Ireland coach Andy Farrell: ‘It should have been 40, 44-7′

Farrell is optimistic after Ireland’s 31-7 bonus point win against Wales in Dublin

Andy Farrell celebrated another win as Ireland head coach
Andy Farrell celebrated another win as Ireland head coach Andy Farrell celebrated another win as Ireland head coach (Brian Lawless/PA)

IRELAND coach Andy Farrell thinks his side were ”tenacious” in their win against Wales but felt that were hard done by in some calls by the officials.

Ireland defeated Warren Gatland’s Wales side 31-7 in Dublin in a game marred by the penalty count and two instances where the home side were halted from scoring by the referee.

Tries from Dan Sheehan, James Lowe, Ciarán Frawley and Tadhg Beirne proved the difference between the sides, with Wales only managing a penalty try.

Frawley scored his first try for Ireland on the occasion of his first start for the boys in green.

Speaking after the game, Farrell acknowledged Wales’s defensive efforts but felts Ireland were always in the driving seat.

“It should have been 40, 44-7, there’s a couple of tries that were notched off there,” said Farrell.

“I thought we got what we deserved in the end, if the forward pass from Robbie hadn’t have been knocked off, I thought that was going to be an unbelievable try and again, was finding a way to make inroads.

“I basically thought that they defended really well at times and they was hard to break down but to get the bonus point win, 31-7, I thought we should have been further up in the first half to be fair but I do understand that this is a young Welsh side that’s trying to gain experience as well.”

Ireland went into half-time very much in control, leading 17-0 and Wales having nine penalties against them in the first half but the situation was flipped with the visitors showing glimpses of promise despite the Irish keeping them (mostly) at bay

Ireland did concede a penalty try but coughed up more penalties in the second half and received two yellow cards, for Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan.

Farrell said: “That’s just the game isn’t it? I was a bit confused by the penalty try and when the ball’s not down, or you can’t see whether the ball’s down or not, I don’t know how that can be a penalty try but obviously it was so we take that.

“The pleasing thing about that is that we weren’t running the clock down to get Tadhg back on the field.

“We were the team playing all the rugby, so our intent through that period, and that little bit of adversity, got us going if anything.”

However, Farrell was ultimately pleased with the squad’s performance and how well the recent debutants have stepped up to the plate, with Ciarán Frawley making his first start and Oli Jager earning his first Irish cap against Wales.

He said: “It’s very pleasing but it’s their responsibility to do that because when they put the green shirt on, it’s their responsibility to understand what it takes to fill it and if that needs them to get to a place that is a bit strange to them, they need to know that that is the type of standard.”

Stuart McCloskey also made quite the impression on the Dublin crowd, coming on for the last 15 minutes on the wing, a position he’s not familiar in, usually lining out in the centre.

“It’s the new Stu,” remarked Farrell, who is not opposed to playing players out of position, doing so with Caelen Doris last time out against Italy.

“He’s been very comfortable there at training throughout the week and Calvin Nash missed a training session on Tuesday in the week so he had a full session, a full opportunity to fill his boots there and he did it seamlessly.

“When you go with a 6-2 [bench split], you’re going to have people excited about filling in places that they’d not done it before.”

Farrell will be looking to improve the discipline of his squad ahead of their away trip to Twickenham to face England, with a shot at the record for most consecutive Six Nations wins on the line which is currently held by the Red Roses.