Ruthless Wales seal Grand Slam with emphatic victory

Ruthless Wales seal Grand Slam with emphatic victory

"The Irish players probably didn't expect England to lose to Scotland, so in their heads they were playing for second or third". The team will definitely grow from this. "At the end of the day, the pitch and conditions are the same for both teams".

The New Zealander was also moved to defend his star half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray as both players struggled to have an impact in the hard conditions. He's stepping down after the Rugby World Cup later this year, when he hopes to collect the biggest trophy yet.

"We lost to two very good sides and we have to address why".

"We're trying to build those two guys forward".

Former Ireland global Stephen Ferris thinks teams have adapted to Ireland's tactical approach and says the body language isn't positive from the men in green.

"They're a hard-working and skilful bunch who will take this on the chin. They've had so many days in the team when they've been the hub upon which the wheel has turned and the wheel has generally gone forward".

Wales trained with the roof closed at their traditional eve-of-game captain's run on Friday.

That meant Wales clinched the Grand Slam - their fourth of the Six Nations era and Warren Gatland's third as head coach - while Ireland had to settle for third place in the final reckoning, a year after securing their own incredible Grand Slam. "I thought they defended well and our discipline wasn't quite what we needed it to be".

"They scored after a couple of minutes and you're always under a little pressure and we didn't respond overly well to that pressure, giving up penalties".

"Are teams starting to figure out Joe Schmidt's game plan out?"

With today's 25-7 drubbing of Ireland in Cardiff, Warren Gatland's side won their 14th straight test match to leapfrog Ireland in the rankings.

'We have not heard definitively, but my concern is that if it is pouring down with rain, then we do have a responsibility to the game for a spectacle, ' Gatland said.

"We'll be first to take our hats off the acknowledge the performance that Wales put in today and then we'll reflect, rebuild and go forward".

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