KEO News Wire

No place like home for Schmidt as Ireland leave it late to sink Wales

Joe Schmidt felt a “vociferous” Dublin crowd played its part in helping Ireland see off Wales and make it three wins from three in this year’s Six Nations.

Injury-hit Ireland scored five tries in a 37-27 triumph at the Aviva Stadium but were forced to hold their nerve in a dramatic conclusion to what was a see-saw Test match.

Steff Evans touched down for a Wales try in the closing stages and with Leigh Halfpenny adding the conversion, the visitors suddenly trailed by just three points with as many minutes to play.

However, Jacob Stockdale secured victory with a late breakaway score, his second of the contest, much to the relief of his head coach.

“There was so much quality about what we delivered, and then just some slipshod stuff that we cannot afford to repeat,” Schmidt told ITV Sport.

“We will go back and have a look at it, but at the same time there are some things we are very happy with.

“One of those is the support we got from the home crowd. In two weeks we play Scotland here; if we can get that same kind of vociferous support from the crowd, it certainly helps steel the defence and keep our resolve.”

Wales nearly benefited from a rare off day for Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton, as the usually reliable kicker missed two penalties and a pair of conversion attempts.

Schmidt, however, praised the fly-half for his display in open play, singling out his ability to make the team tick in attack.

“Johnny was obviously an angry man. He carried the ball very aggressively, which was fantastic,” he added.

“He almost went up the short side prior the fourth try, which isn’t in his normal character, but he also brought guys into the game.

“The timing of the pass to Rob Kearney to get through the line for that (fourth) try was fantastic, and his game sense allows him to contribute as much as he does.” News wire is powered by opta

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