Larmour shines as Ireland beat Wales in Six Nations

  • Rugby
  • Sunday, 09 Feb 2020

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland fullback Jordan Larmour scored a fine solo try as they claimed a deserved 24-14 bonus-point victory over defending champions Wales in a bruising Six Nations encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Prop Tadhg Furlong, flanker Josh van der Flier and wing Andrew Conway also crossed for the home side, who used their forward power to gain territory and set-piece dominance and outscored their visitors four tries to two.

Scrumhalf Tomos Williams and flanker Justin Tipuric scored for Wales, who suffered their first Six Nations defeat in nine matches having completed the Grand Slam in 2019.

It is also a first loss for new Wales coach Wayne Pivac, while Ireland counterpart Andy Farrell now has back-to-back wins heading into a meeting with England at Twickenham on Feb. 22.

"If you look at the first half, we didn’t have enough ball or territory," Pivac said. "It was about 60-40. We scrambled well. We showed them the edges which we worked on.

"We felt if we got possession, we could turn the game around. That didn’t work and they were accurate."

Ireland dominated every part of the game in the opening 20 minutes as they piled on the pressure, and emerged with the first score when Larmour was put into space out wide and saw off the attention of four defenders to power over the line.

The visitors were dealt a further blow when in-form wing Josh Adams, scorer of a hat-trick in the 42-0 victory over Italy the week before, was forced off injured after 25 minutes, but shortly afterwards they grabbed the lead with a superbly constructed try.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones provided a sumptuous offload in the tackle for Dan Biggar and the flyhalf fed the ball inside for Williams to score.

The scrumhalf, however, turned from hero to villain shortly afterwards when he dropped a routine pass five metres from his own goal-line.

From the resultant scrum, Ireland took the ball through the phases for Furlong to barge his way over and give the home side a 12-7 halftime lead.

Ireland kept up their territorial advantage in the second period and were rewarded with a try from a driving lineout as Van der Flier rose from the melee with the ball in hand.

Wales were denied a way back into the game when centre Hadleigh Parkes lost control of the ball as he stretched to dot it down over the line, before Conway produced the final score, crossing in the corner to claim the bonus point for the home side.

The Welsh will seek to get their campaign back on track when they host France in Cardiff in a fortnight.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

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