Six Nations 2017: Ireland ready for Cardiff noise - Best

Six Nations 2017: Ireland ready for Cardiff noise - Best

England, on a national-record run of 17 straight victories, will retain the championship by beating Scotland at Twickenham on Saturday. They have got a big finish against England next week.

The Six Nations organisers want more grounds to commit to Friday night matches, but unless a stadium can recreate the fiery atmosphere that's created in Cardiff, then it simply won't feel right.

They rewarded him with a fierce first 10 minutes in front of a raucous Friday night crowd in Cardiff but failed to produce points as Joe Schmidt's defenders stood firm.

The wet ball made handling hazardous.

Wales had the frantic energy of a team that had spent the previous 10 days looking at video nasties of previous defeats.

"They were individual mistakes because they didn't do what they practiced in the buildup to the game", Edwards said, in pointed reference to winger George North. He had barely made it to the dressing room when Wales took the lead with North's second try of the championship.

It was Ireland's turn to respond.

And former Wales captain Warburton, who lines up in the back-row alongside Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty, accepts that a response is required.

Sexton returned to fray after that kick. Conor Murray soldiered on after extended physio treatment but was clearly impeded by an apparent arm injury.

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A fine cross-field kick put Davies within two metres of the line only for Sexton to make the tackle, but the fly-half was trapped on the wrong side and Wayne Barnes had no choice but to produce the yellow card. Wales had to settle for a Halfpenny penalty to leave Rob Howley's men leading 8-6 at the break.

But interim head coach Rob Howley refused to bow to pressure for wholesale changes and picked an unchanged team to play the Irish, victory for whom would set up a Six Nations title decider against England in Dublin on March 18.

Ireland gained a lineout within striking distance with 12 minutes to with the maul driving forward but Barnes' ultimately awarded a penalty to Wales for obstruction as that attack was stymied. Directly after that score Murray was replaced by understudy Kieran Marmion of Connacht at No 9.

Both teams must agree to close the roof, otherwise it stays open.

Wales was under pressure after its scoreless second-half display against Scotland two weeks ago, with North taking much of the flak - particularly from his own defense coach Shaun Edwards - for conceding a try on his wing at Murrayfield.

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce his squad for the New Zealand tour on April 19 and there will be plenty of candidates treading the boards on Friday. Sexton resorted to kicking behind an unyielding defence and when Halfpenny was forced into touch five metres out, Rory Best was driven over the line only for the try to be ruled out because Henshaw entered the maul from the side.

Tries North 2, Roberts.

Ireland No8 Jamie Heaslip will be making his 100th Test appearance.

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