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The British Media Reaction To Ireland's Convincing Victory Over Wales

The British Media Reaction To Ireland's Convincing Victory Over Wales

On a windy afternoon at the Aviva, Wales were swept aside by Ireland to claim their second victory of the Six Nations, and the second win of Andy Farrell's time in charge.

It was a performance much improved from the previous weekend against Scotland, especially in attack. There was far more width than had been seen in the win over Scotland.

Andy Howell of Wales Online feels Wayne Pivac's helped Ireland's in that sense by defending too narrowly.

He writes:

"Ireland were keen to move the ball wide from deep in the first half and, with the Wales wingers in the back-field expecting outside-half Johnny Sexton to kick for position, they managed to get on the outside of the visiting midfield.

"Wales had to scramble and, in fairness, did a decent job but the negative was Ireland were able to make a number of easy metres.

"Of course, the Irish tactics were aided by having a glut of possession on the front-foot with Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray benefiting from an armchair ride and able to apply relentless pressure."

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"Ireland were unrecognisable from the week before when they had laboured against Scotland," writes Paul Rees in The Guardian.

"They tore into Wales from the kick-off, regularly achieving width against a narrow defence, and targeted the Wales centre Nick Tompkins, who was making his first Test start after coming off the bench against Italy the week before."

In The Telegraph, Mick Cleary feels Irish supporters were happy with what they saw on Saturday.

"They are still some way below their peak of 18 months ago when the All Blacks were put in their place and possible global dominance peaked a nose over the horizon," he says.

But the cheers that greeted the win at the final whistle showed that there is no disaffection up in the stands. Farrell should be given time to put his stamp on matters and a shot at a Triple Crown is a tantalising prospect. There is more that needs to be done but it is a heck of a lot easier to shape new ways if there are already a couple of notches on the winning belt.

Also in The Telegraph, Oliver Brown highlights Johnny Sexton's leadership qualities.

"No sooner does Johnny Sexton assume the mantle of Ireland captain than he tries his hand at being the referee, too. As a mirror of his team's glorious defiance against Wales, he was never more convincing than when standing in the face of Romain Poite, demanding clarification from the French official about the maul laws. For every marginal call, he would fight his players' corner, unabashed about applauding manically when decisions went in their favour. Throughout his decade wearing the green jersey, Sexton has proved his mastery of the fly-half's craft. In this Six Nations, he is also bearing the hallmarks of a leader."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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