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The Welsh Media Reaction To A Disappointing Night For Ireland In Cardiff

By PJ Browne
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Effort was in plentiful supply from Ireland in Cardiff on Friday night. Disappointingly and decisively, invention was not.

Ireland looked bereft of creativity as they constantly pounded the Welsh line only to come up against a water tight defence which didn't cough up a try.

Wales head coach Rob Howley, along with of the Welsh players, went into the game under tremendous pressure. It was a night of atonement following the successive losses to England and Scotland.

This is how the Welsh media have reacted to the victory.

The front page of the Western Mail


Sunday Times writer Stephen Jones felt winger George North and coach Shaun Edwards were two of the main men behind the Welsh win.

Rob Lloyd, for WalesOnline, believes several Welsh players won key battles for Lions places on Friday night.

In the much-anticipated No. 9 duel, man of the match Rhys Webb outshone Conor Murray, who was forced to leave the field early in the second half after taking a blow to his shoulder; Ken Owens was a clear winner in his battle with Ireland skipper Rory Best; Liam Williams looked livelier than both Keith Earls and Simon Zebo, while Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton stood out against a muscular Irish back row in which CJ Stander was outstanding again.

Lloyd also wrote that Rob Kearney and the 'anonymous' Jamie Heaslip did their Lions chances no favours with their performances.

Delme Parfitt, also for WalesOnline, called the head-to-head between Sam Warburton and CJ Stander a 'battle royal', one which the Welshman won.

It was thunderous, and the Welshman must have edged it on points overall.

Stander, the South African who has qualified for Ireland on residency, made one early run that took the breath away and might have resulted in a try had Alun Wyn Jones not brilliantly pinched a lineout ball on the visitors' throw after Sexton had planted a penalty to touch.

But thereafter, while less eye-catching, some of the graft Warburton got through at the breakdown was nothing short of Trojan.

Both players were huge presences in the contact area and epitomised the blood and thunder of this ferocious Test match.

However Stander was withdrawn in the 62nd minute for Munsterman Peter O’Mahoney, further emphasising Warburton’s supremacy.

This was the reaction of some former Welsh internationals to the win.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile


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