Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

Ireland Defy Wales With Roof Request Ahead Of Epic Six Nations Clash

Ireland Defy Wales With Roof Request Ahead Of Epic Six Nations Clash

Wales powered their way to a grand slam with a comprehensive 25-7 victory over the holders at the Principality Stadium, where the visitors only got off the mark with a Jordan Larmour try in added time.

"They just don't look like they are enjoying their rugby".

And the team gave coach Warren Gatland, who will step down after the Rugby World Cup later this year, a flawless Six Nations sendoff.

Schmidt revealed that some Irish players spent part of the week in isolation after they were hit by a stomach bug, which disrupted their preparations during a six-day turnaround before the match in Cardiff, but conceded that his team had been out-played by a Welsh side that were buoyed by their hunt for a Grand Slam title.

"I am proud of the players it is not about me it is about the players they were playing for themselves their families and Wales", said Gatland.

The New Zealander was also moved to defend his star half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray as both players struggled to have an impact in the hard conditions.

Warren Gatland became the first coach to win three Six Nations Grand Slams. AFP  Paul ELLIS
Warren Gatland became the first coach to win three Six Nations Grand Slams. AFP Paul ELLIS

"Those two guys are not the reason we lost and those two guys we'll continue to invest in", Schmidt declared.

"They're a hard-working and skilful bunch who will take this on the chin".

Wales trained with the roof closed at their traditional eve-of-game captain's run on Friday. So they've said to the Six Nations directly, "can it be closed?"'

This comes after Ireland coach Joe Schmidt accused Wales of breaking tournament protocol by circumventing his side in the discussions whether the roof should be open or closed. "Our discipline doesn't usually let us down, it allowed them to get a distance ahead of us, they scored after a couple of minutes and you're always under a little bit of pressure and we didn't respond overly well to that pressure giving up those penalties".

He said: "I'd like to take my hat off to Wales and Gats".

'We have not heard definitively, but my concern is that if it is pouring down with rain, then we do have a responsibility to the game for a spectacle, ' Gatland said.

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