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Ireland v Wales TV View: ‘Ah sure look’ we should never get tired of winning

Ireland’s 31-7 bonus-point win over Wales in Six Nations drew a wide and varied response across the channels

It was before the game that Jamie Heaslip warned us that we should never, ever, ever get bored of winning. This seemed like an entirely unnecessary note of caution, really, because who in their right mind would ever tire of being victorious?

But on the off chance that you missed Saturday’s Six Nations game, aspects of the postmortem come full-time would have suggested that Wales’ tyros had come to Dublin, raided the place like bloodthirsty Vikings, and returned to the valleys with a triumph tucked under their tunics.

Bundee Aki’s post-match chat with Clare MacNamara would certainly have suggested as much. “We’re a little disappointed ... we’ve got to dust ourselves down and make sure we get better,” he said, like he and his comrades had just been throttled.

Granted, Andy Farrell won’t be happy with aspects of the performance, principally control, accuracy, decision making and ball protection in what was an at times sloppy display, pockmarked by carelessness. (Rugby department: this paragraph has been stolen from John O’Sullivan’s player ratings to make the author look like they know what they’re talking about.)


So, there are plenty of work-ons and learning, or lessons-to-be-learnt as normal people call them. But Ireland won 31-7, equalled the record of 11 Six Nations wins in a row, picked up yet another bonus point, are six points clear of Scotland at the top of the table and, as Matt Williams pointed out later, “have got plus 81 on their points differential, mate”. So, you’d take that.

Granted, there were a few wobbly moments against a Welsh side whose average age appeared to be in or around 14. “He looks young enough to be playing in a schools cup game,” as Donal Lenihan said of fullback Cameron Winnett. He does too.

But as we know, Wales are a team of two halves, opting not to leave their blocks until the second period, so it wasn’t a tremendous surprise that Ireland led 17-0 at half-time. “It’s finger in the dyke stuff,” said Donal of the visitors’ trials.

“They’ve been abysmal,” Jacqui Hurley said of the Welsh at the break. “They’re killing themselves,” Stephen Ferris agreed. Jerry Flannery just shook his head, while Jamie sighed. No contest.

And hardly had Jacqui told us that it was 148 minutes since Ireland had conceded a point when Wales only went and registered seven of them, at which stage Bernard Jackman reassured us that there wouldn’t be a Welsh comeback like the one they produced against Scotland. Moments later: “I’m a little bit worried about Ireland.”

But all was well in the end, yet another win, and you’d never, ever, ever get bored of them. “Five points, happy days,” said Peter O’Mahony, who showed no sign of boredom at all, although Andy Farrell wasn’t exactly Riverdancing about the place. “We got there in the end ... a bit of fixing to do,” he told Clare. Bundee’s chat was the best of the lot largely because he started two of his sentences with “ah sure look”, like he’d been born, bred and buttered a stone’s throw from The Sportsground.

Mind you, Sarra Elgan interviewing Ireland defence coach Simon Easterby on S4C after the game was a bit of a hoot too. “You’ve got some pull, dragging him away from the Irish team,” Jonathan Davies said to her. She ploughed on, getting Easterby’s thoughts on the game, before asking “did you pick up your black socks to wear with your suit later?” “I think so,” he replied unconvincingly. You sensed that through most of their 19 years of marriage, him remembering to bring his suit socks has been an issue.

Anyway, ‘must do better’ was the general consensus of our pundits, none of whom was overly impressed with the Irish display. “Messy,” said Jamie. “Clunky,” said Brian O’Driscoll over on ITV. And “sloppy” said Rob Kearney when Virgin Media came on air for the Scotland v England game. Andrew Trimble, though, addressed the suggestion that it was an ‘ugly win’. “If that’s your ugly win, we’re in a good place,” he said.

Next? Twickenham. And after watching England against Scotland, hopes in the Virgin Media studio were high. “If we were going to show you an England error package, we’d be here for half an hour,” said Matt. “If they play like that against Ireland, Ireland will wipe the floor with them,” said Andrew. And Irish wins in Twickenham are never boring.

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