Nora Stapleton and Larissa Muldoon helped Ireland to another win in the Women's Six Nations as they defeated Wales 12-7 in the Cardiff Arms Park.
"We knew we were one performance away from winning a game, they have been down to fine margins every week", man-of-the-match and scrum-half Rhys Webb told BBC.
North came in for criticism following Wales' defeat to Scotland a fortnight ago with even his own defence coach Shaun Edwards admitting the wing had been off the pace.
'The speed and physicality was one of traditional Wales and Ireland clashes.
Wales came back strongly in the second-half and thanks partly to a try from Shona Powerll-Hughes they got back on level terms.
A simple kick in front of the posts was never going to be missed by Sexton as the gap closed once again in the Welsh capital, and with 20 minutes on the clock a pivotal moment arrived.
Both teams are unchanged for the Friday night fixture at the Principality Stadium, Rob Howley's decision not to blood some younger Welsh players in place of more experienced but underperforming stars raising eyebrows.
The players will be performing mini-miracles if they can keep this up until the final whistle, but if the second half is anything like the first, then we're in for a cracker. "We wanted an 80 minute display".
"We are no longer in the hunt for the championship, but there is still a lot for us to play for in what has been, as we expected at the start, a very competitive Six Nations", said Schmidt.
Ireland captain Rory Best spoke of the "silly little mental errors" that cost the team - a second-half knock-on by prop Tadhg Furlong with the line in sight, a botched catch-and-drive from a lineout just when Wales was hanging on, that late driving maul that Henshaw needlessly interfered with.
"We feel we should have beaten England out here", he added of last month's 21-16 loss.
"They deserve a lot of credit for what's happened over the last couple of weeks".
"We had good pressure on, there were a number of things we have to be better at".
Nigel Carolan's side were hoping to set up a Slam decider with England next weekend, but their poor record in Wales meant they were in for a stern test at Parc Eirias.
"From our point of view, we dug deep when we needed to without the ball and we were clinical when we needed to be without the ball", Howley added.
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