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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006, 17:01 GMT
Ireland 31-5 Wales
Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara close in on Matthew Watkins
Ireland: (11) 31
Tries: Wallace, Horgan, Stringer
Pens: O'Gara 4
Cons: O'Gara 2
Wales: (5) 5
Try: M Jones
Ireland rekindled their RBS Six Nations Championship hopes with a hard-fought win over Wales at Lansdowne Road.

The Welsh appeared to have forgotten all their off-pitch problems by taking the lead through a Mark Jones try after a storming opening.

But Ireland were 11-5 up at the break thanks to a David Wallace try and two penalties by Ronan O'Gara.

Winger Shane Horgan scored a try early in the second half and scrum-half Peter Stringer added a third at the end.

After a scrappy home win over Italy and defeat in Paris, it was a victory Eddie O'Sullivan's team badly needed.

Any notions that Wales weren't going to play were blown away fairly early on
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan

But it will be a big disappointment for the crisis-hit Welsh who had dominated possession in the opening 15 minutes.

Last season's Grand Slam champions went into an eighth-minute lead after a chip through by Matthew Watkins bounced awkwardly for Andrew Trimble and Jones took advantage to touch down.

Ireland pegged three points back through an O'Gara penalty on 16 minutes.

Gavin Henson then made his Welsh comeback as a replacement for injured fly-half Stephen Jones.

Ireland appeared to get to grips with the match in the second quarter and a period of pressure ended with Wallace being forced over for a try from a five-metre scrum.

O'Gara was guilty of a bad miss from the conversion but he then added another penalty to leave Ireland 11-5 ahead at half-time.

The loss of Stephen Jones early effected us
Wales caretaker coach Scott Johnson

Ireland got their second try three minutes after the restart, working the ball to the right for Brian O'Driscoll to find man of the match Horgan, who cut inside two defenders to score his 17th international try.

O'Gara, now Ireland's record points scorer, converted and then slotted over his fourth penalty.

Marcus Horan was taken off on a stretcher with his neck in a brace after being caught awkwardly as he attempted to secure a loose ball.

Right at the end, Ireland scrum-half Stringer forced his way over for a try which O'Gara converted.


Ireland: Murphy; Horgan, B O'Driscoll (capt), D'Arcy, Trimble; O'Gara, Stringer; Horan, Flannery, Hayes; O'Callaghan, O'Kelly; S Easterby, Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: R Best for Horan (69), M O'Driscoll for Easterby (77), O'Connor for Wallace (75).

Wales: Byrne; M Jones, Luscombe, Watkins, James; S Jones, Peel; D Jones, R Thomas, A Jones; Gough, Sidoli; Charvis, M Williams, Owen (capt).
Replacements: B Davies for Byrne (73), Henson for S Jones (19), Jenkins for D Jones (46), M Davies for R Thomas (61), Delve for Charvis (56).

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (SA).

Touch judges: Chris White (Eng), Malcolm Changleng (Sco).
TV: Marius Jonker (SA).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: Ireland 31-5 Wales


Interview: Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan


Interview: Wales coach Scott Johnson



SEE ALSO
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Jones injury vital, says Johnson
26 Feb 06 |  Six Nations
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Clockwatch: Ireland 31-5 Wales
26 Feb 06 |  Six Nations


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