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Ireland 29  –  7  Wales

 

Ireland got their 2022 Six Nations campaign off to the best start possible when they blew away a toothless Wales in a very one-sided exchange in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

Given their extensive injury list, defending Six Nations champions Wales were always going to be in for a tough tournament opener, however the manner in which they were swept aside by the Irish will be of huge concern ahead of their meeting with Scotland in Cardiff next time out. The likes of Alun Wyn Jones, George North and Taulupe Faletau were amongst the absentees for the visitors who suffered a further blow when Louis Rees-Zammit suffered what looked to be an ankle injury and required some heavy strapping.

Nevertheless this should take nothing away from the home side’s dominance throughout and it’s clear that Ireland are hitting their peak right now. Andy Farrell laid down a clear statement of intent at the Aviva Stadium and while it may sound a ridiculous statement to make after just a single game, the journey to the French capital could well be pivotal in determining who finishes top of the pile here. Indeed it was an indication of the dominance of the home side that a normally edgy crowd were clearly relaxing in the closing stages of the encounter.

In this instance, the scoreline flattered the losers more so than the winners and the hosts should have put this one completely to bed in the opening 20 minutes or so. Nevertheless even without their deserved points, the manner in which they made the visitors suffer in the opening quarter would tell in the later stages.

Ireland are looking expertly drilled, defensively aggressive and maverick in attack with every player knowing their exact role and newcomers hitting the ground running. There is still plenty of room for growth but Ireland are looking a formidable force to be reckoned with in this competition and not for nothing have the bookmakers made them second favourites to lift the trophy next month.

 

2022 Six Nations Winner Odds

 

11/8 –  France

13/8 –  Ireland

5/1  –  England

6/1  –  Scotland

50/1 –  Wales

1000/1 – Italy

 

Author: Guy Caldwell