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Ireland laid down a marker for the Six Nations title easing to a convincing 29-7 victory over champions Wales at Lansdowne Road on Saturday for their ninth successive Test win.
Two tries early in the second-half for winger Andrew Conway gave the hosts the breathing space they needed having led 10-0 at half-time and they come away too with a bouns point win.
The victory sets them up nicely for a tricky trip to France next Saturday whilst Wales deprived of several stalwarts will have to pick themselves up for their next game against Scotland.
"This is a big win against the reigning champions and to come away with five points is huge," said Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.
"We knew it was not going to be pretty in the windy conditions but we used the breeze behind us in the second-half to our advantage.
"You are never going to be perfect in the first game but the big thing is to get off with a win as last year we lost our first game (against Wales) and the Grand Slam and Triple Crown were gone."
The game -- held in front of a capacity crowd in Dublin for the first time in a Six Nations match for almost two years due to Covid-19 restrictions -- had been preceded by a minute's silence in memory of former Test captain and 1982 Five Nations winning coach Tom Kiernan, who died aged 83 on Thursday.
Player of the match Mack Hansen made an instant impact on his debut setting up Ireland with great position inside the Wales 22 after an electric burst of pace and chip ahead by the Australia-born winger.
The 23-year-old then provided the pass which let Bundee Aki touch down in the corner inside three minutes for his seventh try in 34 Tests.
Sexton converted for 7-0 and then added a penalty after missing two to give the hosts a 10-0 lead in the 21st minute.
Wales tried to steady the ship and managed a couple of forays into the home 22 but on both occasions sloppy knock ons handed possession back to Ireland.
No. 8 Jack Conan symbolised the solidity of the Ireland defence as he claimed a great steal as Wales prop Wyn Jones broke into the 22.
The Irish finished the half as they had started it with piling the pressure on the Welsh defence but this time they held firm and the visitors were probably relieved trooping off at only being 10-0 down.
The Welsh could take heart from being the only side to have previously come back from being pointless at half-time to win a Six Nations match since 2014 -- when they trailed France 16-0 in 2019.
However, their task became ever harder after Conway went over in the corner beating three defenders -- Sexton converted brilliantly from the touchline.
Josh Adams had been having a torrid time at centre -- the first time the wing had played a Test in that position -- and it got worse when he was sin-binned for shoulder-charging Sexton in the 50th minute.
"Nowhere near the ball, it's reckless," said Peyper as he wielded the yellow card at Adams.
The hosts took immediate advantage of being a man more as first Conway then Josh van der Flier pierced the Welsh defence.
Jamison Gibson-Park picked out Conway with a superb pass for the wing to go in for his second try -- Sexton showing no ill effects converted for 24-0.
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was on his feet punching the air in delight when Garry Ringrose scored a winderful solo try, taking Aki's pass well outside the Welsh 22 and then sending Liam WIlliams the wrong way to touch down.
Sexton's conversion went wide leaving the Irish 29-0 ahead and just under 20 minutes to play -- the 36-year-old playmaker was withdrawn shortly afterwards saving himself for the tough task ahead against Les Bleus in Paris next week.
The Welsh at least managed to avoid a whitewash -- which would have been their first since Australia nilled them in 2007 -- as Tadhg Beirne offload went to Taine Basham who went in under the posts.