George North shines as Wales bounce back with 22-9 win over Ireland

Wales' George North celebrates scoring against Ireland
Wales' George North celebrates scoring against Ireland

Wales 22-9 Ireland, Principality Stadium

George North scored a try each in either half as Wales scripted a 22-9 win over Ireland in their Six Nations encounter at Principality Stadium on Friday.

The result also means a win for England against Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday will see them retain the Six Nations title. Ireland continue to remain at second position despite the defeat with 10 points from four games and will be desperately hoping for Eddie Jones' side to have a poor run in the remaining two games to have any hope of winning the title.

Fly-half Johnny Sexton got Ireland off the mark with an early penalty in the sixth minute but North rolled back the years as he danced past the post in the 19th minute after assistance from Leigh Halfpenny to take Rob Howley's men to a two-point lead.

Paddy Jackson, who was on a brief period replacing Sexton landed Ireland's second penalty to fetch the lead again. However, Sexton returned back soon after only to be sin-binned in the 37th minute for killing the ball inches away from his own timeline.

Leigh Halfpenny kicked a penalty at the stroke of half-time during which Wales had a slender lead of 8-6.

North capitalised on Ireland being one-man down and further extended Wales' lead with his second try coming in the 43rd minute and Halfpenny's conversion stretched the lead to nine points.

Sexton raised Ireland's hopes after he kicked his second penalty on his return from sin-bin to bring down the gap to six points but Wales ensured they held their defence tight this time around.

The Leinster fly-half's attempted kick was charged down by replacement Taulupe Faletau, who fed Jamie Roberts as he went past the line in the 77th minute and a conversion from Halfpenny sealed a 13-point victory for Wales, who are at third position now with nine points.

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