Warren Gatland's side were penalised nine times in the first 40 minutes at the Aviva Stadium

The Wales penalty count for the 2024 Six Nations doubled in the first half against Ireland as they went in 17-0 down at the break.

Despite losing two on the bounce, admittedly by slender margins, to Scotland and England, Warren Gatland’s men came into round three with an impressive disciplinary record.

Read more: How to watch the Six Nations wherever you are

They had only conceded nine penalties in the championship, giving away four in that thrilling one-point defeat to Scotland in Cardiff on the opening weekend and conceding a further five at Twickenham last time out.

But in Dublin, referee Andrea Piardi – who became the first Italian to taken charge of a men’s Six Nations match – penalised Wales nine times and was forced to issue captain Dafydd Jenkins with a warning about his team’s conduct inside half an hour.

Wales penalty count racks up

In truth, it could have been even worse for Wales as on three occasions Piardi awarded Ireland penalty advantage without coming back for the offence. If you take that into consideration, Wales were technically guilty of giving away 12 penalties.

In the 16th minute, Ireland tore into the Wales scrum and Piardi played advantage before adding a second one for offside. However, Ireland progressed sufficiently far enough down the field for him to call advantage over before they coughed the ball up.

Dan Sheehan’s maul try, after Jack Crowley’s early penalty, got Ireland motoring and when James Lowe squeezed in for a try in the corner, Wales were in serious trouble. In the build-up to Lowe’s score – which was fashioned well by Ireland’s backs who capitalised on an overlap  – Nick Tompkins was called for offside.

As Ireland scored, ref Piardi did not come back for the offence – which could have seen the Saracens centre sent to the bin as it came just minutes after the team warning.

While the penalty count – seven in the first 23 minutes – made for grim reading, Wales could take heart from some ferocious defence which held Ireland at bay for plenty of passages of play.

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