Alyn Wyn Jones is many people’s favourite to lead the Lions in New Zealand this summer and he led Wales superbly last night to probably do enough to clinch that coveted role. He had taken the brunt of the criticism fired at his Welsh team after the defeat by Scotland but they certainly came up trumps last night.
“We owed this win to a large proportion of the Welsh people in the stadium tonight,” said the great hearted second-row. “Secondly, we owed it to ourselves. If we were honest, we haven’t done ourselves justice in our last two matches and that was our priority tonight.”
Rhys Webb is Conor Murray’s chief rival for the scrum-half position on the Test team against the All Blacks and for the seventy minutes he was on the pitch, he certainly justified that rating. He was voted man of the match and his superb pass played a major part in the first of George North’s two tries.
“Our last three games have been decided by small margins so we knew we were only one big performance away from winning a game and I was proud of the way the boys tried for the full eighty minutes and put in the hell of a shift to get a result over a quality Irish side”, said Webb.
“We owe a lot to our coaches, to believe in our ability, and we certainly showed glimpses of what we can do and there is certainly a lot more to come from us. People have been writing us off week in, week out, but we haven’t become a bad team overnight”.
Keith Wood on BBC wasn’t too happy with the penalty against Robbie Henshaw that deprived Ireland of a potentially match winning try.
The former Ireland captain described referee Wayne Barnes’s call as “very tight”. On such small margins are games like this — and it will surely revive the oft expressed belief that referees’ have too much say in deciding the outcome of big games.
Ronan O’Gara stated on RTÉ that “Wales were comfortable in that game, I didn’t think they’d be beaten when 15-6 became 15-9. Look at the Welsh players at the end, the win was never in doubt in their mind.”
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