Wales derail Ireland's Six Nations title hopes in Cardiff

Ireland centre Jared Payne is set to miss his side's Six Nations clash with Wales on Friday

After gaining a lineout deep inside Ireland's 22, the forwards drove relentlessly before Webb had a simple task of sending an unmarked North over for his 30th Wales try.

Similar pressure must be turned into additional points tonight, otherwise the door will be left open for Wales to cause an upset and invite England to kill the title race tomorrow against Scotland with a round to spare.

Darting and sniping around the fringes, Webb departed to a standing ovation on 66 minutes when he was replaced by Gareth Davies. Ireland's Johnny Sexton goes off during the RBS Six Nations at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

Ireland made a strong start, not only going in front through Sexton's sixth-minute penalty, but forcing Wales back through through the sheer ferocity of their attacking game.

"We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks".

There was little sign of that come kick-off, with every one of the 74,000 seats seemingly occupied for a rousing rendition of the anthems and anyone that did decide against attending will have missed an engrossing Test.

Sexton, who also spent time in the first half off with yet another head injury, returned to the fray and slotted another penalty but Ireland couldn't get over the line. However, the news has not gone down well on the other side of the Irish sea.

But this time Wales didn't put a foot wrong. The full-back released North who stepped inside Keith Earls and carried Zebo over the line with him to lift a crowd at the moment silence appeared to be settled over it.

Mitchell Marsh ruled out of remaining two Tests due to shoulder injury
Stoinis has struggled in the Sheffield Shield this season, scoring just 172 runs at an average of 15.63. Moises Henriques looms as the frontrunner ahead of Marcus Stoinis.

The wing let out a primal roar crossing the whitewash after a fortnight when he garnered plenty of criticism for his showing against Scotland. Paddy Jackson, in his final act before making way for Sexton, kicked the penalty from 35 metres as the lead changed hands again.

Ireland have had a great tournament so far.

Clearly favouring shoulder when passing, one of Schmidt's most influential figures was clearly severely limited. Wales had to settle for a Halfpenny penalty to leave Rob Howley's men leading 8-6 at the break.

Webb punted deep, chased well and forced Murray into touch just shy of his own goal-line. The opening 20 minutes of this game could tell us a lot, but if it is Ireland who take the early lead, it could be the Welsh Daffodil that wilts and the Shamrock that blooms ahead of the St Patrick's weekend showdown with the English Red Rose.

Murray's pretence at full fitness then finally came to an end, with Ireland completing the long-overdue substitution as Kieran Marmion joined the fray.

Sexton attempted to kick out but it was charged down and Jamie Roberts powered over for Wales' first try to secure victory.

That kick brought Schmidt's side to within six but, despite Best crossing after a maul, Barnes pinged Henshaw for joining the maul at the side.


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