

Wales trained with the roof closed at their traditional eve-of-game captain's run on Friday.

Jones - winning his 125th cap - said it was reward for hard work crowned with a performance that made last year's Six Nations Grand Slam winners look very ordinary.

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Wales have moved to number two in the latest World Rugby rankings following their Six Nations title clinching victory over Ireland this morning. "Our discipline doesn't usually let us down, it allowed them to get a distance ahead of us, they scored after a couple of minutes and you're always under a little bit of pressure and we didn't respond overly well to that pressure giving up those penalties".

Six weeks later, they led 16-0 at half time and dominated Ireland in a way rarely seen against Joe Schmidt's team during recent seasons.

"We'll be first to take our hats off the acknowledge the performance that Wales put in today and then we'll reflect, rebuild and go forward".

'We have not heard definitively, but my concern is that if it is pouring down with rain, then we do have a responsibility to the game for a spectacle, ' Gatland said.

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