Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in relaxed mood with head coach Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Jamie Heaslip noted, time was when players re-introduced themselves to the game with a modest pre-season friendly for their provinces, maybe a leag(...)

Munster’s Paul O’Connell scores a try during the  Guinness Pro 12 game against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster 50 Dragons 27 As Super Saturdays go, this wasn’t quite on the scale of the Six Nations finale, although of all the final day games of t(...)

Ireland players line up for the anthems ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland - Six have been selected for our Six Nations team of the tournament. Photograph: Ian  MacNicol/Getty Images 9:27

15 Rob Kearney (Ireland):Leigh Halfpenny’s goal-kicking could give him the nod again. Stuart Hogg was electric and carried for 100 more metres. But Ke(...)

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(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt puts his side through their paces during the Captain’s Run at the Millennium Stadium ahead of the Six Nations clash with Wales on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:08

In the red corner, a wounded home team with a proven pedigree in this competition in recent times, who are drinking at the last-chance saloon. In the(...)

Jamie Roberts: is a different player in the Wales jersey – despite his less than spectacular sojourn wit Racing Metro. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Wales don’t scare us like France and England can. Still, we have to respect what they have achieved under Warren Gatland. Three Six Nations titles, in(...)

England winger Anthony Watson gets ahead of the Wales defence to score his side’s first try at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP

Wales 16 England 21Great occasions do not always produce great games but England will long remember this frantic, nail-biting outcome. Under the Frida(...)