Wales v Ireland: Memorable previous meetings between the sides chasing Six Nations glory in Cardiff
Wales and Ireland face a huge Guinness Six Nations clash in Cardiff on Saturday.
Victory for Wales would see them crowned Grand Slam champions, but an Ireland success would mean they retain the title, provided Scotland defeat England at Twickenham.
Here, Press Association Sport recounts three memorable Wales versus Ireland Six Nations encounters in Cardiff.
Wales 32 Ireland 20 (March 19, 2005)
Wales ended a 27-year wait for Five or Six Nations Grand Slam success by beating Ireland with a performance that was underpinned by prop Gethin Jenkins’ charge-down try, full-back Kevin Morgan’s touchdown and 16 points from fly-half Stephen Jones, while Gavin Henson dropped a goal and kicked a penalty. Wales’ first Six Nations title - achieved under Mike Ruddock’s coaching direction - came just two years after suffering a Six Nations whitewash and collecting the wooden spoon.
Wales: K Morgan; M Taylor, T Shanklin, G Henson, S Williams; S Jones, D Peel; G Jenkins, M Davies, A Jones, B Cockbain, R Sidoli, R Jones, M Williams, M Owen (capt).
Ireland: G Murphy; G Dempsey, B O’Driscoll (capt), K Maggs, D Hickie; R O’Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes, M O’Kelly, P O’Connell, S Easterby, J O’Connor, A Foley.
Wales 15 Ireland 17 (March 21, 2009)
Ireland turned the tables on Wales four years later, claiming their first Grand Slam for 61 years and denying their opponents a Triple Crown in the process. Second-half tries from Brian O’Driscoll and Tommy Bowe put Ireland in front, but Wales looked to have clinched victory when Stephen Jones landed a drop-goal five minutes from time. It was the cue, though, for a frenzied finale as Ronan O’Gara edged Ireland ahead three minutes later with a drop-goal, then Jones saw a long-range penalty attempt fall short and the visitors held on.
Wales: L Byrne; M Jones, T Shanklin, G Henson, S Williams; S Jones, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees, A. Jones, I Gough, A W Jones, D Jones, M Williams, R Jones (capt).
Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; R O’Gara, T O’Leary; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell, S Ferris, D Wallace, J Heaslip.
Wales 22 Ireland 30 (February 2, 2013)
With head coach Warren Gatland preparing for a British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, Rob Howley took the reins for Wales, and he could only look on as Ireland stormed into a 23-3 interval lead. Then Brian O’Driscoll added a third try for the visitors before Wales hit back with touchdowns by Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Craig Mitchell. Although Ireland triumphed, they did not win another game in that season’s Six Nations. Wales, meanwhile, claimed four successive victories and landed the title courtesy of thumping Grand Slam-chasing England.
Wales: L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts; G North; D Biggar, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees, A Jones, A Coombs, I Evans, A Shingler, S Warburton (capt), T Faletau.
Ireland: R Kearney; C Gilroy, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; C Heal, R Best, M Ross, M McCarthy, D Ryan, P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip (capt).