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Ireland v Wales – story of the match

Wales led in the early stages but Ireland put paid to their hopes in the second half.

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland scores the decisive try during the Six Nations Championship rugby match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Jacob Stockdale of Ireland scores the decisive try during the Six Nations Championship rugby match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Jacob Stockdale of Ireland scores the decisive try during the Six Nations Championship rugby match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Ireland v Wales – RBS Six Nations – Aviva Stadium
Ireland's players celebrate after Ireland's wing Jacob Stockdale scores their late try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on February 24, 2018. Ireland won the game 37-27. / AFP PHOTO / Paul FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's wing Jacob Stockdale runs in their late try during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on February 24, 2018. Ireland won the game 37-27. / AFP PHOTO / Paul FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale scores their fifth try during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 24, 2018. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring.
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale celebrates his try with Conor Murray and Chris Farrell during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday February 24, 2018. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial or promotional use without prior consent from IRFU. No alterations or doctoring.
DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 24: Jacob Stockdale of Ireland scores the decisive try during the Six Nations Championship rugby match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ireland stormed ever closer to a NatWest 6 Nations title showdown with England by dismissing Wales 37-27 in Dublin.

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Jacob Stockdale bagged a brace of tries, with Bundee Aki, Dan Leavy and Cian Healy all crossing too as Ireland racked up a bonus-point victory to stun Warren Gatland’s Wales.

Visiting scrum-half Gareth Davies had vowed Wales would chase a bonus-point win of their own in Ireland in the build-up – but Ireland made a mockery of that prediction with a consummate, if nerve-jangling – triumph.

Tweet of the match

Former England captain Will Carling highlighted one of Wales’ problems during a deflating day for them in Dublin.

Player of the match – Conor Murray

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Ireland Captain’s Run – Aviva Stadium

Ireland’s British and Irish Lions scrum-half was at his imperious best against Wales, bossing the game behind a fired-up pack. He is like a computer hard-drive in Ireland’s machinery, consistently taking the right option and putting his team in the right places, whether through astute tactical kicking or an exquisitely-timed pass to free up team-mates inside or outside of him.

Moment of the match

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Ireland v Wales – RBS Six Nations – Aviva Stadium

Ireland’s fly-half playmaker Johnny Sexton experienced a mixed first-half performance, missing three kicks at goal in a completely uncharacteristic performance, but his long pass that created Ireland’s opening try from Jacob Stockdale was a thing of beauty. It was just four minutes into the contest, yet Sexton underlined how class is permanent and form is temporary.

Stat of the match

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Ireland v Wales – RBS Six Nations – Aviva Stadium

Warren Gatland became only the second head coach in international rugby history to clock up 100 Tests for one country. He followed New Zealand World Cup winner Graham Henry in reaching three figures on the 20th anniversary – to the day – of him being appointed Ireland supremo, a role he held between 1998 and 2001. Wales could not mark the occasion by delivering a victory, but it was another landmark in an outstanding career.

All roads lead to Twickenham?

Ireland made it three wins from three during a roller coaster of a match, scoring five tries as they continued down the road towards a potential Six Nations title and Grand Slam decider against England at Twickenham on March 17.

Who’s up next?

Ireland v Scotland (Six Nations, Saturday, March 10)

Wales v Italy (Six Nations, Sunday, March 11)

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