WALES will have to win at Twickenham to stand a chance of defending their Six Nations title after 24-14 defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

Welsh chances of repeating the 2019 Grand Slam were ended by an under-par performance at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland weren’t exactly dazzling but made it two from two and got their bonus thanks to tries by full-back Jordan Larmour, prop Tadhg Furlong, flanker Josh van der Flier and wing Andrew Conway.

Wales scored a cracker through scrum-half Tomos Williams but the game was over by the time flanker Justin Tipuric, once again their best performer, crossed at the death.

Two moments on the line at the Lansdowne Road end of the ground were vital.

Wales had just got their noses in front when Williams dropped a simple ball in the process of clearing to gift Ireland a five-metre scrum at the end of the first half. Minutes later Furlong powered over.

Then in the second half Wales had a period of dominance when trailing 19-7 only for centre Hadleigh Parkes to just lose control of the ball when stretching to ground it.

Had the Scarlets back scored then it could have been a different story but instead they now have no room for manoeuvre in the title tussle.

They need to beat France and Scotland in Cardiff either side of a must-win trip to London to face England.

New boss Wayne Pivac will also be looking for his side to be more fluent in attack after finding themselves on the back foot in Dublin.

New boss but same squad and Wales showed the same resilience that was a feature of the Warren Gatland era to stay in the game until the clock moved into the 70s.

However, they could have few complaints about the result and will be frustrated at allowing the Irish to back up their win against Scotland with a five-point haul.

Penarth Times: Dan Biggar scramblesDan Biggar scrambles

Ireland had the better of the opening exchanges, with the edge in territory and possession, but the Welsh defence held firm.

Both teams were getting to grips with the tricky wind, which was making it hard to judge trajectories and depth.

Ireland were frustrated by turnovers in the Welsh 22 – one after good maul defence from a penalty that was kicked for a five-metre lineout – but they finally got a reward for their dominance after 19 minutes.

They hammered away with one-out runners before spreading the ball wide right for full-back Jordan Larmour to expose centre Nick Tompkins in defence and go over for a 5-0 lead.

Sexton’s conversion was ugly and the hosts’ advantage was turned into a deficit in the 28th minute after a peach of a score.

Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones produced a one-two wide on the right to move into the 22, where the fly-half put scrum-half Tomos Williams over for a try that he converted.

But the try scorer was swiftly on the highlights reel for a different reason, taking his eye off the ball when about to clear.

That gave Ireland a five-metre scrum and with penalty advantage – a fortunate penalty advantage – they hammered away before tighthead Tadhg Furlong finished impressively and powerfully.

The hosts led 12-7 at half-time and again opted for the corner to try and stretch their lead rather than going for the posts from a penalty.

The decision paid off with drive resulting in a seven-pointer, flanker Josh van der Flier crossing (after the TMO saw nothing to turn over the on-field decision of try) and Sexton converting.

Wales trailed 19-7 with half an hour left and had to mirror the Irish by going for the corner when chasing the game.

They looked to have worked their way right back into the game when centre Hadleigh Parkes took a direct line and reached over but the TMO decided that he had lost control of the ball. A close call but the correct one.

Penarth Times:

Wales suddenly had more territory and possession and needed to make it count as the hour approached.

Irish penalties were racking up and captain Sexton was told to pass on a warning to his team.

It was Wales’ best period of the game yet their bubble was burst when they were penalised on their own five-metre scrum.

Ireland were lifted and moved to the other 22 where they tried to score any points that would secure the spoils.

It was a fourth try for the bonus rather than three from the tee that did it, wing Andrew Conway getting the score his performance deserved after being put over down the right by Larmour.

Wales had the final say when Justin Tipuric, their best performer, reached over from a driving lineout but it was a pointless afternoon to leave them playing catch-up in the title race.

Ireland: J Larmour, A Conway, R Henshaw, B Aki, J Stockdale, J Sexton (captain, R Byrne 71), C Murray, C Healy, R Herring, T Furlong, I Henderson, J Ryan, P O’Mahony, J van der Flier, CJ Stander. Replacements: R Kelleher, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, D Toner, M Deegan, J Cooney, R Byrne, K Earls.

Scorers: Tries – J Larmour, T Furlong, J van der Flier, A Conway; conversions – J Sexton (2)

Wales: L Halfpenny, G North, N Tompkins, H Parkes, J Adams (J McNicholl 24), D Biggar (J Evans 44), T Williams (G Davies 48), W Jones (R Carre 63), K Owens (R Elias 74), D Lewis (L Brown 66), J Ball (A Beard 71), AW Jones (captain), A Wainwright (R Moriarty 48), J Tipuric, T Faletau.

Scorers: Tries – T Williams, J Tipuric; conversions – D Biggar, L Halfpenny

Referee: Romain Poite (France)