Wales crush shambolic Ireland to land Grand Slam

Joe Schmidt'We would encourage the genuine supporter not to lose faith'Tadhg Furlong

Joe Schmidt'We would encourage the genuine supporter not to lose faith'Tadhg Furlong

The 33-year-old added coach Warren Gatland's unflappability had also served to calm nerves during the week.

Wales saved its best for last in the worst conditions it played in. They haven't a huge amount of game time so I think it is important to invest in people and I think that was part of the remit we decided we were going to prioritise in this Six Nations.

We're not actually too sure what this one is about...

A victory would ensure a Grand Slam triumph for Wales, while Ireland could only retain their Six Nations crown if they win and Scotland defeat England at Twickenham.

Gatland - who became the first coach to achieve three Grand Slams in Five or Six Nations history - refused to take any the pats on the back for the success.

Ireland dominated in terms of territory during the third quarter, but they encountered a Wales defence as resilient and defiant as it had been in repelling Scotland seven days ago. "We didn't look too exhausted did we", grinned Gatland referring to England counterpart Eddie Jones' dig that they would be worn out for the game.

"They deserve it. This group of players will run through a brick wall for you", he said.

Wales Hadleigh Parkes celebrates scoring a try with Jonathan Davies. Pic INPHO  Alex Davidson
Wales Hadleigh Parkes celebrates scoring a try with Jonathan Davies. Pic INPHO Alex Davidson

Asked about the roof situation, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said: "We know, as players, that it's going to be open".

Gatland eulogised about Jones in answer to Davies labelling him as the best player of all time for Wales.

This comes after Ireland coach Joe Schmidt accused Wales of breaking tournament protocol by circumventing his side in the discussions whether the roof should be open or closed.

The 2018 Six Nations champions surrendered their title to Wales in underwhelming fashion.

"We lost to two very good sides and we have to address why". He's stepping down after the Rugby World Cup later this year, when he hopes to collect the biggest trophy yet.

"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".