Ronan O'Gara overcame a shaky start to give favourites Ireland a
winning start to the RBS 6 Nations against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.
Ireland beat the home side 19-9 giving their campaign an ideal start.
O'Gara endured a torrid opening 30 minutes as Wales overcame the setback of a
conceding an opportunist try to Ulster hooker Rory Best just 47 seconds into the
Gareth Jenkins' side hit three penalties through Stephen Jones but still
trailed 12-9 at the interval with Brian O'Driscoll touching down for his 29th
Wales paid the price for not converting pressure into points, especially in
the second half when Ireland survived an early onslaught to cross through O'Gara
in the 71st minute.
The Munster fly-half then converted his own try to complete the victory with
Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy taking the man of the match award.
Another terrible pass from Stringer put O'Gara under pressure but the Lions
fly-half responded with a fine clearance that pinned Wales back deep in their
Ireland won a five metre scrum and after using several phases to batter away
at the Welsh line they attacked the midfield only to turn the ball over.
They could not be denied in the 71st minute, however, when D'Arcy surged to
within inches of the whitewash before the ball was recycled to O'Gara who
grounded the ball despite James Hook's despairing late tackle
O'Driscoll limped off in the 75th minute and was replaced by Murphy but
O'Gara's try had left too much for Wales to do, despite a late flourish from the