|Wales (3) 10|
|Tries: L Williams Cons: Biggar Pens: Biggar|
|Ireland (27) 34|
|Tries: Doris, Ryan, Lowe, Van der Flier Cons: Sexton 3, R Byrne Pens: Sexton 2|
Warren Gatland’s return was spoiled by Ireland as the world’s number one side humbled Wales in the opening Six Nations match in Cardiff.
Ireland’s storming start saw tries from Caelan Doris, James Ryan and James Lowe and 12 points from Johnny Sexton establish a 27-3 half-time lead.
Wales improved in the second half and responded with a Liam Williams try.
But it was Ireland who completed the scoring with a bonus-point try for flanker Josh van der Flier.
That put the gloss on Ireland’s first Six Nations victory in Cardiff for 10 years as Andy Farrell’s side took another step in the right direction as they target Six Nations and World Cup success in 2023.
Gatland, who was brought back as Wales coach to replace fellow New Zealander Wayne Pivac, will now know the size of his task in a World Cup year.
Ireland overpowered a woeful Wales side in the first half, with the hosts repeatedly punished for ill-discipline and inaccuracy.
The second half saw Wales dominate possession and territory but Ireland were content to absorb the pressure as they continually turned over their opponents.
The fourth and final try demonstrated Ireland’s clinical edge as they recorded their biggest Six Nations win in Cardiff since 2001.
Ireland number eight Doris was outstanding, while player-of-the-match Hugo Keenan excelled from full-back.
More to follow.
Wales: L Williams; Adams, North, Hawkins, Dyer; Biggar, T Williams; G Thomas, Owens (capt), Francis, Beard, AW Jones, Morgan, Tipuric, Faletau.
Replacements: Baldwin, Carre, Lewis, Jenkins, Reffell, Webb, O Williams, Cuthbert.
Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, McCloskey, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Murray; Porter, Sheehan, Bealham, Beirne, Ryan, O’Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris
Replacements: Herring, Healy, O’Toole, Henderson, Conan, Casey, R Byrne, Aki.
Referee: Karl Dickson (ENG)
Touch judges: Angus Gardner (AUS) & Luke Pearce (ENG)
TMO: Tom Foley (ENG).