Six Nations | Ireland secure bonus-point win over Wales
There will be no repeat Grand Slam for Wales in 2020.
Ireland produced four tries in a 24-14 bonus-point win over the reigning Six Nations champions at the Aviva Stadium to continue their strong start under Andy Farrell.
Jordan Larmour, Tadhg Furlong, Josh van der Flier and Andrew Conway scored the tries, two of which were converted by captain Johnny Sexton, in a much-improved performance from the hosts in Dublin.
Tomos Williams and Justin Tipuric crossed the whitewash for Wales, who whitewashed Italy 42-0 in their opening Six Nations match last weekend.
The 10-point bonus-point win leaves Ireland on top of the rankings on nine points, four points ahead of England and Scotland.
Farrell's men made a bright start at the blustery Aviva, but failed to convert early pressure and possession into points on the scoreboard.
Larmour's quick feet and explosive pace forged a breakthrough for Ireland in the 19th minute.
The Leinster star side-stepped past Nick Tompkins collected Conor Murray's pass, left multiple Wales defenders in his wake before sprinting over for his seventh international try.
Sexton, sporting a bandaged leg, failed to score the resulting conversion.
Wales responded eight minutes later with a try of their own.
Scrum-half Williams raced under the posts after a clever interchange between Dan Biggar and Welsh skipper Alun Wyn Jones.
Biggar nailed his conversion to kick Wales into a 7-5 lead.
#TeamOfUs Highlights from Ireland’s bonus point win against Wales in Round 2 of the #GuinnessSixNations #shouldertoshoulder #IREvWAL pic.twitter.com/veA9UFBlCT — Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 8, 2020
Wales lost prolific try-scorer Josh Adams, who plundered a hat-trick against Italy last weekend, to injury.
Ireland reacted well to falling behind, regaining their lead within five minutes of Williams' try. After forcing Wales into several unforced errors, the hosts put the pressure on at the scrum, winning a penalty advantage deep in the visitors' half.
Furlong eventually bundled over from close range following several phases of attacking play, with strong work from Rob Herring and Peter O'Mahony opening up the opportunity for the Leinster man.
Sexton converted to make it 12-7 to Farrell's team in the 33rd minute; his accurate effort proving to be the last score of the first half.
Ireland and Wales lost Rob Henshaw (replaced by Keith Earls) and Biggar respectively to head injury assessments early in the second period.
In the 47th minute, Van der Flier touched down Ireland's third try after a lineout maul, with Sexton's second conversion extending Ireland's lead to 10 points.
Wales thought they had reduced the deficit soon afterwards, only to see Hadleigh Parkes' try ruled out after a TMO consultation.
Max Deegan came on for Ireland to make his international debut, with Dave Kilcoyne, John Cooney and Ross Byrne also being introduced from the bench.
Andrew Conway sealed a bonus point in the 75th minute, notching Ireland's fourth try to put the game beyond doubt.
Byrne found Larmour, who slung the ball out wide for the excellent Conway to burst past Johnny McNicholl and ground the crucial fourth try.
Justin Tipuric scored a consolation try for Wales in the dying seconds, which Biggar converted with the last kick of the match.
Two out of two for Ireland, who are on course to challenge for the Triple Crown, the Championship and perhaps even the Grand Slam.
So far so good for Andy Farrell.