CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 02: The Wales players look dejected after Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland scored a try during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on February 2, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

London – Ireland inflicted an eighth successive defeat on last season's Six Nations champions and grand slam winners Wales whose fall from grace continued with in a 30-22 loss in the opening game of the tournament on Saturday.

Wales were stunned by Ireland's 20-point salvo in the opening 28 minutes that brought tries for wing Simon Zebo and prop Cian Healy, their scores backed up by Jonny Sexton's accurate boot.

Returning former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll went over from a metre out, his 46th international try in 121 matches, early in the second half and although Wales countered with scores from Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Craig Mitchell, their stirring fightback fell short.

No side has won back to back grand slams since France in the old Five Nations in 1997 and 1998. – Reuters