Saturday Feb 24, 2018

Stockdale seals third straight Ireland win in Dublin thriller

Stockdale seals third straight Ireland win in Dublin thriller
8
Comments

A late interception try from Jacob Stockdale enabled Ireland to claim a thrilling 35-27 victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin to keep their 6 Nations title hopes alive.

Wales leapt to an early lead courtesy of a Gareth Davies try and eight points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny. But Ireland fought back and took a 15-13 lead at half-time through tries from Stockdale and Bundee Aki.

Further scores from Dan Leavy and Cian Healy looked to have secured the win for Joe Schmidt’s side but Wales again responded via Aaron Shingler and Halfpenny to set up a grandstand finish.

But Stockdale’s second try in the final minute put paid to any hopes Warren Gatland’s men had of snatching an unlikely win.

Ireland now welcome Scotland to Dublin in a fortnight’s time as they continue their search of a first Grand Slam since 2009.

Ireland clinical from the out-set but rue Sexton misses

Having dominated both possession and territory from the off, incredulously Ireland trailed the visitors after half an hour. Stockdale’s first score was orchestrated by a brilliantly flat pass from Sexton five metres out. 

Their second was more traditional. The forwards piled on the pressure and centre Aki picked up from the base of the ruck to crash over.

Ireland had the superiority that was for sure. But Sexton missed two penalties and a conversion which left the home side only two points ahead at the break.

The second half showed more poise and control from Ireland and they looked like a runaway train when first Leavy barged his way over under the posts, and then Healy touched down in the corner.

But Wales still fought back.

Never say die attitude nearly pays off for Wales

Davies’ try and Halfpenny’s boot kept the Welsh in the match when they probably shouldn’t have been. But it was indeed this perseverance that helped Gatland’s men strike when they found their chances.

Shingler’s effort reignited the flame inside the Wales camp and was more than a simple blip for Ireland.

Halfpenny’s touchdown with mere minutes remaining, however, made for outstanding tension in the dying stages.

That it came down to a brilliant interception try for Stockdale in the final minute ensuring that this fixture goes down as the most entertaining match of the championship so far. Wales ultimately came up short but will take solace in the fact that they secured what could be a vital losing bonus point.

Match highlights

8 Comments

  •  drg
    drg

    Dreads...cultural appropriation which is so frowned upon in this progressive world.... I'm being a dick as usual...

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    Missed that. What did he say DrG, and when?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Hahah! Well I'm offended by you being offended at me! @_@

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Haven't you heard the news recently? Apparently in this modern utopia we live in where no one must be offended, having dreads and not being black is the hair equivalent of black face... Obviously I expect a complaint to be filed to World rugby in due course! Being a white man who has a few black mates I am thoroughly offended by his hair style...

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    Missed that completely. No citings that I can find. The only silliness I recall was Biggar's constant moaning, whining and complaining. How he doesn't get binned for dissent, I have no idea. Martyn Williams seems to agree http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/43195627

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Any news on Josh Navidi being cited/punished for his racial slur?

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    It was a tough one to call! Started off thinking, "this should be a close contest" Ireland got on the scoreboard and I started thinking "wow, they're doing well, this could be a cricket score" then back came Wales...then off went Ireland...then back came Wales... It was mad. Credit to Wales for making a phenomenal amount of tackles then still coming so close to a win/draw... As AWJ said, would have been interesting to see how it would have panned out if there was an extra 10 mins... I suspect that last pass wouldn't have happened and perhaps Wales would have snuck their way up the pitch for a kick or other score... One thing I enjoyed was Birdman Biggar flapping his arms in that catch tackle, then Ireland getting on top... Maybe play to the whistle??

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Another game where Ireland's control from 9-10 was a class apart. I feel like Ireland were a lot more prepared and fired up for this than Wales, though I was happy with how clinical we were when chances came up.

    Reply

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Stockdale seals third straight Ireland win in Dublin thriller | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos