Wales v Ireland as it happened gives you all the news, views and nonsense from the Millennium Stadium. Get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet him @Timwellspent.
By Tim Hart
Published: 3pm 12 March 2011
Full-time: Wales 19-13 Ireland
1852: So to sum it up; Mike Phillips and Ryan Jones made their 50th appearances for Wales. David Wallace got his 70th cap for Ireland. Brian O’Driscoll equalled the Championship try-scoring record with his 24th try. Ronan O’Gara became only the fifth man to pass the 1000 points mark in international rugby. But despite all these records it was an ugly game. Bring on the final round of games next week!
1847: James Hook admits Ireland may have a point about Wales’ try. And they certainly do because it shouldn’t be allowed. I refer you to law 19.2 (d).
Wales won’t care though as it means they go to the Stade de France next weekend knowing a fourth successive win could see them win the Championship. That is, of course, if England lose at least one of their final two games. It’s also only Wales’ second win over Ireland at home in 30 years.
Full-time: Wales 19-13 Ireland
1845: Ireland had the overlap on the left wing but they somehow fail to score the try and Wales have now turned it over. Shane Williams punts it into the crowd and that brings the match to an end. Paddy Wallace should have passed the ball out to Earls but he chose to go infield to try and make the conversion easier. However, another mistake from Ireland saw Wales steal the ball back.
1844: Sexton kicks the ball into the Wales’ 22 and Ireland have one last chance to get something from this match. Ireland now have a penalty and Cian Healy takes it quickly. Wales’ defence is holding strong but as we enter overtime Ireland are edging nearer to Wales’ line.
1843: The home crowd are now singing Bread of Heaven with two minutes remaining. The referee awards a penalty to Ireland after Dan Lydiate is penalised.
1842: James Hook has been named as man of the match. He’s been one of the few bright lights in a poor-quality game.
1841: Ireland’s Tom Court has the ball as the away team push into Wales’ 22. But the ball’s been spilt and Mike Phillips can clear their lines. Another mistake has cost them dearly.
1840: Ireland have made two more replacements. Sean Cronin and Leo Cullen have come on with Donncha O’Callaghan and Rory Best coming off.
1839: Ireland are just playing within themselves. I’m not convinced they want to win this match. The referee Jonathan Capland has given Ireland a penalty.
1837: Wales keep possession and are now in the 10th phase. Hook then kicks the ball down the field and Ireland reply with another kick. Sexton’s kick goes into touch and Wales win the line-out to regain possession.
1836: Alun-Wyn Jones is now Wales captain. Wales have slowed the play down with a ruck and they’re creeping forward into Ireland’s half. The Welsh team are very happy just to run down the clock with seven minutes to go. Ireland need to keep their discipline and not concede a penalty.
1835: Fitzgerald has gone off and Paddy Wallace replaces him. Wales have also made the sub with Richard Hibbard replacing captain Matthew Rees.
1834: Fitzgerald then punts the ball back to Wales and Phillips calls mark for a 22 drop out. Ireland aren’t thinking. They keep on giving possession away too easily.
1833: Ireland have made two replacements with Tom Court and Denis Leamy coming on for Mike Ross and Jamie Heaslip. Wales have a line-out in their own 22. Alun-Wyn Jones wins the throw and Mike Phillips punts the ball down field.
1830: Rees takes the throw and Thomas wins. Wales are pouring forward and they have another penalty after the referee brings it back for an offence back at the line-out. O’Brien’s been penalised for being offside. That’s a soft one to concede. Hook now has the chance to extend Wales’ lead. And the Welsh no.10 finishes it with aplomb. Wales 19-13 Ireland.
1828: Ireland are now on the offensive, just outside Wales’ 22. Stringer gives it to Sean O’Brien and it’s now with Wallace. Ireland are 10 metres from the try line. Thomas misses a tackle on O’Driscoll but Rees doesn’t. Rory Best passes to Sexton but he misses the ball. Ireland manage to keep possession. But Ireland have conceded a penalty as Sean O’Brien failed to release the ball on the ground. James Hook kicks a great penalty into touch near Ireland’s 22.
1827: Sexton is finally finding his range with a sublime kick into the Wales 22. Matthew Rees will to take the line-out which is well taken by Bradley Davies.
1826: There’s been 61 kicks in this match. It really doesn’t inspire you when there are that many punts in a game.
1825: Tommy Bowe waits for the ball to go over the try line and taps it for the 22 drop out.
1824: It’s now an Ireland scrum on the halfway line. The scrum has held well and O’Driscoll tries another grubber kick but it’s blocked off by Byrne. The ball is given to Hook who hits it long down the field.
1823: This is a very odd game. Ireland were at first in charge but the Wales try has forced them on to the back foot. Wales must take advantage of this.
Paul James is currently getting some treatment so we’re having a break.
1822: Jonathan Thomas has come on for Ryan Jones.
1821: Leigh Halfpenny collects the ball after a long clearance from Ireland. Hook then kicks the ball long into Ireland’s 22 and Keith Earls calls mark.
1819: Ireland continue to apply the pressure but Wales are given a penalty after an Irishman fails to release in the tackle. Wales are now driving into Ireland’s half. But Ireland hold up the play well and win the turnover.
1817: Replays of Wales’ try show Wales used a different ball than the one that went into touch for the quick line-out. Law 19.2 (d) states you cannot do that so the try should not have counted.
1814: All of a sudden the game has come to life as Keith Earls surges forward for Ireland. And Ireland’s Fitzgerald thinks he has scored a try but there was a forward pass in the build up. The play is brought back for an Irish penalty after Wales were adjudged to be offside. Sexton misses the penalty and it’s a bad one. O’Gara was having a bad game but Sexton’s five minutes on the field have been even worse.
1813: The Irish aren’t happy and for good reason. They’re claiming the ball Phillips scored with was not the same one that left the field and you can’t take a quick throw with a different ball. But it doesn’t matter. The referee has awarded the try and Hook gets the conversion. Wales are in the lead. Wales 16-13 Ireland
1812: What’s this?! Mike Phillips has run 30 metres and scored a try. Wales took a quick line-out and Phillips runs over to score.
1811: Ronan O’Gara’s poor kicking from hand has cost him as he’s replaced by Jonathan Sexton. But Sexton’s first kick is the same standard as O’Gara; it’s a Wales’ line-out.
1809: This second-half has failed to get going so far. Wales have possession once again but Jonathan Davies is penalised for not releasing on the ground. Looks harsh from the replays. I know I’m repeating myself but there is no structure or movement from either team at the moment.
1808: Wales win the throw and it’s a high kick from Hook. Gordon D’Arcy has knocked it on and Williams is set loose. He tries a a little dink but O’Driscoll comes across to cover and Ireland have the 22 drop out.
1807: Jonathan Davies carries the ball forward from Wales 22 but his held by Best and Wallace. We now have a game of punt tennis and both sides kick it to each other. We now have a Wales line-out on the halfway line.
1804: Stringer passes out to the left but a knock on sees Wales win the ball back. A long kick from Williams sees Fitzgerald fumble and give Wales a line-out five metres from Ireland’s line. But Wales concede a penalty. And O’Gara can’t even get the ball out of Ireland’s 22. There are so many mistakes in this match and O’Gara’s kicking from hand has been terrible for a man of his standards.
1803: Wales have already had two attacks but twice Ireland have turned it over. Ireland are comfortable in defence and they now have a line-out in Wales’ half.
1801: O’Connell collects the ball and Stringer kicks the ball forward which is picked up by Phillips. Wales have started brightly and are in Ireland’s 22. But Gordon Darcy steals the ball, however, a loose pass means Ireland clear the ball hurriedly and Wales have a line-out on Ireland’s 22. We’ve started the second half as we finished the first; extremely frenetic.
1800: Ireland are already back out and we’re just waiting for Wales and as I say that they are running out of the tunnel. James Hook restarts the match.
1753: If Ireland can cut out the penalties – they’ve conceded five so far, they should win. They’ve been on top in terms of tactics and Wales haven’t even come close to scoring a try.
1750: Ireland don’t deserve the lead but that’s what they have. Declan Kidney won’t be impressed with how unstructured his side have been and how many penalties they have conceded. The game has been scrappy so far and Wales are far happier with that type of game.
Half-time: Wales 9-13 Ireland
1746: The crowd is getting louder now as we near the half-time whistle. The play has slowed down on the halfway line. Ireland have the ball but they can’t do anything with it. Stringer passes it to O’Gara who goes to Fitzgerald and then on to Donnelly and all of a sudden Ireland are five metres short of the Welsh line with Sean O’Brien. And Ireland have been given a penalty after Phillips didn’t release in the tackle. O’Gara will go for goal. Wales should go into the break leading 13-9. And he gets the easy kick.
1743: Keith Earls brings the ball in from the left wing but Wales stop him. Sam Warburton, who’s played a blinder so far, gets the ball back and Williams tries a little dink over the Irish defence but he’s stopped and the play’s brought back for a Wales’ penalty. Not sure what it’s for but Leigh Halfpenny will take it from all of 47 yards out. And it’s a wonderful kick, right through the middle of the posts. It’s now Wales 9-10 Ireland
1742: David Wallace takes the ball into one tackle and Tommy Bowe is then tackled by Sam Warburton. O’Gara then tries another chip into the corner which puts Wales into all sort of bother. Lee Byrne slips but he does well to recover and Phillips clears. Ireland now have an attacking line-out and Stringer passes it out to Brian O’Driscoll. It takes three Welshmen to stop him.
1741: Lee Byrne now concedes a penalty for holding onto the ball on the ground. The momentum has suddenly shifted back to Ireland. O’Gara kicks the ball into touch deep in Wales’ half. O’Connell wins the throw and Ireland threaten.
1740: News has just come in on Mitchell’s injury. He’s actually dislocated his shoulder. His Six Nations is over. Ronan O’Gara makes it 1003 points as he puts away the penalty to extend Ireland’s lead. Wales 6-10 Ireland
1739: Ireland are awarded their first penalty of the match from the scrum as Paul James is penalised for not binding.
1737: Both teams struggle to keep hold of the ball and it’s now a scrum to Wales near to the halfway line.
1735: Wales are now in charge of the match and Ireland have made another error. Rees picks up the ball and Wales move it out wide to the left very quickly. But Ireland hold them up and the momentum is lost. Jamie Heaslip steals the ball back and is cleared so Wales have a line-out on their 22 line.
1732: Wales are dominating the territory play as they advance into Ireland’s 22 but the ball’s turned over and cleared to lee Byrne. Mike Phillips passes it out to Lee Byrne who gets passed a couple of Irishman. Wales have edged themselves forward to Ireland’s 22. And Ireland are penalised again so Hook can put Wales to within a point of Ireland. And Hook does it. This is a deserved comeback from Wales. The score is: Wales 6-7 Ireland
1731: Wales have another penalty. Ireland can’t afford to give away so many. Hook will take the kick, which is 10 metres into his own half. Cian Healy is receiving some treatment so we have a rare breather.
1729: Ireland have the ball on the edge of Wales’ 22. Stringer passes it to O’Connell but he’s held up by Bradley Davies. Wales defence is holding up well and Tommy Bowe responds by playing a grubber kick. Shane Williams blocks it well and the home team now have possession once again.
1726: David Wallace is tackled by Mike Phillips and O’Driscoll then stabs the ball into touch midway in Wales’ 22.Matthew Rees’ throw is won by Bradley Davies and the ball is cleared. But Luke Fitzgerald makes a hash of it and Wales are on the attack. They had the option of an overlap but went for route one and Ireland managed to regroup. Shane Williams then jumps into a tackle. The referee awards a penalty for Williams not releasing the ball but he should have penalised him for jumping into the tackle.
1723: It was a bad miss by Hook but Ireland’s clearance is just as poor and Wales are attacking once again in Ireland’s 22 after a line-out. Bradley Davies picks up the ball and goes into a tackle five metres short of the Ireland line. The referee has awarded Wales another penalty as Rory Best came over the top. Hook has to get this penalty, it’s right in front of the posts! He gets it so it’s now Wales 3-7 Ireland.
1721: Wales win the line-out and Sam Warburton pushes Wales into Ireland’s 22. Keith Earls has to make a crunching tackle to deny Shane Williams. The ball’s recycled and comes back out to the left wing. There are a series of rucks and Ireland are penalised for David Wallace not rolling away from the tackle. It’s the first penalty of the match and James Hook is lining up the kick, which is just to the left of the posts. Should be an easy three points for the Ospreys star but he hits the post.
1719: O’Gara kicks the ball into Wales’ 22 which is caught by Halfpenny who calls mark. Hook kicks the ball down the field but it goes straight to Luke Fitzgerald. His kick is also average and Wales are now on the up with a line-out midway into Ireland’s half.
1718: This game is being played at a frantic pace at the moment but neither team is stamping their authority on the match. Wales’ Craig Mitchell has been forced off with a wrist injury and is replaced by John Yapp. So that’s one replacement a piece already.
1716: Not much has been happening on the pitch as we have a scrum. They just slow the game down so much since the new rules were introduced. Ireland have just kept the ball and are now under pressure. But a quick-thinking kick from Tommy Bowe sees Ireland spring forward. However, Wales turn it over. James Hook has another fine clearance.
1715: O’Driscoll’s try incidentally puts him joint top in the all-time Championship try scorers. He’s alongside Scotland’s Ian Smith with 24 tries.
1714: And here comes Shane Williams after a poor kick from Keith Earls. The ball comes out to the right wing and Halfpenny goes on a run but he’s isolated and his attempted pass goes to Ireland.
1713: Wales now have the ball on their 22 and the ball is passed back to James Hook who hits a wonderful kick into Ireland’s half and into touch.
1712: James Hook then kicks it back down field and O’Gara does the same to give Wales a line-out. And Ireland’s Paul O’Connell steals the throw.
1711: Jamie Heaslip wins the line-out and O’Gara punts the ball down the field to Leigh Halfpenny who has his first touch of the match.
1710: That try was all Wales’ fault with the calamitous clearance and failure to deal with the driving maul. Wales are now on the attack but Alun-Wyn Jones fumbles the ball and it’s now a line-out for Ireland just outside their 22.
1709: Ronan O’Gara becomes only the 5th person to pass 1,000 points in international rugby by getting the conversion and it’s Wales 0-7 Ireland.
1707: Paul O’Connell comes forward with the ball and gives it to George Donnelly who’s tackled by Dan Lydiate. Ireland continue to push forward with Keith Earles. Wales deny him but the ball comes back to Tommy Bowe who’s tackled and then Brian O’Driscoll picks up the ball and finds a gap and goes over to score his 24th Championship try.
1706: Eoin Reddan is needing a significant amount of treatment after that charge down and Peter Stringer is coming on to replace him. That’s a blow for Ireland but Stringer is one of the most experienced players around.
1704: Mike Phillips passes the ball out to James Hook and it sets up a ruck. The ball is given to Lee Byrne who tries to clear but it’s charged down by Eoin Reddan. Wales eventually clear their lines but Ireland have a scrum deep in Wales’ 22. Not a good start for the home team.
1703: David Wallace, who’s in the back row, is making his 70th appearance for Ireland today. He’s lining up with the rest of his team as Ronan O’Gara takes the kick-off.
1701: And now time for The Land of my Fathers. Just makes the hairs on the back of your head stand up, doesn’t it?
1659: There is now the minute’s silence for the victims of the Japan earthquake which is sadly not being being respected by a very small number of the crowd.
1657: “Wales! Wales! Wales!” is being sung around the stadium. And here come Ryan Jones and Mike Phillips who are given a special welcome as they mark their 50th appearances for Wales. And the rest of the players follow them out on to the field.
1653: The Italy win has really mixed things up. England are still the favourites to win the Championship and indeed are on course for the Grand Slam. But whoever wins here today will become second favourites to win the title.
1650: Today is another day for landmarks. Ryan Jones and Mike Phillips will both be making their 50th appearances for Wales. Also, Warren Gatland is now Wales’ longest serving coach.
1637: The Millennium Stadium is filling up now and both Ireland and Wales are out on the pitch warming up.
1619: Former England international Richard Hill sums the Italy result up.
1612: And Italy have beaten France 22-21! That’s probably the biggest shock in the Six Nations!
1610: Whoah! Italy are beating France 22-21 with just a minute to go. That would be a turn up for the books!
1607: Ronan O’Gara is starting at fly-half today and he is just two points short of the 1000 points mark for Ireland. He would be the fifth man in international rugby to reach it. The other four are Jonny Wilkinson, Dan Carter, Neil Jenkins and Diego Dominguez.
1600: And on that day in 2008 Wales won 16-12. Ireland failed to score a try in that match but since then they have scored at least one try in every match but one (against Australia in November).
1557: Hmmm, the stats and facts are stacking up against Wales it seems. Warren Gatland’s men have failed to score a try against Ireland since 2008.
1550: Here’s a different take on today’s proceedings. A Cardiff journalist, Megan Boot, has done an article on singing tips for Welsh rugby fans. So, if you want to get your voices ready to give a rendition of The Land Of My Fathers you should check it out.
1530: Just been watching the news and it’s hard to concentrate of the match with the devastation and destruction in Japan. There will be a minute’s silence before the match in the memory of the victims of the earthquake.
1528: Said it once already but Ireland will be confident going into the match. They have won nine of the last 11 meetings between the teams.
1525: Our reporter Paul Brand is one of the 150,000 odd people in Cardiff for the match…
1518: Now, judging from what some of you think on Twitter, this is going to be a tight match…
1515: Wales still have a chance of winning the Six Nations but our Sport Correspondent Richard Morgan believes today’s match is a real acid test for the World Cup in the autumn.
1509: Leigh Halfpenny will be making his first appearance for Wales since June last year and he can hardly wait to put the red jersey on.
1501: There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the Millennium Stadium’s roof ahead of this match. The Welsh camp claim the Irish wanted it open but the Irish say they were never given the option. Here’s what Wales’ forwards coach Robin McBryde thinks about the roof issue.
1500: Here’s Richard Morgan’s preview for the match. The big team news is that Jonathan Davies has been passed fit for Wales.
1457: Ireland have only lost once in Cardiff since 1983. In that time they’ve won 10, drawn once and lost once. No wonder Brian O’Driscoll has happy memories of the city and the Millennium Stadium.
Wales: 15-Lee Byrne, 14-Leigh Halfpenny, 13-Jamie Roberts, 12-Jonathan Davies, 11-Shane Williams, 10-James Hook, 9-Mike Phillips; 8-Ryan Jones, 7-Sam Warburton, 6-Dan Lydiate, 5-Alun Wyn Jones, 4-Bradley Davies, 3-Craig Mitchell, 2-Matthew Rees (captain), 1-Paul James
Replacements: 16-Richard Hibbard, 17-John Yapp, 18-Jonathan Thomas, 19-Rob McCusker, 20-Dwayne Peel, 21-Stephen Jones, 22-Morgan Stoddart
Ireland: 15-Luke Fitzgerald, 14-Tommy Bowe, 13-Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 12-Gordon D’Arcy, 11-Keith Earls, 10-Ronan O’Gara, 9-Eoin Reddan; 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-David Wallace, 6-Sean O’Brien, 5-Paul O’Connell, 4-Donncha O’Callaghan, 3-Mike Ross, 2-Rory Best, 1-Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Tom Court, 18-Leo Cullen, 19-Denis Leamy, 20-Peter Stringer, 21-Jonathan Sexton, 22-Paddy Wallace.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)
Touch judges: Craig Joubert (South Africa) & Peter Allan (Scotland)
TV: Geoff Warren (England)