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Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

21:24 13 Nov 2020


Ireland recovered from their final day Six Nations defeat to France with a 32-9 win over Wales at the Aviva Stadium. 

Quinn Roux scored Ireland's only try of the game in the first half while Johnny Sexton limped off with a hamstring injury as Ireland started the Autumn Nations Cup with a comfortable win.

Having sacked his defensive coach, Byron Hayward, last week, Wayne Pivac admitted that from the outside his Wales setup could be perceived as "a mess". This performance showed few signs to disprove that view, although Wales did fare better in a scrappier second half.

While Pivac's critics will be undoubtedly amplified, there was also a lot more to talk about during the match.

James Lowe's Irish Debut

New Zealand-born full-back James Lowe made his debut for Ireland tonight, as he impressed from the first whistle. Challenged by the first high ball of the night, Lowe looked comfortable as he charged forward into the Welsh line.

Minutes later, Lowe was beaming as he tussled off the ball with Wales' Liam Williams. While he was at ease throughout, the 28-year-old capped off a dream debut with a try in the final minute.

Ireland's Dominant Scrum

While Wales' Rhys Carre notably struggled before being substituted prior to half-time, the Irish scrum was dominant throughout proceedings.

Impressive Irish Performances

Caelan Doris may have taken home the man-of-the-match award, but there were a number of other strong performers in green. Notably, Peter O'Mahony drew the plaudits as Ireland looked for a leader following Sexton's exit through injury.

Pivac Under Pressure

Having sacked his defensive coach following a dismal Six Nations campaign, the spotlight was always going to be on how Wayne Pivac's side had changed. Admittedly, they haven't had too much time to fix their shortcomings, but the loss was just the latest in a string of poor performances.

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Andy Farrell Autumn Nations Cup Ireland James Lowe Johnny Sexton Wales Wayne Pica

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