Match Report: Autumn Nations Cup: Ireland 32 - 9 Wales

Johnny Sexton kicked eight points
Johnny Sexton kicked eight points

Ireland 32-9 Wales, Aviva Stadium

Ireland kick-started their Autumn Nations Cup campaign with a convincing 32-9 win over Wales at Aviva Stadium on Friday.

The win has lifted Ireland to the top of Pool 1 while Wales slumped to another defeat after a dismal Six Nations campaign that saw them finish fifth. Ireland had two late changes ahead of the game with Jacob Stockdale and lock Iain Henderson both ruled out.

Ireland will be anxious about Johnny Sexton's availability for the remainder of the tournament after the skipper left the field in the 29th minute with a hamstring injury with Test debutant Billy Burns replacing him.

Early dominance in the scrum saw Ireland kick-start the proceedings with a 10th minute penalty goal before Wales went on to level the scores with a three-pointer from Leigh Halfpenny in the 17th minute.

The opening try of the game came in the 23rd minute when Quinn Roux muscled over the line and Sexton followed with a conversion and a penalty before leaving the field injured.

As Halfpenny and Burns traded penalties, the opening half ended with a 16-6 lead for Andy Farrell's side.

The trend continued at the start of the second half as well with Halfpenny and Burns kicking a penalty apiece for their respective sides to take the scoreline to 19-9.

As Jonathan Davies left the field with injury, George North came from the bench for his 100th appearance and soon it was Ireland's turn to deal with injury as Burns was replaced by Conor Murray, who kicked back to back penalties in the 67th and 72nd minutes to provide the home side a 25-9 lead.

As Wales struggled to come back into the game, James Lowe on his debut powered his way over the line for the final try as Ireland completed a 32-9 victory.

Team line-up:

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Reserves: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Will Connors, Conor Murray, Billy Burns, Keith Earls.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Alun Wyn Jones, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Reserves: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Lloyd Williams, Callum Sheedy, George North.


Ireland Fixtures