SIX NATIONS RUGBY: Ireland supremacy against Wales not reflected in Dublin scoreline

Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale races clear to seal the win against Wales after intercepting a pass
Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale races clear to seal the win against Wales after intercepting a pass

Ireland stormed ever closer to a NatWest 6 Nations title showdown with England by dismissing Wales 37-27 in Dublin.

Jacob Stockdale bagged a brace, with Bundee Aki, Dan Leavy and Cian Healy all crossing too as Ireland racked up a bonus-point victory to stun Warren Gatland's Wales.

Visiting scrum-half Gareth Davies had vowed Wales would chase a bonus-point win of their own in Ireland in the build-up - but Ireland made a mockery of that prediction with a consummate, if nerve-jangling - triumph.

Peerless scrum-half Conor Murray's sterling service greased the gears on Ireland's smooth operation, with Joe Schmidt's men even shrugging off Johnny Sexton unusually missing 10 points with the boot.

Despite dominating for large swathes, Ireland only ended up winning the day thanks to Murray's late penalty goal and a last-gasp intercept score for Stockdale.

Head coach Schmidt's Ireland men face England at Twickenham on March 17 in a tournament-closing encounter. On this evidence, Irish hopes will warm towards a potential St Patrick's Day victory to treasure.

Eddie Jones' England will doubtless prove a different proposition, but all that now stands between Ireland and that final-weekend showdown is the Scotland clash in Dublin on March 10.

Half-back Davies, Aaron Shingler and Steff Evans grabbed tries for Wales, but the visitors were outmuscled and outclassed, eventually.

Dan Leavy, Keith Earls and Chris Farrell all shone brightly as Ireland coped manfully without key injured trio Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Robbie Henshaw.

Not even Sexton's off-kilter day from the tee, possibly down to his stiff back, could derail Ireland's potent performance at the Aviva Stadium.

The scoreline failed to reflect Ireland's supremacy, with the hosts unable to capitalise on mountains of territory and possession.