So it is Wales who will head through to the knockout stage to face France in the semi-final, after producing one of the best performances of the tournament. Their fitness and defence was absolutely exceptional, whilst all three of their tries were brilliantly taken.
As for Ireland, crashing out of this tournament marks the end of many brilliant international careers, with Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell, Ronan O’Gara and Gordon D’Arcy all likely to have made their last Rugby World Cup performances.
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