The Ireland head coach was left wanting more despite a bonus-point victory

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell called for his side to be more ruthless, suggesting they left points out there despite pulling off a 31-7 Six Nations win over Wales in Dublin.

Last year’s Grand Slam champions are bidding to become the first side to repeat the trick in the Six Nations era and took a big step towards that goal with a bonus-point triumph thanks to tries from Dan Sheehan, James Lowe, Ciarán Frawley and Tadhg Beirne.

Related: Ireland v Wales result

Despite taking a 17-0 lead into half-time, Farrell thought his side should have had an even bigger cushion after Wales doubled their penalty count for the entire championship in the first 40 minutes alone, giving away nine penalties.

In his post-match press conference, Farrell was told that Warren Gatland said he felt the scoreline was not reflective (too harsh on Wales), to which the incoming Lions boss replied: “It probably should have been 44-7!

“We had some tries chalked off. They defended really well and it was really hard to break down. I thought we should have been further up in the first half. For the dominance we had in the scrum in the first half, I felt we could have had a bit of a better lead . 

“I understand this is a young Welsh side and they were bloody tough.”

Despite what is a lopsided scoreline on the surface, Ireland by no means had it all their own way. Beirne was sin-binned for illegally changing his bind to stop a rampaging Wales maul with referee Andrea Piardi awarding a penalty try at the start of the second half.

That reduced the arrears to 17-7 and Wales threatened to mount another comeback, after recovering from 27-0 down to 27-26 against Scotland in round one. However, replacement Ronan Kelleher wrestled momentum back Ireland’s way with a key jackal turnover after 19 phases of promising Welsh attack eventually came to nothing.

Farrell, who was pleased to see his side play with more intent in the second half, added: “There was a lot going on in that game. Some of that was our own doing, but a lot of it was because we were playing against a tenacious Wales. Congratulations to them on that. The opposition always has a say in things.”

Captain Peter O’Mahony was similarly positive about Wales’ display, saying: “We know that we can have a bit more intent and a little bit more accuracy but at the same time credit to them, I thought they defended well and tackled well. Some of their collisions and chop tackling was good, like. We’ve been the other side of that card as underdogs and it’s a nice place to be – you can get stuck in and I thought they certainly did that.”

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