Ireland Defy Wales With Roof Request Ahead Of Epic Six Nations Clash

Alun Wyn Jones says Wales have now put a target on their backs after clinching a deserved Six Nations Grand Slam with a 25-7 win over an ill-disciplined Ireland. AFP  Paul ELLIS

The Principality Stadium roof will be open for Saturday's Six Nations clash between Wales and Ireland.

Gatland, who steps down after the World Cup later this year, still tried to suggest they could creep in to the World Cup unnoticed but fell short.

Wales now celebrate just the third Grand Slam in their history and replace Ireland in second in the world rankings heading into the World Cup later this year.

The hosts produced a try after 69 seconds by Hadleigh Parkes off an expert chip by Anscombe, and Wales forced penalties from far and wide that allowed Anscombe to sink Ireland's hopes of retaining the championship.

A victory would ensure a Grand Slam triumph for Wales, while Ireland could only retain their Six Nations crown if they win and Scotland defeat England at Twickenham.

Joe Schmidt had explained that Wales defied protocol and asked Six Nations bosses to close the roof for the game.

Warren Gatland became the first coach to win three Six Nations Grand Slams. AFP  Paul ELLIS
Warren Gatland became the first coach to win three Six Nations Grand Slams. AFP Paul ELLIS

A previous Welsh Grand Slam winning scrum-half has enjoyed a nice afternoon.

Wales were unchanged from the side that beat Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend, while Ireland showed three switches as full-back Rob Kearney, flanker Sean O'Brien and lock Tadhg Beirne, who made his Six Nations debut, all started.

Despite a weather forecast for Cardiff on Saturday of strong winds and torrential rain, Ireland have requested that the roof remain open.

"We'll be first to take our hats off the acknowledge the performance that Wales put in today and then we'll reflect, rebuild and go forward".

"I am proud of the players it is not about me it is about the players they were playing for themselves their families and Wales", said Gatland.

He then put the issue beyond doubt with two penalties during the third quarter, before adding another penalty 10 minutes from time and the celebrations could begin after one of Wales' most dominant displays in recent memory. "They've had so many days in the team when they've been the hub upon which the wheel has turned and the wheel has generally gone forward".

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