Hugo Keenan shows incredible speed to save the day after rollicking Irish start
Came out of nowhere.
Ireland started like a freight train against Wales, in their Six Nations opener, but Hugo Keenan needed every yard of his old Sevens rugby pace to maintain their rollicking start.
Andy Farrell's men raced into a 14-10 lead after only 10 minutes, with Caelan Doris and James Ryan crashing over. The first blow Wales landed came after 12 minutes but Keenan raced to the rescue.
Johnny Sexton was rumbled in midfield and the ball was knocked from his grasp as he was tackled when attempting a pass. The Ireland captain wanted a knock-on against Wales but play raged on.
Rio Dyer has been in fantastic form for Dragons and Wales all season and the winger looked odds-on to get his side back in the game. Somehow, after giving up several metres, Hugo Keenan made up ground and reached the ball before Dyer for a fine try-saver.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 4, 2023
Wales fans fume, moments after Hugo Keenan try-saver
Hugo Keenan had denied Wales with his great covering defence but the home side had an attacking scrum inside the Ireland 22.
A few phases later, Wales were awarded a penalty and captain Ken Owens opted for three points rather than kicking for touch. Many of their supporters took to social media to vent their surprise and frustration at the conservative play. A lot of them wanted them to kick for touch and chase for a seven-pointer.
Wales taking 3 when 14-0 down says to me they’re not confident… pic.twitter.com/yonVq5BssI
— Brian Moylett | Mindset & Performance Coach (@offfieldrugby) February 4, 2023
As it was, Dan Biggar chipped over three easy points but Wales rarely got a look at the Ireland 22v for the next 20 minutes. Ireland responded to that penalty with two of their own, from Johnny Sexton, and a James Lowe intercept try. After only 32 minutes, Warren Gatland's men were 27-3 behind and reeling.
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