‘Horror Show’ – dismal Ireland slump to 25-7 defeat in Wales
IRELAND were hammered 25-7 in Cardiff as a rampant Wales completed the Grand Slam in style this evening.
It was a woeful performance from Joe Schmidt’s men as the defeat brought the curtain down on a disappointing Six Nations campaign for Ireland.
Wales, to their credit, were on fire and had Ireland on the back foot from the first minute.
Sadly, Ireland’s big players again failed to perform to their usual standards, with Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray both enduring an extremely frustrating afternoon.
Wales struck early after Hadleigh Parkes collected an Anscombe chip on the line for the opening score with just 72 seconds on the clock.
Wales’ high-intensity game plan forced Ireland to concede eight penalties in the first half alone. Anscombe added another two penalties before the break to hand them a 16-0 advantage.
And the “horror show”, as it was described by former Ireland international Donal Lenihan, continued in the second half.
Anscombe made it 22-0 with his fifth penalty of the day as Sexton again misfired. And Anscombe extended the lead with another beautifully struck penalty with 10 minutes left on the clock.
Jordan Larmour scored a try, which was converted by Jack Carty, with the last play of the game but it was scant consolation for Ireland and a full inquiry will now follow.
As a result of the victory, Wales have leapfrogged Ireland as number two in the world rankings and will undoubtedly looking forward to next year’s World Cup with relish as Joe Schmidt returns to the drawing board to try and figure where it all went so wrong during an extremely disappointing Six Nations campaign.
With a World Cup tie against Scotland just 190 days away, Schmidt must somehow reset his team using four friendly internationals in late summer – two against Wales, one against Italy and a visit to Twickenham.
Speaking after the defeat, Ireland captain Rory Best said: “We always strive to get better and we haven’t done that in this championship. We’ll have to dust ourselves down and finish the calendar year strong. Credit to Wales, they’re deserving Grand Slam winners.”