CARDIFF, March 10 (Reuters) - George North bounced back from criticism from his own camp to crash over the try line twice as Wales beat Ireland 22-9 in a bruising Six Nations clash on Friday that restored home pride after two successive defeats.
North had been warned about his form by defence coach Shaun Edwards in the build-up to the game and responded by demonstrating his quality and power as Wales scored three unanswered tries in a hard-worked win.
Victory ensured Wales will stay in the top eight of the World Rugby rankings and avoid a potential horror draw for the next Rugby World Cup in Japan.
They had lost their previous Six Nations clashes against Scotland and England and were in danger of slipping down the rankings.
The result also ended any Irish hopes of securing a third Six Nations title in four years. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)