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

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

Unlike Wales, Ireland tinkered with their reserves with winger Andrew Trimble (broken hand) replaced by Tommy Bowe.

It left them with just one win, a thrashing of Italy, from their first three matches but Howley refused to make any changes to his starting line-up.

"I'm just delighted for the players - they are a good team and don't let anyone tell you any differently".

"We know exactly what type of game it's going to be".

Schmidt must now lift his players for the England clash next week, in a game that could turn into a damp squib in Dublin (unless the possibility of ending Eddie Jones' hopes for another grand slam and their unbeaten run is still on the table).

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce his squad for the New Zealand tour on April 19 and there will be plenty of candidates treading the boards on Friday.

"Next week is about converting our frustration tonight into something positive, not denying someone else", said Schmidt after the 22-9 defeat.

North then made the most of an intelligent Rhys Webb pass to slide over for his Wales' second try of the evening on 46 minutes, and Halfpenny made sure there was no repeat of his mishap with the first conversion.

"But we can't wallow in pity with what we've got coming up next week".

Johnny Sexton was rightly sin-binned for denying Jonathan Davies a try as Ireland creaked under heavy pressure, while scrum-half Conor Murray played on despite a clear arm injury. He is expected to be fit for selection against England.

McBryde, who played hooker for Wales alongside Howley and assistant coach Neil Jenkins, added: "We're in a goldfish bowl in Wales and you're aware of it".

History, however, is against the visitors, with Scotland last tasting victory at Twickenham 1983, while it's been nine years since they last beat England anywhere.

Nonetheless, a Ross Moriarty steal undid Ireland's hard work in setting up a five-metre lineout and it was Wales who conjured up one of the tries of the Championship in the 20th minute.

"We have to move on from this".

Sexton cut the gap with his second penalty, and that was the cue for Ireland to put together a sustained spell of pressure which tested Wales' defence s both coaches began to make substitutions at regular intervals. "We wanted an 80 minute performance. We dug deep without the ball and we were clinical with it when we needed to be", said Howley. They cut short their half-time in the dressing room, returning to the field early and forming a huddle. Unfortunately, we lost Johnny and lost a little bit of leadership and you don't need to give Scott Williams too many invitations to break the line.