PETER O'Mahony's red card left Ireland with a mountain to climb in Cardiff, eventually falling to a 21-16 defeat.
Hugo Keenan: A quiet game for the full-back as Ireland battled to overcome adversity. 6.
Keith Earls: Got involved early on, and he was never far from the action. 7.
Garry Ringrose: A strong game by the Leinster centre, who never stopped looking for an attacking opportunity. 7.
Robbie Henshaw: A real handful for Wales in attack and defence. A threat throughout. 8.
James Lowe: Kicked well at times, but also struggled with his defensive positioning. 6.
Johnny Sexton: Ireland captain kicked eight points, but was forced off near the end of an absorbing contest. 7.
Connor Murray: Unable to impact the contest as Ireland started their Six Nations campaign on a losing note. 6.
Cian Healy: Made some powerful surges on an afternoon when Ireland never stopped battling. 7.
Rob Herring: Solid effort by the Ireland hooker, albeit in the face of a gut-wrenching defeat. 6.
Andrew Porter: Hard his work cut out in the scrums opposite Wyn Jones during a bruising physical encounter. 6.
Tadhg Beirne: A workaholic display by the Ireland lock, who was impressive throughout. 8.
James Ryan: His game ended in the first half following a failed head injury assessment. 6.
Peter O'Mahony: Red card after just 14 minutes cost his team so much. Reckless. 4.
Josh van der Flier: Never stopped in attack or defence as he tore into Wales. 7.
CJ Stander: Did everything he could to inspire a famous Irish win, but it was not to be. 7.
Billy Burns' late error, when he missed touch with a penalty, underlined an ultimately frustrating afternoon for his team. 5
Leigh Halfpenny: Kicked four from five kicks at goal and was assured throughout. 7.
Louis Rees-Zammit: Scored a try on his Six Nations debut with a brilliant one-handed finish. 7.
George North: Impressed again in midfield, and claimed a 42nd touchdown for his country. 7.
Johnny Williams: Failed a first-half head injury assessment following a mistimed challenge on Garry Ringrose. 6.
Hallam Amos: Had few chances to impress on his first Six Nations start for five years. 6.
Dan Biggar: Kicked solidly and marshalled the troops well at times as Ireland pressed. 6.
Tomos Williams: Suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury and went off at half-time. 6.
Wyn Jones: A strong performance by the Scarlets prop, whose scrummaging work and loose play was outstanding. 8.
Ken Owens: Missed the autumn internationals because of a shoulder injury, and he showed how much Wales missed him. 7.
Tomas Francis: Victim of a reckless early hit by Peter O'Mahony, but he performed solidly. 7.
Adam Beard: Recalled by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, but Wales' lineout misfired badly at times. 6.
Alun Wyn Jones: The Wales captain was reportedly punched by squad colleague Jake Ball during training this week, but he saw his team ultimately deliver a knockout blow. 7.
Dan Lydiate: His return to Test rugby after more than two years away lasted 11 minutes before a knee injury forced him off. 6.
Justin Tipuric: Put in his usual high tackle count as Wales came under sustained pressure at times. 7.
Taulupe Faletau: Had his moments in attack and defence, with Wales having to dig deep. 7.
Josh Navidi was the pick of Wales' replacements following his early arrival instead of an injured Lydiate. 7.