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Irish fall short despite late blitz

Ireland 38 Wales 41

By Staff Reporter

Darkness descended upon Donnybrook as the floodlights briefly failed before kick-off, and come full-time, the lights went out on Ireland's Six Nations bid.

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Defeat in France in round one left no wriggle room, but Ireland's error count was too high and they lost against Wales.

As Joe Schmidt looked on, two second-half tries from man of the match Jack O'Sullivan were not enough as Wales clung on to win.

Ireland were slow out of the traps and Wales took advantage as they raced into a 12-0 lead.

Thomas Rogers and Max Williams crossed, with Cai Evans converting the second try.

A Harry Byrne penalty put his side on the board after 15 minutes, but another sloppy error was punished when Wales counter-attacked from their own '22', with James Botham burrowing his way over. Evans added the extras to push Wales into a 19-3 lead but Ireland fought back.

Angus Curtis got over and Byrne converted to cut the half-time deficit to nine points.

But Ireland's work was undone after the restart when Wales got the bonus try through Tommy Reffell. Evans' extras left the Irish 26-10 behind.

O'Sullivan showed his class when he powered away from a couple of tacklers to score. Byrne quickly drop-kicked the conversion but hopes were quickly dampened as an Irish overthrow allowed Botham over for his second try to stretch the lead (31-17).

O'Sullivan hit back with his second try and Byrne again converted, but Wales responded with a sixth try, this time through Callum Carson. Evans' conversion left Wales 38-24 to the good.

Ireland got a try-scoring bonus point when Stewart crept over for another converted try with 14 minutes left. Evans looked to have made sure of the win with a 71st-minute penalty but a try from Tommy O'Brien, converted by Stewart, kept Ireland in it.

The hosts launched one final attempt but had no joy.

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