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Monday Aug 31, 2015

Wales avenge heavy loss by beating Ireland in Dublin RWC warmup

Wales avenge heavy loss by beating Ireland in Dublin RWC warmup
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Ireland came within inches of beating Wales in the closing minutes of a tense Rugby World Cup warmup game in Dublin on Saturday. Wales coach Warren Gatland has since praised tryscorer Justin Tipuric, who contributed to the 16-10 victory.

Both sides scored a try apiece but it was the boot of Leigh Halfpenny, and a late try-saving effort, that kept Wales in front, giving them a much needed boost ahead of the tournament.

The Wales World Cup squad will be announced shortly, and Gatland is aware that he has some tough choices to make, particularly around the loose forwards, where he is spoiled for choice.

“We’re blessed to have two world-class sevens,” Gatland said. “We know what a good footballer Tipuric is when he appears in the wide channels, but sometimes it’s that physicality and competing on the ball [that he has lacked].

“But today he was just brilliant and he was a nuisance and just a proper seven, so we’re very lucky to have the quality we’ve got. It was probably the best performance I’ve seen from him in a big match in the Welsh jersey.”

Regular skipper and number seven Sam Warburton missed the game as a precaution, following a slight shoulder injury he picked up in training. 

As Halfpenny showed how valuable a top notch kicker can be in big game rugby, it was his effort over the line on full time that helped towards preventing Sean Cronin from scoring what would have been a potentially match winning try under the sticks. 

If you missed it, you can watch highlights below and the full match on page two

15 Comments

  • drg
    9:24 PM 02/09/2015

    That is one thing about a few teams, Wales, France (probably others) that seems to be a real case.... How long are the likes of Gatland et al, going to keep picking the same guys. Scotland has mixed it up a bit, but they've clearly not got great depth which is why some names keep showing up, but Wales have a huge amount in certain positions at least. I was very surprised that Hibbard was dropped.

    Reply
  • jimmynee
    2:40 PM 02/09/2015

    This article from Rugbyworld cup is also worth checking out, which highlights even more Tipuric's work than the video does. Without wanting to criticise Sam Warburton too much, as a Blues fan I'm always surprised how little influence he can have in club games, whereas Tipuric does this for the Ospreys every game. There is some truth in Sam having a big game mentality and stepping up, but we've lost more of those big games than we've won. Would be more beneficial to Wales for Gatland to park his massive ego and pick the best team based on form. http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/wales-countries/analysis-justin-tipuric-confounds-breakdown-doubters-47797

    Reply
  • felipeg
    10:09 AM 02/09/2015

    Does everybody consider the irish try as legit? I thought the ball touched the ground before the line... I asked a friend and it seems pretty obvious for him too. Not a big deal but I m surprised nobody seems to care.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:22 AM 02/09/2015

    I actually agree with you regarding Welsh 'looseness', I also find the Irish in the past (near past) have also been guilty of this sort of thing. You often see it when a team is clearly firing well, then the final scoreline looks like a close match, when in reality for 79 minutes it was a one sided occasion... It's very grating to see any team do silly things like this. Especially as it shows a lack of full commitment (or maybe just sheer tiredness). But also as you mentioned, just simply not being clinical throughout the game. Some teams they can get away with messing about, but the big guns will ruin you for any lose kicks.

    Reply
  • gunshowmckenzie
    4:52 PM 01/09/2015

    I agree with pretty much everything said above. AWJ and Tipuric were the two outstanding players for me. The whole Welsh team played with great intensity, though they can still be a bit workmanlike in attack (missing Liam Williams definitely). What worries me as a Welsh fan is Wales's generosity to the other team. Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that they're playing against nobodies that aren't intent on winning, but Wales need to do the basics, like clear to touch rather than turning over lineouts/scrums at crucial stages of the game near their own line. On one occasion they held the ball at the back of the scrum, despite the scrum looking wobbly, conceding possession, rather than getting it out quickly and clearing their lines. I have a lot of hope for Wales and honestly think they currently look better than England (though Australia look very dangerous in that pool, and Fiji also are looking good currently with their Pacific Nations Cup win). If the opposition earn their points and a win then that is fair enough, but Wales gave away a cheap try and almost another at the death, which could have cost them a game that (if you watched the whole thing) they controlled for most periods. So - a bit naive at times, but a confidence boosting win proving that Wales can give anyone a good game and, I think, win. Cuthbert made one good bust over the gain line off a lineout, but I don't feel he warrants his place: his defensive positioning is often wayward and his all-round skills are not good enough (in my opinion). All he has is decent pace for a big man and he can finish (something any good winger should be able to do). As for Ireland, Sexton looked noticeably rusty and the Irish pack were out-muscled for most of the game. With a full 1st XV they should be stronger, but their reliance of the up and under reminds me at times of Sarries (a few years ago) and South Africa). Just can't wait for the World Cup to start already!

    Reply
  • cymro_cymraeg
    1:55 PM 01/09/2015

    Not the 1st XV for Ireland, fair comment, BUT could easily say the same for Wales: S Lee, Warburton, Liam Williams, Davies, Charteris all not playing (although Charteris did come on in the 2nd half). The issue for me was Sexton looked very rusty, not the usual confident player that you expect. I'm sure he'll be back up and firing in time for the WC and then we'll see the Ireland that made it to No.2 in the World.

    Reply
  • drg
    11:23 PM 31/08/2015

    Haha. Well, strange things can happen in each of the games, so never say never. I think people just worry about getting served up humble pie... I mean the NZ'ers on the site are not overly loud about their chances, the rest of the world feels that they're going to do well. I suppose on paper one would assume that the kiwis will win it, but you never know.

    Reply
  • bbrannigan
    9:25 PM 31/08/2015

    You think I'm being overly humble about Ireland? That must mean you think we are going to win it! (Sorry, you threw it in the air, I had to hit it ..)

    Reply
  • bbrannigan
    9:22 PM 31/08/2015

    I'd run with that analysis, with the add-on comment that we have the no.1 coach in the world who is still experimenting and, as you say, didn't put out an all-out 1st XV. So he was prepared to sacrifice the 2nd place ranking for the moment. Means we can duck below the parapet in the run up. Tipuric was exceptional, and then some. Won the match for Wales. Shows what a difference individual players can make.

    Reply
  • drg
    9:19 PM 31/08/2015

    Tapper and brannigan, many thanks for the low down on the game. I find RD tends to produce quite well rounded fans who aren't in the clouds much like soccer fans apparently are, so I find getting feedback from fans almost provides a good insight into how teams are performing. If anything, rugby fans tend to be overly humble about their own teams. Good job :)

    Reply
  • bbrannigan
    8:49 PM 31/08/2015

    I'd run with that analysis, with the add-on comment that we have the no.1 coach in the world who is still experimenting and, as you say, didn't put out an all-out 1st XV. So he was prepared to sacrifice the 2nd place ranking for the moment. Means we can duck below the parapet in the run up. Tipuric was exceptional, and then some. Won the match for Wales. Shows what a difference individual players can make.

    Reply
  • tapperjones
    8:25 PM 31/08/2015

    From a one-eyed Welsh perspective: - Wales looked fit, tough, physical and well-drilled. - Welsh defence was its usual excellent self. Especially in the 5 meter area, but Dan Biggar missed one tackle on Henderson which led to the only Irish try. - Set piece was mixed. Tom Francis generally held up well, even more so as a debutant. However, Wales lost a scrum at the 40 minute mark which directly led to the Irish try, so that was disappointing. Maybe just turned off. The lineout was a bit of a mess in the second half. Again, lost our own lineout which led to the last Irish surge and almost a match-winning try. - Welsh breakdown work was impressive, especially the counter ruck. We didn't seem to manage to get many phases together though. - Welsh backs looked pretty flat in attack. Maybe it's a case of not giving anything away for the World Cup, but not much flair or creativity. Cuthbert his usual average self. North was decent for his first run-out. I think he made the most meters of any Welsh player. Roberts did look very sharp though, making good yards, and even made an offload which I haven't seen since about 2009 from him. We miss Liam Williams so much. - Justin Tipuric was absolutely outstanding (the highlight video shows nothing of this). Easily the man of the match, and probably up there as his best ever performance in a Welsh jersey. All-in-all, a good Welsh performance. Certainly a deserved win, and against Ireland away it should be commended. From an Irish perspective I wouldn't necessarily be overly concerned, but I think it's a bit of a reality check. I'm still not convinced they are as good as a world ranking of 2 suggests. Whilst they are certainly solid, they aren't spectacular, and don't really have much outside 10 that scares the opposition. Wales were by far the most physical team, and without good go-forward ball Ireland looked meek. No need to panic, as it wasn't an all-out 1st XV, but definitely some things for them to work on.

    Reply
  • bbrannigan
    8:25 PM 31/08/2015

    Still confident DrG. This was just about the strongest side Wales could have fielded. Whereas Ireland was missing both first choice wingers - Bowe and Trimble - the entire 1st choice front row - Healy, Ross, Best - and Sean O'Brien was on the bench for 50 mins. Our 1st choice center pairing was absent, with Payne out and Fitzgerald playing 13 for 1st time. And Sexton's 1st run for a while. Not to take anything from a Welsh side that is super fit, super committed and great in defense, but that wasn't Irelands complete 1st team.

    Reply
  • drg
    7:18 PM 31/08/2015

    So going into this, there was talk about Ireland making the quarters or semis and Wales not making it out of the group.... ...What now? I managed to miss all the matches this weekend, so I don't really know what to take (if anything) from any of them. Lucky Wales? Unlucky Ireland? Welsh still rocked? Irish still confident?

    Reply
  • tphillipsstl
    7:09 PM 31/08/2015

    Goal line defense wins the day again for Wales against Ireland. Loads of new confidence that we can get out of the pool after all.

    Reply


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Wales avenge heavy loss by beating Ireland in Dublin RWC warmup | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos