Six Nations: Stockdale plays down superb start for Ireland

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland
Jacob Stockdale has earned plaudits for his performances in a fledgling Ireland career

Winger Jacob Stockdale played down the sensational start to his Ireland career after scoring two tries in Saturday's 37-27 win over Wales.

The Irish are the only unbeaten side in the Six Nations and head the table by five points with three wins from three.

Stockdale scored the first and last of the five Irish tries and now has eight in his seven international games.

"It is about the team, not individuals. It was a great performance from one to 23," said the 21-year-old Ulster star.

"The ball keeps popping up in the right positions for me.

"I wish we had not left it quite so late, but to score five tries against a quality outfit like Wales and get that bonus point is really brilliant."

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Six Nations: Ireland's injury replacements 'stepped up' - Stockdale

Dan Leavy, Keith Earls and Chris Farrell all shone brightly as Ireland coped manfully without key injured trio Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Robbie Henshaw.

And Stockdale believes it bodes well for the men in green.

"To win a Six Nations you have to have strength in depth and the guys who stepped in today did a really brilliant job."

The record-equalling 10th successive Test win now puts Ireland just two wins away from a first Grand Slam in nine years.

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland
Stockdale's second try made sure of Ireland's first Six Nations win over Wales since 2014

They host Scotland on 10 March before their final match against England a week later at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day.

Asked if the Ireland squad could keep any Grand Slam talk at bay, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said: "It's a lot easier for us than it is externally because we do live in a bit of a bubble through the championship.

"Every Tuesday the players train then leave and that's when they might be a little more exposed to the hype.

"Wednesday is a down day, it allows them to freshen up.

"We try to break the rugby focus into the early and late part of the week. Once we're in those phases it's relatively easy."

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