Ireland humble Wales in Six Nations

Ireland on course for first Six Nations rugby title in five years while England bounce back to beat Scotland.

    Ireland are looking to come back from a dreadful 2013 in which they almost finished last [Reuters]
    Ireland are looking to come back from a dreadful 2013 in which they almost finished last [Reuters]

    Ireland dealt a devastating blow to Welsh dreams of an historic hat-trick of Six Nations titles with a comprehensive 26-3 win in Dublin.

    In the latest sign of a revival under new coach Joe Schmidt, the Irish went 13-0 up in the first half after flanker Chris Henry forced his way over the Welsh line.

    Flyhalf Jonny Sexton kicked four penalties and his replacement, Paddy Jackson, surged across the line in the 79th minute and converted his try to seal Wales's first away loss in the Six Nations since 2011.

    "We haven't done the jersey justice over the past couple of years," said Ireland's man of the match Peter O'Mahony "It's time we start to make this place into a bit of a fortress."

    Ireland endured their worst Six Nations championship in 14 years last season, winning just one game and narrowly avoiding a first wooden spoon since a whitewash in 1998 by finishing ahead of France on points difference.

    The poor performance spelled the end of Declan Kidney's five-year tenure and two times Heineken Cup winning coach Schmidt took charge in November and brought Ireland within 30 seconds of a famous victory over world champions New Zealand.

    Having beaten Scotland in their opening match last weekend, Ireland will travel to England in two weeks' time in search of the Triple Crown.

    On Saturday the English brushed aside Scotland with a powerful performance to seal an emphatic 20-0.

    Centre Luther Burrell and fullback Mike Brown crossed the line, just as they did in last weekend's 26-24 defeat in France, to put the gloss on a dominant display by Stuart Lancaster's men.

    Flyhalf Owen Farrell added a penalty and two conversions and scrumhalf Danny Care kicked an early drop goal for England who also took advantage of the second-half sin-binning of Scotland centre Alex Dunbar for killing the ball.

    England are second in the championship after two matches, behind leaders Ireland who have won the first two games. The Scots have lost their opening two fixtures.

    "Losing to France was massively frustrating and we wanted to show a reaction this week," man-of-the-match Brown told the BBC.

    "We've definitely done that. I'm ecstatic to score a try. The pitch isn't in the best condition but I thought we played at a great tempo."

    France host Italy in Saint Denis on Sunday.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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