Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale says his side’s physicality went to the next level after registering a bonus-point victory over Wales in Round 2.
The hosts demonstrated once again how difficult they are to beat in Dublin and were first to score when full-back Jordan Larmour powered over early on.
Wales did respond promptly through a well-worked Tomos Williams try but scores either side of the break by Tadhg Furlong and Josh van der Flier put Ireland in control.
Andrew Conway’s late try ensured a try-scoring bonus point for Andy Farrell’s men before Justin Tipuric’s consolidation score at the end.
“It’s going to take a few weeks to get into the new coaching structure and new ideas but I thought we did it really well today,” said Stockdale.
“Our physicality was brought to the next level but in all fairness to Wales they came and pushed us hard. It’s great to get the win.
“We are always looking for the kicks in behind and we know the 15s like to get quite high early. It worked out really well today and pleased with the results.
“Wales came and fired a few shots early on and we know how good we can be when we are on it with our carrying and at the breakdown. Once we started to do that the tries started to come.”
Wales may look back and rue Hadleigh Parkes’ knock-on as he attempted to dot down just before the hour mark when they trailed 19-7, but were always playing a chasing game with Ireland’s grip on proceedings proving too strong.
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones admitted in his post-match comments that, despite promising signs at times, the lack of a clinical edge eventually hurt his side in the end.
“We had a couple of errors in the first-half at rucks at crucial times. There were a series of penalties we felt we should have got more from but we didn’t,” the 34-year-old said.
“They probably realised we had the environment with us in the first half and wanted to kick in into the wind. Sometimes you can overthink it [the wind], I’m not sure we did that, but they hemmed us in at the end with the wind.
“Ultimately rugby is about winning. You can have all the enterprise in the world and beauty in the game you like, but it’s ultimately about the result.”