Last weekend's RBS 6 Nations defeat of Scotland was hugely impressive and exactly the start which Wales needed. For the first 40 minutes in Cardiff, an abject Scottish defence was blitzed by a Welsh backline which showed excellent pace and dynamism, and I'm not sure anyone really expected that standard of performance from Steve Hansen's players. It was the perfect result to carry us on from the World Cup.
It's wonderful to see the emphasis placed on attacking rugby after having destructive rugby forced upon us supporters for so long. The victory was hugely entertaining and, regardless of what happens now, I think Wales will be a team worth watching during the remainder of the tournament. Their matches won't be for the feint hearted.
It could quite easily have been 40-3 to the Welsh at half-time against Scotland because several chances went begging when tries were definitely on. That is one area of concern because the games to come should be much tougher. We must continue to be ruthless, especially with the huge amount of talent among the backs.
Hansen must also work to improve the second-half display, which was not brilliant. Admittedly, Scotland improved after the break, particularly following the introduction of Jason White, but Wales struggled for possession and did not enjoy a flow of ball. That cannot happen this weekend against Ireland, who have a very good pack and will present a big physical challenge. They have world-class line-out players. The Irish will be pleased that Brian O'Driscoll will be back because their backs were not overly potent against France. That's what happens when you lose the world's best centre. But I think Wales will now fancy their chances in Dublin. We must be careful not to get carried away after one win, but suddenly this game is winnable. That's the beauty of the 2004 RBS 6 Nations - there seems to be an element of doubt in every match. Every sport needs real competition, and that's what we've got.
On another note, my own record of 33 international tries for Wales was very nearly equalled by Gareth Thomas against Scotland. His effort which was disallowed for crossing in the first half would have been worthy of any record, and also try of the season. That phase of attacking play was sensational, combining forwards and backs, and was a real team effort. I have no doubt that the record will go, and good luck to Gareth, I hope he does it with a hat-trick. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see my mark broken with Wales playing top-class, exciting rugby.
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.