Joe Schmidt begged fans not to give up Ireland after last year's Grand Slam champions crashed into a humiliating 25-7 defeat in Wales, their second major loss of the Six Nations campaign.
The Welsh have packed a third Grand Slam under Warren Gatland in 11 years and can look forward to the World Cup with optimism. Ireland, in third place, will review everything about their design, how they prepare for who has been selected.
"We urge supporters not to lose confidence," said head coach Schmidt. "The team will perform in Japan, England was fifth place last year after it was back-to-back champion. We are not catastrophic but we have not been as good as we should be." I take my hat off for Warren Gatland To be an international coach for 12 years and to be so competitive, I have done six years and it almost killed me, they know how to fight their way to the finish line. "
The roof of the Principality Stadium – opened or closed? – It seemed like a handy rule for the media to fill the space in the run-up to this game. But given the nature of the match it went well after the last whistle. Ireland collected 20 sales and 11 penalty points on a day when almost everything they touched ended up on the deck.
"Perhaps it was a mistake not to close the roof," said Schmidt. "In retrospect, what would it have looked like if the roof were closed? I don't know."
The weather was terrible and the significance of Wales' great start – Hadleigh Parkes hit with just over a minute – was huge in such difficult circumstances. With an under-performing pack, which created more pressure for halfbacks Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, who both struggled again.
"There was frustration there," Schmidt said about Sexton's exchange with referee Angus Gardner. "He (Sexton) has been very positive all week, he is developing his way, he was a lynchpin for so many positive victories.
"We won 23 of our last 26 games, we finished third in the Six Nations and once in a while it wasn't a catastrophe." That we have won three of the five titles makes this a dip under our standards. good if we want to be. I would like to think that the real supporter is still behind us. Jonathan and Conor have had so many days that they were the turntable on which the whole thing has changed. They are not the reason we lost. "
Wales coach Gatland will cancel the normal Six Nations review he records with the rest of the technical staff a few days after these campaigns are completed.
"We are now meeting for lunch on what will be a long afternoon," he said. "There is no doubt that I was pretty emotional, I get a buzz from lifting the trophy." Two words will summarize everything in terms of this Six Nations (review): pretty good, and that's the review. "
You can imagine how that afternoon will unfold. This was a record 14th win on his side, a third Grand Slam on his watch, and in circumstances where he wanted a closed roof, but instead had to look through a downpour. Regardless of what coaches say in public, the World Cup years put a different shadow on the Six Nations. Thus, despite the miserable state of their domestic game, Wales will go to Japan with a big heart.
In the other bands of the round, Italy missed a range of chances to beat France in Rome, leaving coach Conor O & # 39; Shea still without points in this game after a 25-14 loss, while in Twickenham England and Scotland a 38-38 draw played in the most exciting Calcutta Cup game in years.
It was the first time that the bulkheads had kept away the defeat to England since 1983. The result left Eddie Jones & # 39; s side, who saved the draw with the clock in the red, in second place in the championship. Scotland came back after a half hour of 31-0 to score 38-31 with four minutes to go. They ran in the second half in five attempts.
Sunday Indo Sport