Ireland claimed a psychological advantage in the first of two Rugby World Cup warm up games against Wales as they won comfortably at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. The 35-21 victory came after a convincing 25-7 lead at the break.
Ten minutes from fulltime Ireland actually led 35-7, so this was a bit of a drubbing in that sense, despite Wales coming back and later scoring a try on full time to flatter the scoreline.
Wales have just returned from an arduous training camp, but signs of that hard work weren’t evident as Ireland blitzed their way to an early lead in the first half.
It was an experimental side, as was Ireland’s, and New Zealand born Gareth Anscombe made his debut in the second half, while flanker Justin Tipuric showed a number of quality touches.Scott Williams said post match that he was pleased with how the game finished.
“Ireland had a lot of experience and that showed in the end. I was happy with the way we finished the game. It is the first time we have played together as a team and it was a big occasion.”
Wales play hosts England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay in Pool A at the World Cup, which starts on September 18, while Ireland are in Pool D alongside France, Italy, Canada and Romania.
These two sides meet again for a return match in Dublin on Auguest 29th.
*Updated with longer highlights