Six Nations - Millennium Stadium, 21 March 2009, 17:30 local, 17:30 GMT
Wales (6) 15 - 17 (0) Ireland (FT)

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Summary

Time Score  
 

In 2005 Wales and Ireland met in Cardiff with a Grand Slam on the line. Four years on and the Millennium Stadium could once again be the site of a famous clean sweep, but this time it's the men in green who are after it, not the men in red.

In a year where all the other sides have struggled to string together performances, Ireland have soldiered on. They haven't set the world aflame, but they have continued to win - marching towards their first Grand Slam since 1948.

But Ireland have been here before, most recently in 2003, and they have fallen at the final hurdle. Yet, many in the Irish team, including their coach have many happy memories of the Millenium Stadium from Munster's dual Heineken Cup successes in Cardiff, including their coach, Declan Kidney.

But Wales aren't just there to make up the numbers, a win would give them a Triple Crown and a margin of victory of 13 points or more would see them win the tournament outright. But they have been far short of their best this Six Nations and were fortunate to get out of Rome with a win last week. They know they will need to but in a perfect performance to spoil the Irish party.

Peter Stringer's performance broke Scottish hearts last week and the veteran scrum half will feel hard done by to not retain his place in the first 15, losing out to his Munster clubmate Tomas O'Leary. The man who scored Ireland's only try last week, Jamie Heaslip returns to the side and will square off against Wales captain Ryan Jones, who moves to No. 8 after Andy Powell's late injury withdrawal.

After Wales' damaging changes last week, normal service is resumed and the big guns all return, the most notable feature being the reuniting of Gavin Henson's midfield partnership with Tom Shanklin, while Jamie Roberts drops to the bench.

Wales coach Warren Gatland emphasised the dislike between the Wales and Irish players this week, and he's sure to have stoked the fire for what will no doubt be a pulsating conclusion to this year's Six Nations. Join us at 17.30 GMT to keep up with the action.

1

Magnificent pre-match scenes here, the Millennium Stadium living up to it's reputation as a cauldron of noise and passion, a great start already to the 150th game in Six Nations history.

Stephen Jones gets the Grand Slam decider off with a long kick that's fielded by David Wallace. O'Leary clears to Phillips whose scrappy kick is gathered and O'Gara sends it back. Byrne clears it to Bowe who kicks it, but O'Gara is taken out by Ryan Jones on the kick and it's a Irish penalty. Harsh on the Welshman.

O'Callaghan flies over to Jones and it's a bit of fisticuffs, the Irishman is lucky not to get the penalty reverse for that display. O'Gara will kick for goal.

2

O'Gara's penalty is just wide and it's a 22 drop out.

3

Darcy makes a half break after taking the kick and their back up to the 22. O'Gara sends over a cross field kick and it's messy from Wales, could be anyone's, but Ireland are given the scrum for a Welsh knock-on.

4

Wales nearly turn it over at the scrum but Ireland just get it back. running it through the forwards now, Ireland are keeping it tight. you get the sense they don't want to take any risks.

5

Ian Gough demolishes Jerry Flannery in the tackle, it's spilled and hacked on and Wales can counter. they bring it up to the 10m line but Martyn Williams loses the ball. O'Gara's over is touched down by Shane Williams.

6

Wales secure a short 22 drop out and Henson sends up a huge clearance. Kearney receives and sends it to his opposite number. Byrne deals with it just outside the 22 but O'Leary is pinged for holding on in the tackle and it's a Welsh penalty. Jones kicks to touch.

7

Phillips makes a half break from the lineout and drives into the Irish half, the ball is shipped out and Williams swaps side to take it on the far right.Wales start to build a platform and Ryan Jones runs at O'Gara and gets some big yards.

8

Soft hands from Martyn Williams and Wales nearly have a break but Dafydd Jones knocks it on and Ireland clear.

9

Ireland have a scrum on halfway after Shane Williams' pass is judged to be forward. The Irish defence is looking strong and Wales are really throwing it about already. A promising start.

10

A free kick from the scrum allows Ireland to rumble up to the 10m line but Wales are smothering things well and Ireland are incredibly compact. Hardly a man more than 10ft away from the ruck.

11

A risky pass from Wallace is picked off by Phillips, Shanklin hacks on but Kearney gets there and clears to Jones. He's stripped at the tackle and O'Leary kicks superbly into space and it's a lineout on the Welsh 5m line.

12

Poor lineout from Wales and Shane Williams has to take the ball back into in-goal, so it's an Irish 5m scrum.

13

Good Welsh scrum but Heaslip does well and it just short of the line. O'Gara nearly sneaks past Henson, and then O'Driscoll nearly makes it through and then offloads and he thinks he's put Kearney in to score out wide, but the pass is forward.

14

More afters from O'Callaghan and Wayne Barnes will have a word with the captains about the indiscipline.

15

A solid Welsh scrum gives them a platform and O'Leary is penalised for not rolling away, big relief for Wales there, they'll clear to the 10m line.

16

Good Welsh lineout and Jones makes a half break after it's shipped out from the breakdown. Byrne comes up in support and runs a lovely line but it's forward.

17

Solid Irish scrum is undone by O'Leary's poor box kick that goes out on the full. A poor Welsh lineout is picked off by O'Gara and Heaslip looks to be off down the touchline, but is put out by Phillips.

18

Byrne takes a kick from O'Gara and he can make ground, Phillips moves it on from the base and Wales look to get running. Rees runs into contact and drops it and Ireland have possession.

19

Adam Jones is penalised for going in at the side and it's Ireland's penalty. The lineout is secured and it's shipped out to O'Driscoll who stabs a kick through to touch in the Welsh 22.

20

Jones secures the lineout ball and Phillips clears. Kearney's Garryowen is gathered by Jones outside the 22 and Wales will kick it away. Neither side seems keen to keep the ball at the moment.

21

O'Gara sends a kick off the side of his boot and it goes out on the full. It's a Welsh lineout inside the Irish half.

22

Great steal from O'Connell and O'Gara can clear to Byrne who decides to go for touch and thunders a kick up to the Irish 10m line.

23

John Hayes will go off for a blood injury. Untidy lineout from Ireland and Wales can pressure. Wales break after a poor clearance and move up to the Irish 10m Henson's offload to Gough is superb and they're into the 22.

24

Poor again from Wales, Jones takes the ball but can't secure it at the tackle and Ireland can clear upfield.

25

Ireland pick off another Welsh throw and O'Connell is starting to make his presence felt. D'Arcy is wrapped up Henson and he's pinged for holding on. Wales kick for touch again and we're up to just outside the Irish 22.

26

Wales bring five into the lineout to get some parity back. They secure ball this time and ship it out to the right and look to get moving, but Jenkins is penalised for not releasing and Ireland have the penalty.

28

O'Connell secures the lineout and Phillips makes a mess of O'Leary's kick over and puts Wales under pressure in his 22. O'Gara takes the clearance but he knocks it on in the tackle and Wales turn it over.

29

Wales trying to get the backs moving but Ireland are dealing with it well. But Ireland are penalised for going in off their feet and it's a Wales penalty.

30

Worries for Wales as Lee Byrne hobbles off. That's a big blow for the Dragons.

31 3 - 0

Wales secure the lineout outside the 22 but Leamy is penalised for not rolling away and Wales have a kickable penalty. Jones makes no mistake and we're finally off the mark.

32

Wales make a mess of the kickoff but they get it back and Phillips clears but it stays infield and Ireland can counter.

33

Roberts introduces himself to O'Driscoll in midfield and that slows things down. Ian Gough is penalised not attempting to wrap O'Connell up in the tackle and O'Gara will kick for touch.

34

Over thrown from Ireland but they deal with it well and they've got a platform inside the Welsh 22.

35

Slow and tight from Ireland again as they wait for the gap to appear. They start to rumble forward through Heaslip and O'Driscoll but they're penalised for going in off their feet at the ruck and Wales will clear.

36

Wales make another mess at the lineout and Ireland look to counter from deep but Bowe over-runs his dummy line and he's pinged for crossing. Wales have a penalty just inside the Irish half.

38 6 - 0

Jones' monster penalty has the legs and it makes it over with room to spare. A beautiful penalty. Wales make a mess of the restart and it's knocked on so Ireland will have a scrum outside the Welsh 22.

39

Good Irish scrum and they look to unleash the backs and O'Driscoll looks to take the diagonal line. But Roberts is there and the big man slows it down well.

40

Ireland knock the ball on and that's the end of the half. Disappointing for Ireland, they've had all the territory but haven't done anything with it and will surely be very frustrated. Wales on the other hand are half way to the margin of victory they need to win the Championship. All in all a better first half than the score suggests, both sides looking to play some good rugby, all that's been missing is a bit of sharpness and consistency.

 

The teams come back out and it's a huge 40 minutes of rugby ahead. This game still very much on a knife-edge.

40

O'Gara gets us back underway and it's taken by Gough. Jones clears it long and Kearney will run it back. His kick is knocked on by Jones. Bowe makes a huge break into the Welsh 22 but Henson just gets there and slows it down.

41

O'Gara's crossfield kick is taken by Jones, but his momentum carries him into touch . A good Irish lineout and they've started brightly here.

42

Good drive from the base of the ruck and O'Callaghan is just stopped short. Wales doing a good job of dealing with the short ball though.

43 6 - 5

Ireland keeping it very tight as the forward keep on with the pick and goes. O'Driscoll almost seems to have it over but we'll go to the TMO to see if he has. That's very tight and very close, O'Driscoll seems to have possibly just sneaked it over. The TMO says that it's a try. Even the Irish players seem surprised, but they won't care.

44 6 - 7

No mistake from O'Gara with the extras.

45 6 - 12

Jamie Roberts knock on after the restart and it's an Irish scrum. O'Gara's kick over the top bounces incredibly fortunately for Bowe who chases it, gathers, and can run in for the score. Henson was up on that too quickly and left no cover so Bowe could run in unopposed.

46 6 - 14

O'Gara makes the conversion and all of a sudden Wales are in serious trouble now. The game has turned on it's head.

47

O'Gara clears from the restart and Wales will counter, but they can't hold onto it and the ball is hacked on by Ireland. Henson is back to gather, he dances around a bit and passes to Mark Jones who breaks out of the 22 and nearly to halfway before being put out.

48

Ireland get the lineout and they're starving Wales of the ball now. But a mistake from Heaslip gives Wales the penalty for holding on.

49

Jones clears up to the 22 and will look to get something out of this. Gough takes the lineout ball but Phillips knocks it on. O'Callaghan has really lost his head today, he taunts Phillips for the error and the penalty will go the other way.

50 9 - 14

Stephen Jones sneaks the penalty over off the post from out wide on the right and they're back in the game.

51

Good restart from Jones and Wales are up to halfway. Henson and Williams link up out wide on the right and Wales are starting to put the phases together.

52

A loose ball is hacked back to Jamie Roberts but the big man is bundled into touch. Clean lineout on halfway for Ireland and O'Leary will clear to Williams. Bowe challenges but knocks it on.

53

Good scrum from Wales and they get the penalty for Irish collapsing the scrum.

54

Poor lineout for Wales and O'Callaghan gets to it, but he only knocks it into touch again. Wales will try once more and go long this time. But again they've made a hash of it. Lucky to get a penalty from Heaslip's obstruction and Jones will kick it.

55 12 - 14

Jones makes no mistake and Wales are right back in it thanks to Irish indiscipline. This game is getting very heated and rather unfriendly. You sense there could be cards on the horizon here.

56

Good take again by Jones from the restart but it's cleared upfield this time. Henson deals with his Garryowen well but can't get to his own kick and Ireland will have the ball at halfway.

57

O'Callaghan is swamped by the Welsh defence and he's held up and and driven backwards. Wales will have the scrum. Scrappy from Wales but they hold onto it and look to build.

58

Jones runs into a green wall and gets turned over. Great work from the Irish forwards there. Both sides are playing with tremendous aggression and commitment. Good scrum from Ireland and O'Gara weights a cross kick beautifully for Bowe. The Ospreys man misjudges his chip over though and Henson gets there and Bowe is penalised for a shove on the Welshman.

59

Wales clear from the lineout but it comes straight back. It bobbles around and Shane Williams has to clear under pressure. Wallace takes it and thunders into the 22 but the ball is knocked on and it's a scrum.

60

Great work from Williams as he evades the tackle and stabs through a kick for Henson to chase but Kearney gathers and Ireland will counter.

61

Great passing from Ireland sees them up to the 22 but Wales slow it down well and Ireland are soon penalised at the breakdown.

62

Jones will clear up to halfway, and there's break for treatment.

63

Scrappy lineout from Wales but it's secured. Jones sends up a big kick and Wales pursue it well and put the Irish under pressure. O'Gara clears well to touch up to halfway from inside the 22.

64

Wales are letting men get isolated and Ireland are getting the turnovers easily. Sloppy from Wales and O'Gara will clear up to the Welsh 22.

65

Ireland make a mess of the lineout for the first time and Wales can clear their lines through Phillips. Kearney looks to counter but he drops it forwards and Wales will play on from the advantage.

66

Ireland look to slow the ball down but they have hands all over the ball. Hayes is the one to get penalised and Wales have a a shot at goal from halfway.

67

After turning down an earlier kick, Henson will take this massive kick from out wide on the right at halfway. It's not got the legs though and Ireland will clear.

68

Wales are having a nightmare at the lineout, O'Connell has them in his back pocket and they steal another. O'Gara clears to Henson who runs it back but gets turned. O'Gara tries yet another attempt at the crossfield kick to Bowe on the wing, but it's too long.

69

As you were with the lineout, Wales make a hash of it. That's nine lost on their throw now and Ireland have the scrum. Ireland get the ball but there's a forward pass and Wales have the scrum.

70

Henson clears from the scrum and it's time for a bit of aerial tennis. Henson's third clearance is into touch and O'Gara takes it quick, but Murphy foolishly knocks it on and Wales will have a scrum on the Irish 10m line.

71

Williams makes a beautifully angled run and he nearly gets through but he slips outside the 22 and Wales will recycle.

72

Comfortable take for Wales but Jones clears out on the full after it's passed back. Is this Ireland's chance to win it? Have Wales just thrown it away?

73

Mark Jones is only stopped by Stringer's ankle tap at 5m, Wales look to come up in support but the Irish forwards get the turnover. Bowe clears but it's out on the full.

74 15 - 14

Wales win the lineout and Phillips bursts through he breaks tackle after tackle before the big scrum half is hauled down. Jones is back in the pocket and strokes over the drop goal as the stadium goes beserk.

75

Jones clears the restart straight out after it's been passed back inside the 22. Big mistake there.

76

Ireland secure the resart and look to breach the tryline.

77 15 - 17

The ball moves to the centre of the field and O'Gara's back in the pocket. He strokes a beautiful drop goal over to push them back into the lead.

78

Desperate times for Wales now, they need to keep the ball so they're running it from deep. Willimas is lucky not to get isolated and Wales will try again. Ireland not giving anything here and Wales can't get over halfway

79

Wales squeak over halfway and Ireland are penalised for coming in from an offside position. Jones will have a long penalty attempt to try and win it at the last second. It's a few metres short though and Geordan Murphy taps it dead to end the game.

80

Ireland ecstatic at the whistle, they've worked incredibly hard for their win and they deserve their win and that first Grand Slam since 1948. An incredibly tense finish there and you can see the Irish almost don't believe it, but they'll lift the Six Nations trophy for the first time.

Timeline

Time Wales  Score  Ireland
0 start of first half start of first half
6 Ferris - sub off
Leamy - sub on
23 Hayes - sub off
Court - sub on
27 Hayes - sub on
Court - sub off
30 Byrne - sub off
Roberts - sub on
31 SM Jones - penalty goal 3 - 0
38 SM Jones - penalty goal 6 - 0
40 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
43 6 - 5 BG O'Driscoll - try
44 6 - 7 O'Gara - conversion
45 6 - 12 Bowe - try
46 6 - 14 O'Gara - conversion
50 SM Jones - penalty goal 9 - 14
55 SM Jones - penalty goal
Charteris - sub on
Gough - sub off
12 - 14
56 Rees - sub off
Bennett - sub on
66 Kearney - sub off
Murphy - sub on
68 Best - sub on
Flannery - sub off
69 Stringer - sub on
O'Leary - sub off
74 SM Jones - drop goal 15 - 14
76 PR Wallace - sub on
Fitzgerald - sub off
77 15 - 17 O'Gara - drop goal
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
80

Notes

 
Result Ireland won by a margin of 2 points
Six Nations points Ireland 2, Wales 0
 
Ground name Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance 74645
 
Referee W Barnes (England)
 
Wales Test debuts none
Ireland Test debuts none

Teams

Wales Ireland
Tries none Tries BG O'Driscoll (43), Bowe (45)
Cons none Cons O'Gara (44, 46)
Pens SM Jones (31, 38, 50, 55) Pens none
Drops SM Jones (74) Drops O'Gara (77)

Match stats

Wales   Ireland
0 Tries 2
0 from 0 Conversion goals 2 from 2
4 from 6 Penalty goals 0 from 1
66.7% Kick at goal success 66.7%
1 Dropped goals 1
Kick/pass/run
26 Kicks from hand 40
114 Passes 98
82 Runs 87
388 Metres run with ball 389
Attacking
3 Clean breaks 3
12 Defenders beaten 11
5 Offloads 3
71 from 79 (89.9%) Rucks won 74 from 79 (93.7%)
0 from 0 Mauls won 2 from 2 (100.0%)
22 Turnovers conceded 14
Defensive
104/11 Tackles made/missed 104/12
90.4% Tackling success rate 89.7%
Set pieces
6 won, 0 lost (100.0%) Scrums on own feed 7 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
15 won, 5 lost (75.0%) Lineouts on own throw 9 won, 1 lost (90.0%)
Discipline
6 Penalties conceded 15
0/0 Yellow/red cards 0/0

Wales stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Byrne 0/0 0 4/2/8 73 1 2 0 2 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
W MA Jones 0/0 0 1/0/5 60 0 0 0 2 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Shanklin 0/0 0 1/0/5 18 0 0 0 0 4/2 0/0 0 0/0
C Henson 0/0 0 6/4/8 61 0 0 1 2 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
W SM Williams 0/0 0 2/0/3 25 1 2 0 2 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH SM Jones 0/0 12 6/29/6 23 0 1 2 2 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
SH Phillips 0/0 0 6/57/6 68 1 4 0 1 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
P Jenkins 0/0 0 0/1/2 2 0 0 0 0 10/0 0/0 1 0/0
H Rees 0/0 0 0/1/3 5 0 1 0 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
P AR Jones 0/0 0 0/4/0 0 0 0 0 0 8/0 0/0 0 0/0
L Gough 0/0 0 0/0/2 4 0 0 1 0 12/1 2/0 1 0/0
L AW Jones 0/0 0 0/1/6 17 0 2 0 1 15/0 2/1 1 0/0
F DAR Jones 0/0 0 0/1/8 12 0 0 1 1 7/0 1/0 0 0/0
F ME Williams 0/0 0 0/4/2 2 0 0 0 3 10/1 1/0 0 0/0
N8 RP Jones 0/0 0 0/3/10 11 0 0 0 4 8/1 4/0 2 0/0
(H) Bennett 0/0 0 0/2/2 2 0 0 0 0 1/2 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Charteris 0/0 0 0/0/3 2 0 0 0 0 3/1 4/0 0 0/0
(FB) Roberts 0/0 0 0/0/3 3 0 0 0 1 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Ire stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Kearney 0/0 0 7/0/6 64 0 0 0 2 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Bowe 0/0 0 2/3/4 51 1 1 0 1 2/0 0/0 1 0/0
C BG O'Driscoll 1/0 5 2/4/7 1 0 1 1 1 6/1 0/0 0 0/0
C D'Arcy 0/0 0 0/0/5 30 1 3 0 0 8/0 0/0 2 0/0
W Fitzgerald 1/0 5 2/1/6 81 1 5 2 0 4/2 0/0 0 0/0
FH O'Gara 0/0 7 16/15/5 29 0 0 0 1 7/1 0/1 1 0/0
SH O'Leary 0/0 0 8/46/2 1 0 0 0 1 7/2 0/0 2 0/0
P Horan 0/0 0 0/2/2 0 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 2 0/0
H Flannery 0/0 0 0/5/5 4 0 0 0 1 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Hayes 0/0 0 0/1/5 17 0 1 1 0 7/1 0/0 0 0/0
L O'Callaghan 0/0 0 1/2/5 0 0 0 0 2 10/2 0/1 1 0/0
L O'Connell 0/0 0 0/1/13 15 0 0 0 2 6/2 6/2 2 0/0
F Ferris 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
F DP Wallace 0/0 0 0/2/9 36 0 0 0 1 8/0 1/1 0 0/0
N8 Heaslip 0/0 0 0/2/4 34 0 0 0 1 8/0 1/0 3 0/0
(H) Best 0/0 0 0/2/1 0 0 0 0 1 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
(P) Court 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(F) Leamy 0/0 0 0/1/6 16 0 0 0 0 6/0 1/0 0 0/0
(SH) Stringer 0/0 0 0/4/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
(W) PR Wallace 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FB) Murphy 0/0 0 2/0/1 10 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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