Wales 22 - 9 Ireland: North crosses twice for rampant Welsh

Wales coach Rob Howley says George North demonstrated he is a world class player with his two tries in the 22-9 win over Ireland.

Wales failed to score a point in the second half in Scotland and managed only three against England.

A brace of scores took North's global tally to 30 tries in 68 Tests, fourth in an all-time Wales try scorers' list led by Shane Williams on 58, followed by Gareth Thomas, 40, and Ieuan Evans, 33.

Aware that their tickets to New Zealand were in danger of being ripped up, they responded to the vicious criticism they have received in the last fortnight, by producing their best performance of the season, not least George North, who scored the first two of Wales' three tries.

"The quality of players we have in our squad is wonderful, and against Scotland we didn't fire on all cylinders, which really cost us a lot".

The first was particularly memorable as he ended a fluent Welsh move by brushing past Ireland pair Keith Earls and Simon Zebo to power over.

"There was a lot to take from this performance against a very good Wales side and we were very close to taking the lead with 10 minutes to go that would have forced them to chase the game".

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'It was disappointing, and I was just thankful to get a chance (against Ireland) to put it right and get back into some form'. The fact we knew we were much better than we had been showing, and the fact results didn't go our way.

"It was tough. We scored 10 points in the 10 minutes we were down to 14 men and that's hard to come back from". In November, you get to play at home mostly and I guess as frustrating at it is, I still think there was some really positive things that we did (in Cardiff). "We wanted an 80 minute display".

"We have to take that on the chin and we can't afford to wallow".

The game kicked off at 6.30 p.m. and Ireland quickly fell 3-0 behind.

"We came out with a point to prove that we are a good team, and the first 20 minutes teed it up to be the great Test match that it was".

Ireland huffed and puffed in the final stages but couldn't make any real headway despite Sexton trying every pass in the book to unlock the Wales defence.

In a general observation, Schmidt said: "We play off more scrums than anyone else in the championship, and it's incredibly infuriating when teams that don't tend to play off scrums get rewarded for the way they approach the scrum".

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