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Ireland 31-7 Wales: Hosts make it three wins from three with Welsh victory

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IRELAND’S grand ambition for a successive Six Nations Grand Slam glimmered brighter after a commanding 31-7 triumph over Wales in the thrilling Round 3 encounter at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. The Irish side, undeterred and dynamic, orchestrated a performance that encapsulated their dominance in the tournament thus far, securing a bonus-point victory that keeps their Grand Slam dreams vividly alive.

In a game that showcased Ireland’s tactical acumen and resilience, hooker Dan Sheehan, wing James Lowe, full-back Ciaran Frawley, and lock Tadhg Beirne emerged as the heroes, each crossing the whitewash to contribute to the emphatic scoreline. Jack Crowley, the out-half, was impeccable, converting all attempts at goal, including a penalty and four conversions, ensuring a flawless day with the boot.

Wales, despite trailing 17-0 by the halftime whistle, showed moments of resurgence with a penalty try that saw Beirne sin-binned. However, their efforts to claw back into the game were thwarted by a relentless Irish defence, leaving them winless after three rounds.

The victory marks a historic 18th consecutive win for Ireland at the Aviva Stadium and ties the record for an 11th successive Six Nations Test win, a testament to their continued excellence and a milestone shared with England’s streak from 2015 to 2017.

The match unfurled with Ireland asserting their dominance early on, rewarded with a penalty kick by Crowley following a high tackle on Lowe. Despite Wales’ formidable maul defence, Ireland’s persistence paid dividends with Sheehan’s try, courtesy of a powerful forward push and Crowley’s subsequent conversion enhancing their lead.

Wales’ captain, Dafydd Jenkins, found himself penalised, and Ireland opted for ambition over assurance, a decision that paid off when Lowe spectacularly finished in the corner, further extended by Crowley’s masterful conversion.

The Welsh side’s resolve was evident in their defensive efforts, yet Ireland’s strategic prowess shone through. Despite a penalty try awarded to Wales, Ireland’s control and execution remained unshaken, with their defence repelling Welsh advances effectively.

The narrative of the second half encapsulated Ireland’s capacity to absorb pressure and retaliate, highlighted by Frawley’s try in his first Test start and Beirne’s clinching score, underlining their depth and tactical intelligence.

Post-match reflections from both camps acknowledged the intensity of the encounter. Ireland’s head coach, Andy Farrell, praised the team’s adaptability and highlighted the need for review, particularly concerning penalties. Warren Gatland, Wales’ head coach, commended his team’s effort and identified physicality as a key area for growth.

Ciaran Frawley, reveling in the joy of his maiden Test start and try, underscored the team’s resilience and the collective drive that propelled them to overcome adversity and secure a significant victory.

This clash was more than a game; it was a testament to Ireland’s relentless pursuit of excellence and a stark reminder of the challenges that lie ahead in their quest for back-to-back Grand Slams. As the tournament progresses, Ireland’s blend of tactical brilliance, physical dominance, and unwavering spirit makes them formidable contenders, setting the stage for an enthralling conclusion to the Six Nations saga.#

Jack Crowley registered the first points of the day via a penalty
Ireland's Dan Sheehan celebrates after scoring their first try via a driving maul
James Lowe scored Ireland's second first-half try, after taking a superb Calvin Nash offload
Wales hit back through a penalty try decision early in the second half
Ireland's defence proved superb when under pressure in the second half
Full-back Ciaran Frawley crossed for Ireland's third try on his first Test start

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell told ITV Sport said: “There is a famous saying that each game takes it’s own course and that game had a bit of everything really from the sublime to the ridiculous.

“I thought we were a bit passive in the first half but I thought Wales were tenacious in defence. I thought we should have capitalised more.

“We had a good chat at half-time. The penalty count was evened up, we will have a good luck at that.

“Delighted to get that bonus point.”

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said after the game: “I can’t question how hard and the effort from the players. They probably out muscled us a bit in terms of collisions. That is a lesson for us.

“I feel like the score-line blew out a bit and probably wasn’t reflective of the effort we put in.

“You are playing against one of the best teams in the world and they thoroughly deserved to win with the quality they have got. We are on a journey.”

Try-scorer Ciaran Frawley after his first Test start said added: “Look, it was a bit of clunky in the first half.

“We were aware of that at half time. It was probably not the start we wanted, they came out and scored and we got the yellow card but to bounce back through all the adversity thrown at us and get the bonus point win was pretty special.

“I was delighted to get over. The players here are unbelievable, they know how to win.”

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Cornerstone 4G phone mast unconditionally backed

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A NEAR 70-foot-high 4G telecommunications tower scheme in north Pembrokeshire has been unconditionally backed by county planners.

Applicant Cornerstone sought what – in planning terms – is called prior approval for the installation of a 21-metre lattice tower supporting three antennas and associated works on land at Castle Farm Villa, Llanreithan, Hayscastle.

A report for planners says the radio base station “would allow a shared rural network in this rural area of Hayscastle for two of the main operators, to provide 4G connection, which would provide a reliable and fast communications services; to facilitate significantly improved connectivity for residents, businesses and visitors to locality.”

The application was supported by local community council Brawdy.

Cornerstone, in a supporting statement, says: “To keep up with growing demand from mobile phone users we need to upgrade existing base stations or build new base stations. An upgrade can be done in a number of ways, often by redeveloping the site to enable an increase in the number of technologies, or increasing the number or height of the antennas. However, even after these upgrades, in some busy areas the demand for services can still exceed the capability of the local base stations.”

It adds: “We recognise that the growth in mobile communication has led, in some cases, to public concern about perceived health effects of mobile technology, in particular about siting masts close to local communities.

“Quite naturally, the public seeks reassurance that masts are not in any way harmful or dangerous.   We are committed to providing the latest independent peer-reviewed research findings, information, advice and guidance from national and international agencies on radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields.

“Cornerstone ensure that our radio base stations are designed and built so that the public are not exposed to radio frequency fields above the guidelines set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).  In fact, radio base stations operate at low power and emit levels of radiofrequency fields many times lower than the ICNIRP general public guidelines.”

An officer report says a site visit was carried out to assess the impact of the proposed development, considering that the siting and design of the mast and associated structures would be acceptable.

“As such, the prior approval of the local planning authority is not required,” the report concluded.

Recent plans by Cornerstone for a 20-metre-high, timber-clad telecoms tower on land opposite the National Trust car park at Trehilyn West, Trefasser, near Goodwick, were turned down by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park planners.

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Pembrokeshire stands against Israeli apartheid and Genocide

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PALESTINE solidarity groups in Pembrokeshire and West Wales are mobilising for a powerful protest in Haverfordwest, Castle Square, this Saturday 20th April at 2pm. They aim to vehemently condemn the relentless Israeli onslaught on Gaza and send a clear message to the UK government and local MPs Simon Hart and Stephen Crabb: End the complicity now! We demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to arms sales that fuel this brutal oppression.

The Nakba, or ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, refers to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Israeli forces, following the forcible displacement of 750,000 Palestinians (almost half the population) in 1947-49 in order to establish the state of Israel. Israel’s current assault on Gaza is an escalation of the ongoing Nakba and threatens to be the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians since 1948. The international community has an immediate responsibility to intervene to stop Israel’s ethnic cleansing today. Any delay in implementing practical measures constitutes complicity and/or participation in the ongoing Nakba.

This rally is a collective outcry against the crimes perpetrated by Israel and a rallying cry for the boycott of Israeli products.

“It’s sickeningly hypocritical that Israel strikes nations and communities first, claims victimhood when faced with resistance, and then receives unwavering support from the U.S., the UK, and Germany!” lamented one protester.

“For too long, the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel’s flagrant violations of human rights, granting it impunity while innocent lives are lost.”

“Six months of relentless violence. Six months of Israel slaughtering innocent Palestinians. Six months of Israel killing over 14,000 children! That’s an average of around 76 children a day and what has our government done? Profited from arms sales, turning a blind eye to the bloodshed,” remarked another protester.

This protest is a clarion call to all who stand for justice: It’s time to disrupt the status quo and challenge our complicit government. “We will never give up,” declared a participant. “To dismantle apartheid, we must disrupt the everyday and refuse to be complicit in Israel’s crimes against humanity!”

Join us at Castle Square at 2pm this Saturday to lend your voice to the 2 million people who suffer from a forced famine and brutal occupation in Gaza. Together, we will demand justice, accountability, and an immediate end to the bloodshed, the genocide and ethnic cleansing.

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Dragon LNG ‘monitoring’ scrap car blaze in Waterston

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A BLAZE has broken out at the Waterston Car Dismantler’s business in Waterston, Milford Haven.

Dragon LNG which is situated near the site said that the fire was not related to their operation and confirmed that the that emergency services were at the scene.

Residents living nearby have been advised to keep windows and doors closed whilst the incident is being dealt with.

“We are aware of a fire in Waterston with the emergency services present,” said a spokesperson for Dragon LNG.

“The incident is not related to Dragon LNG and Dragon Energy. We are monitoring the situation and are co-ordinating with the emergency services.”

A spokesperson for Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service told The Herald: “At 11.09am on Monday, April 15th, the Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock, Narberth, Fishguard, Carmarthen, Tenby and Haverfordwest crews were called to an incident at a commercial premises in the Waterston Industrial Estate, Milford Haven.

“Crews responded to approximately 150 vehicles on fire, at the height of the incident, 12 fire appliances were in attendance.  Crews utilised six breathing apparatus sets, nine hose reel jets, two ground monitors and approximately 1,000 litres of foam to extinguish the fire.

“Properties in close proximity to the fire were evacuated and nearby roads were closed.  The incident required a multi-agency response, with Dyfed-Powys Police, the Ambulance Service and the Local Authority also in attendance.

“Crews began to leave the scene at 2.11pm.

“Please be advised that as a precaution:

“If you are in an area still affected by smoke, you are advised to stay indoors, close windows and doors, and turn off any air conditioning or ventilation units.

“Motorists who must travel through areas still affected by smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep air vents closed.”

(Images: M Cavaney/Herald)

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