IRELAND made it six Test defeats on the spin for Wales after dishing out a 32-9 drubbing in Dublin. Under-pressure boss Wayne Pivac cannot afford the streak to stretch to seven.

The Autumns Nations Cup opener at the Aviva Stadium went the way of the hosts, who got their noses in front thanks to Quinn Roux’s powerful finish and protected their lead with ease before a debut try at the death by James Lowe.

After being lucky to trail just 16-6 at the break, Wales were briefly better in the second half before losing their way and they need to up their game considerably against Georgia in Llanelli next weekend.

Their discipline was poor, their set piece was a shambles (with loosehead Wyn Jones called into action after 39 minutes because of a tough night for promising prop Rhys Carre) and there was very little attacking verve, naturally linked to the scrum and lineout struggles.

Defence coach Byron Hayward was given the boot last Sunday and he won’t be the only one dusting down their CV if the Lelos cause an upset at Parc y Scarlets. That’s assuming another shock departure doesn’t happen.

Coach Pivac would have planned to ring the changes for the clash with Georgia – giving a chance to the likes of Dragons speedster Jonah Holmes and others who have yet to taste autumn action – but now he will have to really chase a first success since beating Italy at the start of the Six Nations.

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He was given food for thought by those that came off the bench in Dublin but it must all start up front next weekend. Select the best set piece team and fill in the rest of the line-up.

If it wasn’t a must-win game in Dublin, a tricky place to visit after all, then it was certainly must perform strongly encounter.

The Six Nations at the start of the year didn’t go to plan but it wasn’t disastrous but the displays in defeat to France and Scotland had been deflating.

Pivac admitted they failed to fire any shots against the Scots and that was repeated in a nightmare first half.

Wales botched an early chance to put on the pressure with an overthrown lineout by Ryan Elias and it was then Ireland’s turn to be wasteful with a botched lineout after a powerful scrum had put them into the 22.

Nonetheless, they put the squeeze on from the resulting set piece – Carre pinged for the second time – to earn a penalty that Jonathan Sexton put between the posts for a 3-0 lead after 10 minutes.

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The defence was then tested by a 17-phase Irish attack that moved to within a yard of the line before a vital turnover by.

That stand on the line was rewarded when back-to-back penalties at the breakdown ended with a leveller from Leigh Halfpenny.

But Ireland were rewarded for going for a scrum rather than three points after 23 minutes when lock Roux, a late call-up for Iain Henderson, powered over from close range for a try that Sexton converted.

Yet another botched lineout put Wales under pressure to concede another penalty that the Ireland number 10 punished to make it 13-3, his final act before going off with a hamstring strain.

Halfpenny reduced the gap after a rare penalty to the men in red from the scrum only for the pack to be pushed off their own ball for Billy Burns to open his account in Test rugby from the tee.

Wales had offered nothing with the ball and were relieved to head to their changing room just 16-6 down after the lineout nightmare continued five metres out only for Ireland tighthead Andrew Porter to fail to ground the ball cleanly.

The second half started more promisingly and good work by Elias at the contact area gave Halfpenny a shot at goal from halfway but it was just out of the full-back’s range.

A simpler chance soon came courtesy of flanker Shane Lewis-Hughes’ industry at the breakdown and this time the Scarlets man made it 16-9 with 50 minutes gone.

Wales were back in it, yet it took superb defence by Taulupe Faletau to get underneath Cian Healy after Caelan Doris charged down Gareth Davies’ clearance kick.

More determined defence in the 22 after the five-metre scrum completed the escape only for Davies to then miss touch and Ireland to earn a penalty that restored their 10-point advantage, a lead that they retained approaching the hour when Halfpenny uncharacteristically pushed an effort from the tee.

That was costly when Conor Murray, the Lions scrum-half having to play fly-half because of a blow for Burns, knocked over a penalty to make it 22-9 and then he secured the win by repeating the trick after 72 minutes.

Ireland twisted the knife with the clock in the red when wing James Lowe cut a nice line from a five-metre scrum.

Ireland scorers: tries – Q Roux, J Lowe; conversions – J Sexton, C Murray; penalties – J Sexton (2), B Burns (2), C Murray (2)

Wales scorers: penalties – L Halfpenny (3)