Instead, it was the Leinster man who snatched the headlines well past the 80-minute mark with a long-range drop goal.
Amongst all the talk of potential Six Nations victor and losers, Lovelace went on to discuss the current state of rugby union betting, and what can be done to ensure it grows and increases its appeal: "Betting on rugby union and Six Nations has improved over the past few years but there is a long way to go for it to compete and rival the likes of football, tennis, darts and other sports that have a far higher level of activity from our punters". A wayward Sexton penalty let them off the hook inside the closing quarter, when they produced a moment of real quality to turn the game on its head.
"I think it was just a look really".
Head coach Joe Schmidt continues to insist Ireland have not expanded their game, but quite clearly their attacking style changed in the autumn. "We're really looking forward to seeing what he delivers on Saturday".
I think the fear in Wales is there's no Faletau and no Warburton.
Many pundits watching on were unconvinced.
"You've got a rough idea of the distance he needs for a drop-goal, and then you're communicating with the forwards but also keeping an eye on him".
Making a timely return at No. 8 was Ross Moriarty, who suffered nerve damage in his back in the first match of the Lions tour in New Zealand and didn't play again until this month. Ireland had dominated all the key statistics; possession, territory (both 68 per cent) and penalty count (10 to six).
He may start on the bench so people will say, 'why are you picking him?'.
"No disrespect to Italy but when you see Italy next week - it's probably worked out the best it could be". Gatland hopes North and Williams will be available to play England next week.
"Being honest, we're focused on rugby".
Wales now need to give them that same licence.
And then when they ship it wide he has to have the strength and character and fitness to be able to get up and ship it out wide and stop all the lethal threats out there.
Mike is now leading the coaching at the Mike Phillips Rugby Academy in Dubai.
However, The Guardian noted that: "Unlike past year, France can be absolved from suspicion [in the Ireland match] because in both cases their medics in attendance could be heard confirming the obvious - that the players were suffering from leg injuries". They are the moments you'll remember forever, when you're just ecstatic. "Just because we won with an INCREDIBLE 42 METER drop goal that HIA decision shouldn't get swept under the carpet".
Who are the key players missing the tournament?
Adams got his break because George North and Hallam Amos were underdone.
It becomes very hard win something when you've lost your first game of the 6 Nations.
Much of talk during the week is that this is Ireland's game to lose.
Could Italy lose every game in the Six Nations and still be competitive in the World Cup?
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