Wales coaches Robert Howley  and Warren Gatland  chat ahead of their Six Nations encounter against Italy in Rome. Photograph: Getty Images

All Wales know as they prepare to start the final round of matches against Italy in Rome is that they have to win to remain in contention for the t(...)

Sex appeal: Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton leads a team talk in the huddle during last week’s crunch game against Wales. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Maybe, just maybe, there is indeed a silver lining of some kind to last Saturday’s defeat. Another leading-from-the-front victory, thereby ensuring(...)

Wales’ Sam Warburton is tackled by Ireland’s Jack McGrath at the Millennium Stadium. Warburton was simply immense in both defence and at the breakdown. Photograph: Crispin Rodbwell/Inpho 6:29

According to Winston Churchill to improve is to change but to be perfect is to change often. With six and a half minutes left Ireland were four point(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell is tackled by Luke Charteris of Wales during their Six Nations match at the Millennium StadiCardiff, Wales. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Simply put, the Welsh war room outmanoeuvred their Irish counterparts before this match even got under way. A great victory for Warren Gatland over Jo(...)

 Simon Zebo upended in the tackle.  Wales racing into a 12-0 lead threw a spanner in the works of this well-oiled Irish machine. Photograph:   Michael Steele/Getty Images

The pressure told; the pressure of the occasion maybe and, the shoe on the other foot, the scoreboard pressure applied on Ireland by Wales, who were m(...)

Peter O’Mahony wins a lineout during their SixNations Championship match at the  Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Photograph: Inpho

“Aw, like, lads, Wales are a good side,” goes Peter O’Mahony, who was quick to show frustration with a hardly demanding line of questioning.Wales out-(...)

Simon Zebo of Ireland is upended during the Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images 4:42

It was Tomás Ó Sé who coined the phrase “you hammer the hammer” in reference to beating a team by targeting, and thereby negating, their primary st(...)

Scott Williams scores for Wales in the second half at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters 6:29

Wales 23 Ireland 16The title will still go to the wire, but the dream of a Grand Slam is over. Backed into uncharted territory when falling behind fro(...)

Wales,  with the exception of Samson Lee and Luke Charteris, are all superb at the breakdown. And their flankers think their way around very similar to Australians.  Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty

I wanted England to beat Wales in Cardiff. The Welsh were Ireland’s greatest threat and them losing first time out at home was important. With Wales t(...)

Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne will have a tough battle against the Wales centre partnership of Roberts and Davies. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho 1:32

Robbie Henshaw believes Ireland’s fledgling centre partnership faces its toughest RBS Six Nations test yet in Wales on Saturday against Jamie Roberts (...)