Ireland v Wales

Ireland v Wales

Six Nations Records Suggest Dublin Will Be Mission Impossible For Wales

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By David Parsons

The size of the task facing Wales this weekend is illustrated by the statistics provided by the Guinness Six Nations official partners OPTA.

When it comes to the tournament, Ireland have posted more wins than any other nation over the 26 years, have the highest win percentage and the second biggest points and try scorers.

Only England have scored more points and tries.

Those figures have delivered three Grand Slams, seven Triple Crowns and five Championship titles in what is the greatest period in the history of Irish rugby.

Now, they are chasing something that has only happened five times in the past – back-to-back Grand Slams.

After wins over France and Italy, Wales are next up as Peter O’Mahoney’s side look to stay on course to join Wales (1908-09), England (1913-14, 1923-24, 1991-92) and France (1997-98) in completing a clean sweep in successive seasons.

The crushing 36-0 win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Round 2 made it 10 Championship wins in a row.

Another win over Wales this weekend would enable O’Mahoney’s men to equal the tournament’s all-time record of 11 straight wins by England between 2015-17.

The omens are good given the recent form of Wales at this level.

Ireland are unbeaten in each of their last five home games against Wales in the Six Nations (W4 D1), winning the last three in a row.

They’ve never won more consecutive matches (W3 on 5 previous occasions) or enjoyed a longer unbeaten streak (W4 D1 between 1888-96) at home to Wales in the history of the Championship.

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Wales have lost nine of their last 10 Six Nations matches, including their last three.

Five of those defeats have come by four points or fewer, including both matches so far this campaign (1 point v Scotland, 2 points v England).

The last three Irish wins over Wales have been by 20+ points and they have won six of the last seven against the team in red.

Making it almost ‘Mission Impossible’ for Warren Gatland’s team in Dublin will be the strength of Ireland’s record on home soil.

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Ireland have won 38 of their last 40 Test matches on home soil (L2), with only England (2019) and France (2021) winning in Dublin in that spell.

The current run of 17 consecutive home wins is the best in their Test history.

A third win of the 2024 campaign would be the perfect way for O’Mahoney to celebrate making what is expected to be his 50th appearance in the Six Nations.

That would make him the ninth Irish player to reach that milestone in the Championship, joining Rory Best, Ronan O’Gara, Brian O’Driscoll, Cian Healy, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, John Hayes and Paul O’Connell.

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