Ireland back on track after rare away win over Wales as Rugby World Cup looms

Ireland wing Jacob Stockdale crosses for one of his two tries against Wales
Ireland wing Jacob Stockdale crosses for one of his two tries against Wales

WALES 17 IRELAND 22

After a heavy loss to England at Twickenham, Ireland showed their resilience by registering a rare away win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

The third warm up game for Joe Schmidt's men in green ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan saw them possibly produce the best display - easily after the record loss to England 57-15 a week ago and a comfortable home success, if somewhat rusty, against Italy three weeks previous.

The win saw Ireland return to second (from fourth) in the World Rugby rankings, the loss saw Wales drop from first to fourth which means defending World Champions New Zealand are back to top of the standings. Had Ireland beaten Wales by 15 points or more, they would have went first for the first time in history.

And that looked to be on the cards as they led 22-3 at the hour mark approached, before a late rally from Warren Gatland's Wales - his last home game in charge before departing after the World Cup - brought them within a winning score.

Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale led the way with two first-half tries for Ireland before being replaced at the break.

Fly-half Jack Carty added a conversion and penalty for the visitors, while his opposite number Jarrod Evans kicked a penalty before going off at half-time and being replaced by Rhys Patchell, with a second-half penalty try sealing Wales' fate.

Wales finished strongly, with debutant wing Owen Lane and Patchell claiming late tries the latter converting both.

Gatland and Schmidt will decide on their final 31-man squads for the World Cup which starts on September 20 on Sunday, both will have had some questions answered from their respective performances on Saturday, there will be some further thought on a few questions which still remain unanswered. It is understood Schmidt will not reveal his 31-man squad until September 8.