WALES 23 IRELAND 16
Stephen Doyle in Cardiff
Ireland’s dreams of a third Grand Slam in their history have been smashed by Wales.
Joe Schmidt’s team were poor in the first half and they gave away too many penalties, y the 14th minute Leigh Halfpenny had nailed four kicks for the home team and the visitors looked overawed.
Ireland fought their way back into it and Johnny Sexton made amends for a penalty missed in the 16th minute by scoring three after that although Dan Biggar scored a drop goal to make it 15-9 at the break
Ireland came out like men possessed in the second half but try as they might they just could not get through the wall of red – Warren Gatland’s team’s defending was of a very high quality.
After surviving that it was Wales who wounded Ireland heavily in the 61st minute with a Scott Williams try.
Ireland eventually managed to get a five pointer themselves after they were awarded a penalty, try converted by Johnny Sexton, after the hosts were penalised for collapsing a maul.
Ten minutes to go and 4 points behind and Irish fans here still believed.
The belief lasted just four minutes after a Halfpenny penalty around the Irish 22 killed the game.