Ireland have taken a win from their first fixture of the 2022 Six Nations Championship.
Andy Farrell’s men faced a heavily depleted Welsh side, who were without talismen Leigh Halfpenny, George North and captain, Alun Wyn Jones.
However, not underestimating the task at hand, the home side set the tempo from the offset, with Bundee Aki taking to the honour of being the first player of this year’s championship to cross the whitewash, getting in for a try in the 3rd minute of play.
Captain Johnny Sexton obliged with the conversion to make it 7-0, but the 36-year-old’s day from the kicking tee took a bit of a wobble from there, missing two penalties, before righting himself in the 21st minute to claim his 500th Six Nation point, stretching Ireland’s lead to 10 before the break.
Despite holding Wales pointless for the opening 40 minutes, the scoreboard did not reflect Ireland’s dominance. However, that was all to change in the second half.
Ireland again were quick out of the gate, with Andrew Conway grazing the line just minutes after the restart. Following approval by the TMO, the second try of the afternoon was awarded and back on form, Sexton added two.
The architects of their own downfall, a yellow card for Josh Adams in the 49th minute for leading with the shoulder on Sexton sent him to the bench – the Welsh dragon’s fire ever dwindling.
Now up against 14, it was Conway once again in the 51st minute, before Gary Ringrose took his own reward less than 10 minutes later, Sexton nailing the conversion on both occasions.
A try for Taine Bansham with less than five minutes remaining will do very little to ease the pain of defeat for Wales, with Ireland walking away with a bonus-point win.