Only one moment and one player to be happy about after grim first half 8 months ago

Only one moment and one player to be happy about after grim first half

Tadhg Beirne wanted a chance to show what he can do and, after 30 minutes of rugby, he was showing what he can do.

It was far from a good opening half for Ireland - and even further than far, to be honest. Wales' try after 71 seconds and the sound of the Millennium Stadium pushing them home for their first Grand Slam since 2012 laid down a scary marker as to the real reality of what Ireland would face.

16-0, the scoreboard read after the opening period in a rain-ruined Cardiff but there was at least one call for optimism in an otherwise poor half for Ireland.

The talent of Tadhg Beirne and his exploits with Munster are no secret to even the less keen rugby fan and his ability to rip possession back for his team is something that should never be underestimated, so his lack of game time so far for Ireland has seemed a little harsh.

Well, he got the nod in the big one on the final day of the Six Nations and, alongside James Ryan, showed what he was about.

Safe hands from the lineout, zero missed tackles - with three successful ones in there - and an unbelievable turnover on the try line on poor Ken Owens when he showed clever, slick and aggressive hands to wrestle the ball back for the men in green summed up a huge 40 minutes for him but, unfortunately, he was on his own really in terms of positives from the team.

Back amongst the Scarlets, Beirne was an animal for Ireland and that turnover on Owens was nothing to be sniffed at.

And the Irish fans and journalists were impressed with him too. If nothing else was taking their fancy.