Finn Russell Ireland bounces back with win against Wales

Finn Russell Ireland bounces back with win against Wales

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CARDIFF, WALES –Ireland restored some pride by beating Wales 22-17 in a scrappy Rugby World Cup warmup between second-string sides on Saturday.

The Irish were in desperation mode after enduring a 57-15 thrashing from England last weekend at Twickenham and responded by pulling ahead 22-3 in Cardiff thanks to a penalty try off their dominant scrum nearly an hour into the game.

Wales then began its own comeback, after prop Leon Brown came out of the sin-bin, with tries by wing Owen Lane in his debut and replacement flyhalf Rhys Patchell, who converted both and engineered the rally.

But time ran out on Wales, costing it an 11-test win streak at home — its longest since 1912 — and the No. 1 test ranking, which was restored to world champion New Zealand.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt made 11 changes, and flyhalf Jack Carty starred with his vision and distribution. His offload to bursting wing Andrew Conway set up Jacob Stockdale’s first try, and Stockdale scored the second from a dropped Welsh offload.

Ireland’s set-pieces were also reliable, earning six penalties from scrums, and losing only one throw-in after losing six against England.

“(Winning) was massive for us,” Carty said. “We were all hurting during the week but we came together. It wasn’t perfect at times but our defense was good.”

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