Howley hails Wales’ defence

Date published: March 11 2017

Wales head coach Rob Howley praised his side's defence after they claimed a deserved 22-9 victory over Ireland in Cardiff on Friday.

After outscoring their opponents by three tries to none, Howley was asked if Ireland's attacking play was predictable enough to deny them a try.

“A Joe Schmidt side predictable? Come on, man," he said. 

They are a quality attacking side it is testament to our defence rather than their attack.”

George North scored two of those tries and after receiving criticism for his performance in Wales' Round Three loss to Scotland at Murrayfield, Howley singled him out for special praise on Friday.

“We’re funny in Wales,” he added. 

“When you praise guys too much, they sit back, but if you criticise, they might go into their shells. It has been a tough couple of weeks for us all.

“The players have been very honest since the Scotland game. Honest about the hurt we all felt. They wanted to go out in front of probably the best supporters in world rugby and give a performance they can be proud of.

“I think they did that; they out scored one of the best sides in world rugby three tries to nil.

“We kept them out.”