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Sexton denies Wales winning start

Jonny Sexton: Fly-half denied Wales the win
Jonny Sexton: Fly-half denied Wales the win

JONATHAN SEXTON’s late penalty ensured that it finished honours even between Wales and Ireland in a compelling RBS 6 Nations clash on Sunday at the Aviva Stadium.

The home side raced into a 13-0 lead in the first half thanks to two Sexton penalties and a close-range try from his half-back partner Conor Murray.

Wales – who lost Gareth Anscombe to injury before the game and Dan Biggar after only 20 minutes – then mounted a superb comeback.

Taulupe Faletau crossed for a try while Rhys Priestland – on the for the injured Biggar – kicked 11 points to put the visitors in front at 16-13.

But any Welsh hopes of a third win in their last four trips to Dublin were ended with five minutes to go when Sexton held his nerve to slot over his third penalty of the day.

Both sides showed superb ambition with ball in hand throughout and with clock in the red neither wanted to settle for a draw.

But in the end they both ran out of steam and it finished as a share of the spoils for the first time between the two teams since 1974.