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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Afternoon, all, and welcome to our live coverage of Ireland’s pre-season friendly do-or-die clash with Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Gavan Casey here, and I’ll be with you all afternoon as Ireland aim to right their course with Japan on the horizon, and Wales bid to inflict further psychological damage upon the Irish people.

fiona-and-sinead-halligan Fiona and Sinead Halligan from Mayo gear up for today's encounter. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

With less than an hour to kick-off in the Welsh capital, how are we feeling?


Poll Results:

Early days -- there is still cause for optimism (286)
We're in trouble (162)
Life is a carnival of pain and today will likely serve only to accentuate that (92)



Warren Gatland spoke earlier this week of how he hoped to derail Ireland even further ahead of World Cup kick-off, but this takes the biscuit altogether. Has Murray not been through enough over the last couple of weeks?

Team news

Wales have been forced into a change on their bench with Aaron Wainwright replacing Ross Moriarty. The latter is suffering with a hip problem.

Warren Gatland has handed Test debuts to a pair of Cardiff Blues: loosehead Rhys Carré and wideman Owen Lane.

Ireland are thus far unchanged from the team named by Joe Schmidt on Thursday.

Wales

15. Hallam Amos
14. Owen Lane
13. Scott Williams
12. Owen Watkin
11. Steff Evans
10. Jarrod Evans
9. Aled Davies

1. Rhys Carré
2. Ryan Elias
3. Samson Lee
4. Adam Beard
5. Bradley Davies
6. Aaron Shingler
7. James Davies
8. Josh Navidi (captain)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee
17. Rob Evans
18. Leon Brown
19. Jake Ball
20. Aaron Wainwright
21. Tomos Williams
22. Rhys Patchell
23. Jonah Holmes

Ireland

15. Will Addison
14. Andrew Conway
13. Chris Farrell
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. John Ryan
4. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Tadhg Beirne
7. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Rory Best
17. Andrew Porter
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Devin Toner
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Luke McGrath
22. Garry Ringrose
23. Dave Kearney

If you’re only farting around waiting for kick-off, Bernard Jackman and the aforementioned Murray Kinsella sat down with me on Thursday for a post-Twickenham autopsy and pre-Cardiff rallying call. Brilliant stuff from the lads. Worth a spin, if you’ve the time and space.

Here are the big man’s thoughts on the Rory Best situation.

peter-omahony-ahead-of-the-game Some pre-match reading... Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

rob-howley-with-joe-schmidt-and-andy-farrell-ahead-of-the-game Welsh backs coach Rob Howley with Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and defensive coach Andy Farrell ahead of kick-off. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

garry-ringroase-ahead-of-the-game Garry Ringrose preparing to slot in at 10 if necessary. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Rhys Ruddock, Jack McGrath and Jordan Larmour are with the Ireland squad as cover in case of any late injuries, per Murray in Cardiff.

Excellent liveblog #content.

The anthems are finished. It’s nearly time. ‘Mon!

Kick-off

We’re under way in Cardiff!

2Mins

Nice start by Ireland as Aki and Addison combine in midfield. Carty chips through and Conway puts Jarod Evans under pressure on his own line with a good kick chase. Evans does well to evade the challenge and clears to halfway.

6Mins

O’Mahony, Conan, Henderson and Ryan do well to smother a Wales attack with a good old-fashioned choke tackle. Schmidt’s men win a penalty from the resulting scrum.

7Mins

Marmion nearly sets Stockdale away just inside the Wales half. Wales penalised for an infringement at the resulting ruck. Carty points towards the posts. Nice, positive start from the away side; ball is quick, receivers are moving onto the ball as opposed to taking it statically. Crucially, it seems to be reaching Marmion fairly quickly as well.

8Mins

Wales 0-3 Ireland: A lovely strike by Carty and Ireland see their good start rewarded. 3-zip.

10Mins

The Irish defence is already showing better signs than last week. They’re coming up on Wales as a unit, not much space for the Welsh to exploit so far.

11Mins

A clean-shaven Aki looking sharp with ball in hand so far, despite one early knock-on.

bundee-aki-is-tackled-by-steff-evans Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

12Mins

A pinpoint crossfield kick by Evans lands in the bread basket of debutant Lane on the right flank. Stockdale caught infield a little bit and winds up inadvertently knocking on Lane’s attempted pass back inside as he’s caught on the touchline.

15Mins

Wales 3-3 Ireland: The scrum from Stockdale’s knock-on sees Wales hammer up the middle through Shingler and Lane. Peter O’Mahony is pinged for not rolling away — he’ll be disappointed with that one. Gimme three points for Wales as Evans chips it over from 25-odd yards.

Flag 18Mins

Try Ireland!

Wales 3-10 Ireland: OH, WHAT A TRY! Jacob Stockdale takes it over on the left-hand side but what a move. It all starts with a stunning take by Addison in the air. Kilcoyne makes the initial trademark burst, then it’s all about Conway who scythes through the Welsh rearguard after a Conway offload. The Munster man puts the Ulster wing over.

Carty adds the extras with another superb kick.

23Mins

James Ryan’s impact in defence already noticeable. The Leinster lock is setting the linespeed for Ireland. Kilcoyne has made a few huge hits already, as well.

26Mins

Wales 3-10 Ireland: Conan is penalised for an offside with Wales attacking around the Ireland 22. Just went a fraction early. Evans reduces the– oh, no! He’s missed it wide left! Bad one for the Welsh 10. Score remains the same.

Flag 29Mins

Try Ireland!

Wales 3-15 Ireland: JACOB STOCKDALE AGAIN! He pounces on a loose ball as a Shingler offload doesn’t go to hand, fly-hacks ahead and gathers the ball to crash over for his second try.

He has also gotten a haircut!

Carty off the mark with his conversion on this occasion.

33Mins

Wales building outside the Ireland 22 but not making any major inroads. Eventually a couple of Ireland forwards, with O’Mahony jackalling at the forefront, combine to win the penalty on the floor.

34Mins

Ireland go up the line but off first phase from the attacking lineout, Aki is pinched for holding on.

36Mins

Kilcoyne is on the rampage! Another fine bust sets Aki off, and he bounces one defender before being taken to ground in Welsh territory. Ireland go wide right but Conway’s chip through has fractionally too much juice on it and Amos dots it down for a 22 drop-out. Scintillating from Ireland again, though. Really positive signs — albeit the Welsh aren’t exactly firing on all cylinders, here.

37Mins

Stockdale’s second celebration was even better than his first.

‘Ave it.

jacob-stockdale-scores-his-second-try-despite-hallam-amos Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

jacob-stockdale-celebrates-scoring-a-second-try

38Mins

Ireland are attacking from all angles: Peter O’Mahony with a skip pass in his own half, there, and suddenly Stockdale is nearly away again. It’s like watching Fiji!

40Mins

Clock red, Ireland win another penalty as they crease a Wales scrum (on Irish possession). Conan did very well to control that at the base as the whole thing swung around clockwise and folded.

Carty points to the posts from some 45 metres, but he’s just off the mark.

Flag 40Mins

Half-time: Wales 3-15 Ireland

The visitors have been dominant in all areas in Cardiff, and most importantly — and enjoyably — they’re playing a bit of union. Really encouraging signs — Ireland have even sucked the energy out of the capacity crowd.

Catch you all in a few!

jacob-stockdale-celebrates-scoring-his-teams-first-try Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

25Mins

The second half is under way in Cardiff. 

Jacob Stockdale has been rewarded for his two tries by being called ashore. Dave Kearney is in the game.

42Mins

A really nice attack by Wales down Dave Kearney’s wing is foiled when Aled Davies’ pass finds Irish paws. Positive start to the second stanza by the hosts.

Will Addison is off with a blood injury, meaning Conway moves briefly to 15 and Garry Ringrose is on out on the wing.

43Mins

Ireland lose their first lineout of the day as Shingler pinches one from O’Mahony’s grasp. Wales go wide left but Amos is tackled into touch before he can offload.

45Mins

Brave.

47Mins

Ireland win another scrum penalty off their own ball; Porter, on for Kilcoyne, makes an immediate impact. Carty goes to the line and brings Schmidt’s men into the Welsh 22.

48Mins

Ireland knock on the door inside the Welsh five-metre line, punching and punching. In the end, Chris Farrell — who has been quiet — spills forward in the tackle with Evans. He’ll be frustrated with that one. Missed opportunity for Farrell as well as Ireland.

50Mins

Yellow card for substitute Leon Brown as Ireland put pressure on Wales deep inside their 22 once more. Ireland will have another penalty, but first:

On come Rory Best, Devin Toner and Tadhg Furlong.

Off go Niall Scannell, James Ryan, and John Ryan.

Addison back on for Ringrose as well.

53Mins

Ohh, Andrew Conway is denied a deserved try in the right-hand corner! Jack Carty floats a skip pass inside the Welsh five-metre line but it drifts marginally forward. Good spot by Romain Poite. Scrum Wales.

54Mins

But the Irish scrum responds once more! From Welsh ball off Carty’s forward pass, Ireland’s reinforcements put huge pressure on the Welsh scrum and win one of their own as the ball squirts out and the front rows collapse.

Another big opportunity, here, for the visitors.

56Mins

Ireland win a penalty at the scrum and can’t take advantage out wide as Addison’s chip through is blocked. They’ll scrum it down again. Wales under huge pressure here.

Flag 57Mins

Try Ireland!

Wales 3-22 Ireland: Penalty try! The pressure eventually tells and Romaine Poite dashes under the sticks. Huge work by Porter, Best and Furlong — demolished Wales down in the right-hand corner. No letup.

58Mins

Ringrose is back on for Addison, so back out to the wing.

60Mins

Wales attacking the Irish line from a penalty lineout but Ireland turn it over! A huge effort, there, by Rory Best as Ireland claw it back on their own line. Superb stuff from the captain, and Marmion clears.

60Mins

That’s Marmion’s last act, as Luke McGrath comes on. Jordi Murphy on for Peter O’Mahony.

62Mins

Wales on the attack again deep in Irish territory. Excellent defence by Aki who charges out and stops the momentum as replacement Patchell catches a pass. But Wales work it back towards the Irish five.

The hosts win a penalty for an Irish offside.

Flag 64Mins

Try Wales!

Wales 10-22 Ireland: The Irish defence eventually cracks as debutant Owen Lane produces a marvellous finish on the right wing. Dave Kearney shot out, there, where he might have been better advised to trust the men outside him.

Patchell adds the extras.

65Mins

Patchell has made a real impact on his introduction. Has gotten Wales motoring with ball in hand, running the show from 10.

Wales have a spring in their step now and have a penalty advantage inside the Irish half.

67Mins

Wales back on the hunt inside the Irish five-metre line and Elliot Dee REACHES FOR THE LINE! OH, WHAT AN INTERVENTION BY LUKE MCGRATH! The Irish replacement scrum-half manages to dislodge the ball just as Dee was about to touch down for his first international try!

69Mins

From the resulting scrum, Ireland win another penalty. That all comes back to a superb challenge by McGrath.

72Mins

We could have had another Irish try, there, out of nowhere from Garry Ringrose who pounced on a loose ball and raced over. However, Aki is adjudged to have tackled James Davies in the air as he caught the ball.

Aki unfortunate — Davies sort of jumped on the spot in a bid to gather the ball, and Aki was already committed to the hit. Poite rules that Davies didn’t jump into the tackle, but gives only a penalty — and no card — against Aki.

bundee-aki-and-james-davies Source: James Crombie/INPHO

A fair-looking decision.

But now, Ireland are defending their line again!

73Mins

Wales get an attacking five-metre scrum as the ball becomes unplayable. Can Ireland hold out here? They look a bit leg-weary having been under the cosh for a decent portion of this second half.

Flag 76Mins

Try Wales!

Wales 17-22 Ireland: It’s that man Patchell, who has been the catalyst for Wales in this second 40. Lovely footwork to get over but Ringrose has to show him the outside shoulder, there.

Patchell adds the extra two and Wales are within a try with just over three minutes remaining.

78Mins

Wales in possession inside their own half following the restart. The crowd are on their feet, now, and Welsh tails are up.

Up to halfway through Amos.

AND RINGROSE DELIVERS! He might have done better for Patchell’s try but his tackle forces the Welsh knock-on wide left, and it’s Irish ball with just over a minute to go.

80Mins

Better scrum from Wales and it comes around, but Ireland have it. And they see it out! McGrath pops it into touch, and Schmidt’s men pick up their first victory in Cardiff since 2015.

81Mins

Jack Carty is named man of the match on his first Ireland start, and on his 27th birthday.

80Mins

So, that’s it for us. Ireland get back to winning ways with a strong first half, and a solid if unspectacular second as Wales really grew into the contest upon Patchell’s introduction.

A marked improvement from Twickenham, naturally, and standout displays by Kilcoyne, Conway and Carty especially, all three of whom must surely fancy their chances of making the plane to Japan now.

jacob-stockdale-scores-his-second-try-despite-hallam-amos Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

rhys-patchell-scrores-a-try

It sets up nicely next week’s final warm-up game versus the same opposition — one gets the impression we’ll get a better inclination as to where we are during that Test in Dublin.

Keep an eye for reaction on The42 from Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell.

Until the next one, take it easy!

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