Ireland and Wales clash in the opening fixture of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup. Wales come into this game losing all of their previous five fixtures, so will be hoping for a different outcome this evening. After missing out on winning the Six Nations, Ireland will seek silverware in this competition and will need a positive start tonight to stand a chance. James Lowe could have been wearing an All Blacks shirt, but instead chose to play for Ireland through residency will make his international debut this evening.
Harry Buckett will be taking you through the action.
Kick Off Wales get us going kicking towards the right of your television screen.
2′ Lowe makes a good catch for Ireland, following Gareth Davies long kick. Unfortunately Lowe can’t do anything with it as he is penalised for holding on to the ball following a tackle. Penalty is given to Wales.
6′ It’s starting to kick off a bit now. Ireland break through and seem to be in for a chance but Lowe fumbles the ball forwards when he was clean through. Liam Williams gives him a shove in the back resulting in Lowe returning the favour. A crowd forms but the scuffle is eventually broken up.
10′ PENALTY SCORED (IRE) Johnny Sexton sends the ball between the posts following a scrum penalty conceded by Rhys Carre. IRE 3-0 WAL
12′ Wales concede another penalty pretty much straight away following the restart. Sexton opts to kick for touch to put themselves in a threatening position.
14′ Ireland take part in some great build up play to make some good distance into the Welsh 22. For a moment it seems Ireland are going to squeeze the ball over the try line but Wales are saved by the referee, who penalises James Ryan.
18′ PENALTY SCORED (WAL) Ryan is again caught holding on to the ball giving the ref no choice but to give another penalty. Lee Halfpenny converts the penalty to level up the scores . IRE 3-3 WAL
21′ Lowe is getting heavily involved so far on his debut. He makes good ground for Ireland, offloading the ball to Sexton. The ball is dropped, resulting in an Irish scrum roughly five metres from the try line.
23′ TRY SCORED (IRE) Ireland pick up the ball following a second scrum and push for the first five points. A good bit of movement allows Quin Roux to touch the ball past the line and open the try scoring in tonight’s game. IRE 8-3 WAL
24′ CONVERSION SCORED (IRE) Sexton scores his conversion with little difficulty. IRE 10-3 WAL
27′ PENALTY SCORED Yet another penalty given away to Ireland following another instance of holding onto the ball. Sexton capitalizes on this opportunity and scores the penalty. IRE 13-3 WAL
29′ REPLACEMENT A huge blow for Ireland as they have to replace their fly half early on. Sexton instantly feels something go in his hamstring following the penalty and it is decided he can not continue. Billy Burns will be the man coming on.
31′ PENALTY SCORED (WAL) Another penalty won from a scrum situation. Halfpenny converts from around the ten metre line, bringing Wales just seven points away from Ireland. IRE 13-6 WAL
35′ Excellent defending from Wales as they hold off another Irish attack following a scrum. Andrew Conway receives the ball on the right wing but is met with a strong tackle into touch.Embed from Getty Images
36′ PENALTY SCORED (IRE) Sexton’s replacement Burns scores his first points as an Irish international by converting a fairly simple penalty kick. Ireland have a little bit of breathing room now. IRE 16-6 WAL
38′ The penalties are coming thick and fast in this one as Wales concede one regarding an offside. Ireland opt to kick for touch.
39′ Josh Adams makes another well timed tackle to stop the Irish attack. The Welsh line out is not well taken and the ball finds itself loose around the try line. Andrew Porter appears to score for Ireland, but after a check from TMO it is decided that he did not have full control over the ball when it was scored and we will restart with a scrum.
40′ REPLACEMENT Carre is Brought off to be replaced by Alun Wyn Jones. Carre has struggled tonight, giving away a few penalties, but you have to question why the replacement is being made with less than a minute to play of the half.
HALF TIME Ireland 16-6 Wales
Ireland have certainly had almost full control of this game, with Wales struggling to hold onto the ball for very long at all. Debutant Lowe has had an impressive showing so far for Ireland, being heavily involved in many attacking phases. If Wales don’t change something for the second half, we could be in for a bit of a battering in our opening Autumn Nations Cup game.
41′ The teams are back out and we are already underway.
43′ Wales have a much more positive start to this second half as they counter ruck to claim a penalty, which they use to kick into touch and gain a lot of ground.
45′ Wyn Jones continues Wales problems in the loose head prop position by giving away a penalty to Ireland, which they utilize well by clearing.
47′ Wales win a penalty just inside the Welsh half and Halfpenny decides to have a long distance crack. His effort is just short of the posts and the ball is back with Ireland.
Embed from Getty Images
51′ PENALTY SCORED (WAL) Halfpenny this time converts from a much closer distances. It’s been all Wales in the opening moments of this half, they could be on for a comeback. IRE 16-9 WAL
52′ So very close from Ireland! Caelan Dorris managed to get on the end of Davies’ long box kick and just about keeps the ball in by offloading to Cian Healy. Healy looks destined to score a try but a wonderful tackle from Taulupe Faletau, turns him over and keeps the ball away from the turf.
53′ REPLACEMENT (WAL) Samson Lee and Jake Ball will come on for Tomas Francis and Will Rowlands.
54′ Following a scrum Ireland desperately try and force a way through the Welsh defence but they can never quite find a gap. Wales do manage to get a turnover but Davies clearance only goes as far as another Irish player.
55′ PENALTY SCORED (IRE) Burns converts another easy penalty to further Irelands lead. Davies is also replaced by Lloyd Williams before the restart. IRE 19-9 WAL
58′ Wales put together what is probably the longest spell of possession they have had all game. Dan Biggar goes to kick long for Wales but it ultimately comes to nothing. This is better from Wales and a positive sign for things to come
59′ Halfpenny misses his penalty, missing a chance to reduce the ten point lead the Irish have over them.
Embed from Getty Images
61′ A worrying injury for Welsh fans with Jonathan Davies being forced off with an Injury, replaced by George North. He’s already suffered a number of serious injuries already in his career so we can only hope this isn’t another.
64′ Some of the scrum calls tonight have been questionable at best, with this time Wales winning one. They manage to create a strong attack but it is all brought to a halt when Shane Lewis-Hughes knocks the ball on.
Embed from Getty Images
67′ PENALTY SCORED (IRE) Welsh Hooker Elliot Lee is caught sealing off following a line out meaning Ireland win yet another penalty. Connor Murray is brought on for Burns and puts it between the posts with his first touch of the ball. IRE 22-9 WAL
69′ REPLACEMENTS Callum Sheedy makes his Wales debut as he replaces Biggar. Ireland also make a change with Josh van de Flier making way for Will Conners.
71′ REPLACEMENTS Ireland bring Robbie Henshaw off for Keith Earls whilst Wales opt to swap Aaron Wainwright on for Faletau.
72′ PENALTY SCORED (IRE) Sexton’s off, Burns is off but it doesn’t seem to matter as Murray scores his penalty putting Ireland 16 points ahead. There seems to be no way back for Wales now, who have been largely disappointing to watch. IRE 25-9 WAL
77′ Halfpenny saves Wales from further embarrassment when he stops Lowe dead in his tracks, winning a line out.
80′ TRY SCORED (IRE) Ireland rub salt in the Welsh wounds as they score their second try of the match. This time it’s debutant Lowe who drives the ball over the line following an Irish scrum. The conversion is scored by Murray to put the cherry on the cake on an dominating Irish display.
IRE 32-9 WAL
FULL TIME Ireland 32-9 WalesEmbed from Getty Images
Wales suffer their sixth defeat in a row to Andrew Farrel’s men in what was a lacklustre performance from the Welsh side. Wales never really found their feet as they struggled to keep possession throughout, allowing Ireland to completely control the pace of the game. A big victory for Ireland will taste even sweeter knowing it was against rivals Wales, and will give them a good platform going into their next match against England. Wales will need to drastically change something if they want end their poor run of form against Georgia, in a weeks time.