Ruthless Wales seal Grand Slam with emphatic victory

Ireland insist Millennium Stadium roof stays open

Ireland insist Millennium Stadium roof stays open

That meant Wales clinched the Grand Slam - their fourth of the Six Nations era and Warren Gatland's third as head coach - while Ireland had to settle for third place in the final reckoning, a year after securing their own incredible Grand Slam.

And the team gave coach Warren Gatland, who will step down after the Rugby World Cup later this year, a ideal Six Nations sendoff.

Victory earned Wales its first Six Nations title since 2013, and its first Grand Slam since 2012.

"The team will definitely turn up in Japan and we'll grow a bit from this. At the end of the day, the pitch and conditions are the same for both teams".

"I thought the referee was pretty harsh on them on a number of occasions, but in saying that, Wales were by far the better team".

The New Zealander was also moved to defend his star half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray as both players struggled to have an impact in the hard conditions.

"We have to be more consistent, dust ourselves off and hope we finish strong in the World Cup".

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Wales trained on Friday morning at the stadium with the roof closed due to poor weather conditions, having previously trained this week at the stadium with the roof open.

But amidst talk that his side's performance in this year's Guinness Six Nations could constitute a disappointment back home, Schmidt defended his troops and told supporters to trust in his process.

"They scored after a couple of minutes and you're always under a little pressure and we didn't respond overly well to that pressure, giving up penalties".

Ireland will play two World Cup warm-up matches against Wales as part of their tournament preparations, which will also feature matches against Italy and England.

They reserved their best for last and I am delighted for Gatland and his team after the fuss about the roof being open or shut at the Principality Stadium.

"We've won 23 of our last 26 Test matches, we've finished third in the Six Nations and once upon a time that wasn't the catastrophe that it is today for Ireland", added the head coach.

He said: "I'd like to take my hat off to Wales and Gats".

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