The hotly anticipated clash between the pre-tournament favourites Ireland and form team Wales never looked close, as Anscombe punished a stream of Irish infringements with his goal kicking in the swirling rain.

Welsh centre Hadleigh Parkes scored his side's only try after barely 80 seconds had been played, collecting a deft Anscombe chip, while Ireland's Jordan Larmour left it until the final minute to bag an opening score that would have been scant consolation.

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The Welsh win leaves England unable to catch up even if they beat Scotland later on Saturday, and will stoke hopes of a serious Wales tilt at this year's Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in Japan in September.

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