An encouraging efficiency for Ireland although early strength wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard with Quinn Roux supplying the only try of a dominant first-half efficiency at the Aviva Stadium.
A skilled Wales group arrived in Dublin under real pressure having lost their previous five video games under Wayne Pivac, and sustained another hard night as Ireland controlled the scrum and looked far more harmful in ownership.
Ireland kept Wales at bay through the boot of Jonathan Sexton, Billy Burns and then Conor Murray prior to a late James Lowe attempt added some gloss to the scoreline.
A lot of pleasing for Andy Farrell will be the impact of his brand-new faces, with Lowe and Jamison Gibson-Park both bringing some genuine stimulate in attack and Caelan Doris proving a handful, although his group’s failure to put Wales away earlier will be an issue offered all their possession.
Here’s how we rated the gamers.
Hugo Keenan – 6
Just 3 caps into his international profession Keenan’s versatility is already entering into play, originally called on the extreme right to accommodate James Lowe before shifting to fullback as Jacob Stockdale was eliminated with injury. Looked at ease with the switch however wasn’t asked any difficult concerns in defence and would have liked to see more ball.
Andrew Conway – 6
Late addition to group due to Stockdale injury. Constantly a choice and strong in the air but never got the ball he needed to make a genuine impression on the game.
Chris Farrell – 7
First start since last year’s World Cup beat to Japan. Line speed in defence kept Wales under pressure and they had a hard time to deal with him on the other side of the ball too. Will be happy with his night’s work.
Robbie Henshaw – 6
Early penalty for not releasing handed Wales 3 easy points. Made some big deals with and was his normal industrious self around the park.
James Lowe – 8
Test debut practically left to a dream start but spilled Sexton’s pass with the try-line calling. Heavily included from the start and brought so much rate and power to Ireland’s assaulting play in addition to some included bite off the ball. More suppressed second-half however still powered over for a launching try with clock in the red. An appealing start to his Ireland career.
Jonathan Sexton – 7
100 th Test appearance across Ireland and Lions concerned an early end. 3/3 from the tee and showed some genuine flashes of quality with ball in hand, but looked devastated when injury forced him off after simply 28 minutes.
Jamison Gibson Park – 8
Brought real seriousness to Ireland’s play on his first Test start as speed of ball offered a platform for his teammates to build on. Ability to blend it up in attack triggered problems throughout.
Cian Healy – 7
At 33, very much the senior head together with Kelleher (22) and Porter (24) in the front row. Experience informed and he never looked bothered during a normally strong night’s work. Will feel he needs to have got over for 2 tries.
Ronan Kelleher – 6
First Test start produced blended outcomes. Didn’t get to display his bring threat and lineout work let him down more than once. Wasn’t straight with his toss with Ireland positioned for trademark lineout drive on eight minutes, those are the essentials he’s got to nail.
Andrew Porter – 9
Colleagues were fast to praise his work on early scrum and that set the pattern for a dominant screen. Harshly pinged for first-half penalty and believed he had a try on stroke of half time.
Quinn Roux – 8
Drafted into the beginning lineup on short notice as Iain Henderson dropped out with illness to win first cap because 2019 Six Nations.
James Ryan – 6
Inches far from an early shot however lost the ball in a mass of Welsh bodies, quickly followed by a careless loss of ownership. Usual steadfast efficiency but more errors than we have actually come to get out of the Leinster second row.
Peter O’Mahony – 8
Back in the group having actually begun the video games against Italy and France on the bench. A problem in first-half, heavily included on both sides of the ball and got through a big amount of work in the second period. Trademark second-half lineout steal a highlight.
Josh van der Flier – 6
Lost out on choice versus Italy and France in spite of strong efficiencies with Leinster. Worked difficult but a peaceful night by his standards which will keep the pressure on in a highly competitive back row.
Caelan Doris – 8
Brought hard into contact and revealed what he can with spectacular block, chase and pass which practically caused a fantastic try for Healy. Brought hard throughout and integrated well with Connors to nail Alun Wyn Jones in last minutes.
Dave Heffernan (for Kelleher 64) – 6
Earned backslaps from teammates through great at the breakdown.
Ed Byrne (for Healy 59) – 5
Handed out scrum penalty moments after his intro.
Finlay Bealham (for Porter 64) – 6
Made a couple of good contributions at breakdown.
Tadhg Beirne (for Roux 64) – 6
Came onto bench after late injury withdrawals and strong when introduced.
Will Connors (for van der Flier 69) – 6
Looked starving for work in his brief cameo and will have enjoyed smashing into Alun Wyn Jones with Doris.
Conor Murray (for Billy Burns 65) – 7
A different experience for Murray, who last began an Ireland game on the bench in2015 Included as Ireland’s 3rd out-half of the night and kicked 2 charges and a conversion.
Billy Burns (for Sexton 28) – 6
Debutant number nine of the Andy Farrell era was hired earlier than anticipated however slotted in well and kicked two penalties before leaving for HIA.
Keith Earls (for Henshaw 71) – 6
Back from injury to complete at centre for final 10 minutes.