North try gives Wales a half time lead

North try gives Wales a half time lead

North try gives Wales a half time lead

Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde confirmed that the roof will be closed at the Principality Stadium tomorrow for Ireland's Six Nations clash with Wales.

The RFU sensibly rejected hosting any Six Nations matches on Friday night's for the foreseeable future, given the chaos that leaving Twickenham can cause.

Ireland beat France at the Aviva, and tonight's hosts fell to Scotland at Murrayfield.

With a cool head and his body moving back towards peak condition, we may see the very best of O'Brien in Cardiff tonight.

"This is a good team and we've got the opportunity to go out in front of our home supporters and deliver a performance the players are proud of and it's equally important for the supporters to support that".

Wales responded with a series of attacks in and around Ireland's 22, running on to the ball at pace and involving North frequently.

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"As far as I'm concerned, when you're taking part in worldwide rugby as a player and a coach, you're always under constant pressure".

North has scored 28 tries for Wales in 67 Tests and needs a big game, but he would not be alone from a Welsh perspective as they strive to avoid suffering three successive Six Nations defeats for the first time since 2007.

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Sexton gave the Irish the lead on a rare foray out of their half but the Welsh pressure told eventually.

"Perhaps this is a new experience for this squad of players, but they've got to come through it, they've got to knuckle down". Indeed, of the eight games the English whistle blower took charge of during the Corkman's time in the hot seat, Ireland only recorded one win.

Wales prefer to play with it closed but visiting teams are given the final say and Ireland have agreed for it to be closed.

In 2015 they were at it hammer and tongs for 54 seconds longer - the legacy of that game should have been a critical tale about Ireland's inability to break down the second-half Welsh rear-guard, not the ongoing whingeing about Barnes' influence at the early first-half breakdown.

Sexton returned to fray after that kick. "We've got to go at them right from the word go".

Halfpenny, North, J Davies, S Williams, L Williams, Biggar, Webb; Evans, Owens, Francis, Ball, Jones (capt), Warburton, Tipuric, Moriarty.

Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts.

Ireland: 15-Rob Kearney, 14-Keith Earls, 13-Garry Ringrose, 12-Robbie Henshaw, 11-Simon Zebo, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Conor Murray; 1-Jack McGrath, 2-Rory Best (captain), 3-Tadhg Furlong, 4-Donnacha Ryan, 5-Devin Toner, 6-CJ Stander, 7-Sean O'Brien, 8-Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: N Scannell (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), J Ryan (Munster), I Henderson (Ulster), P O'Mahony (Munster), K Marmion (Connacht), P Jackson, T Bowe (both Ulster).

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