It ended up as a defeat by five tries to two, but Wales coach Steve Hansen remained upbeat about the outcome of his side's first World Cup warm-up match against a near full strength Irish side in Dublin.
'One or two players enhanced their chances of going to the World Cup and I felt there were a lot of positives to come out of the game for Wales,' said Hansen.
'We know exactly what we are trying to do with this series of games. This team can play better than they did here, which is good.
'We're obviously disappointed we didn't win and our handling was poor, but this was a friendly game and we treated it as such.
'I asked the players to give their best and I think they did exactly that.
'I didn't think it was a gamble to select the side we did. The nature of our game in Wales is that we don't have a big player base to perform at the highest level.
'Other teams don't have to do what we have to do because they have a bigger player base.'
Next up for Hansen's men are Grand Slam champions England, who visit the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Hansen will name the 22 players to meet England on Sunday and announce his team on Wednesday.
'I don't think anybody expects us to beat England, but that doesn't mean we can't win. We will be playing the World Cup favourites, so it is a totally different situation.'
Hansen blooded two new caps in his starting line-up in Ireland - Nicky Robinson at full back and Rhys Oakley in the back row - and gave Huw Bennett his chance as a 69th minute replacement at hooker for Mefin Davies.
The Irish got off to the perfect start with the first of two tries from lock Paul O'Connell after only five minutes, but by half-time Wales were still in the hunt at 14-5.
Wales skipper Gareth Thomas notched his 31st try for his country in quick response to that O'Connell try, but back row man Alan Quinlan pounced for a second Irish score to push them ahead.
Wales conceded a sloppy try to David Wallace at the start of the second half and it didn't help that Iestyn Harris picked up a yellow card after 37 minutes.
Mal O'Kelly romped over for Ireland's fourth try to extend the lead to 28-5, but Wales battled back into the game and Garan Evans nipped in for the visitors' second try after 67 minutes. Harris added the conversion.
Ireland ended as they begun, on a high note, as O'Connell bagged his second try right on time.
Ireland: Tries: P O'Connell 2, A Quinlan, D Wallace, M O'Kelly. Cons: D Humphreys 4, G Murphy.
Wales: Tries: G Thomas, G Evans. Con: I Harris.