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Six Nations: Super Stockdale scores twice as Ireland edge Wales to keep Grand Slam dream alive

Ireland 37-27 Wales

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'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)
Jacob Stockdalecelebrates his late try during the NatWest Six Nations match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium on February 24, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Ireland's wing Jacob Stockdale (C) celebrates with Ireland's full-back Rob Kearney (L) and Ireland's centre Bundee Aki (R) after scoring Ireland's first try
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale (centre) scores his side's opening try past Wales' Leigh Halfpenny (left).
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale celebrates his opening try.
Ireland's Jacob Stockdale celebrates scoring his side's try with team mates Bundee Aki and Rob Kearney
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Jacob Stockdale scored two tries to help Ireland keep their Grand Slam dream alive.

The bonus point winmoves Ireland top of the Six Nations table but it was a game in the balance right up until Stockdale's second of the day with the last play.

The five tries gave the hosts their first win over Warren Gatland's men in this competition since 2014 and ends any realistic chance their opponents had of clinching the crown.

Ireland had led 15-13 at the half after Bundee Aki's score right on the whistle, and while Wales had led 13-5 at one point, it was no more than Ireland deserved.

They had all the ball in the first half, and forced Wales into over 100 tackles, but a Gareth Davies try, and 8 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny had more than cancelled out Jacob Stockdale's first of the game.

After the turn, Dan Leavy and Cian Healy barged over to bring up the bonus point but there was a nervy finish in store when Aaron Shingler cut the lead to just seven in the final quarter.

Conor Murray's late penalty appeared to secure the win with only four minutes left, but a Steff Evans try came only seconds later. Ireland though would have the last say with Stockdale's lengthy intercept with the clock already red sealing the deal.

With England facing Scotland later today, the tantalising possibility of a Grand Slam decider in Twickenham between Ireland and the back-to-back champions remains on.

IRELAND: R Kearney; K Earls, C Farrell, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best (c), A Porter, J Ryan (for Porter, 66), D Toner; P O'Mahony, D Leavy, CJ Stander.

REPLACEMENTS: S Cronin (for Best, 70), J McGrath (for Healy, 62), J Ryan (for Porter, 66), Q Roux (for Toner, 73), J Conan (for O’Mahony, 66), K Marmion, J Carbery, F McFadden (for Earls, 62)

WALES: L Halfpenny; L Williams, S Williams, H Parkes, S Evans; D Biggar, G Davies; R Evans, K Owens, S Lee; C Hill, AW Jones (c); A Shingler, J Navidi, R Moriarty.

REPLACEMENTS: E Dee (for Owens, 55), W Jones (for Evans, 55), T Francis (for Lee, 55), B Davies (for Hill, 62), J Tipuric (for Moriarty, 22) A Davies, G Anscombe (for Biggar, 62), G North (for L Williams, 62)

Referee: Glen Jackson (NZ)

Man of the match: Chris Farrelll

Here's the match as it happened:

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