|Ireland (24) 50|
|Tries: Stander, Keenan 2, Connors, Sexton, Aki, Heffernan Cons: Sexton 4, Byrne Pen: Sexton|
|Italy (3) 17|
|Try: Padovani, Garbisi Con: Garbisi 2 Pen: Garbisi|
Debutants Hugo Keenan and Will Connors have been amongst Ireland’s strive scorers in a cushty bonus-point win over Italy because the Six Nations returned seven months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wing Keenan crossed twice within the first half after CJ Stander darted over in reply to Paolo Garbisi’s early penalty.
Edoardo Padovani picked off Johnny Sexton’s go to supply some temporary pleasure for Italy however additional tries from Connors, Sexton, Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan secured a dominant win.
Garbisi, the 20-year-old fly-half, grabbed an exquisite solo strive within the closing play to place a dent in Ireland’s rating distinction, which might come into play subsequent week.
Having simply secured the utmost 5 factors, Ireland will journey to Paris understanding a bonus-point win in opposition to France will guarantee they turn out to be Six Nations champions.
Italy now should gear up for the daunting prospect of England at Twickenham, however are actually assured to complete backside of the desk for the fifth yr in a row.
Dream debuts for Leinster duo
Although the win comes with the caveat that they have been up in opposition to an Italy aspect now winless of their final 25 Six Nations video games, Ireland’s victory and efficiency vindicated head coach Andy Farrell’s most notable group choice calls.
Leinster’s Keenan and Connors, alongside Caelan Doris on his second cap, picked up the place they left off for his or her province with energetic confidence and expression on present all through.
After the early setback of Conor Murray’s sin-binning for intentionally not releasing within the deal with on his personal try-line after Jake Polledri had burst by the midfield, Ireland rapidly settled to say their dominance within the bodily battle.
The first of 9 first half turnovers set the platform for the hosts to place stress on the Italy line permitting Stander to snipe over.
From there the momentum was firmly in Ireland’s favour. It took Connors 21 minutes to win his first worldwide turnover and eight minutes later his excellent counter-ruck offered the penalty from which Ireland went broad permitting Keenan to step inside and rating.
For all he has impressed within the blue of Leinster, Keenan didn’t cross the tryline in his breakthrough season, a feat he really achieved thrice in his first Ireland outing.
The Dubliner thought he was in for his second after ending a scintillating break from Jacob Stockdale, however play was pulled again for an earlier Irish infringement within the build-up.
Keenan didn’t have to attend for much longer nonetheless, as Doris brilliantly stole the ball below his personal posts setting off a fast Irish counter-attack that noticed Keenan floor Murray’s grubber kick to place Ireland 24-Three up on the break.
More to comply with.
Ireland: Stockdale; Conway; Ringrose, Aki Keenan; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Herring, Porter; Beirne, Ryan; Doris, Connors, Stander.
Replacements: Heffernan, E Byrne, Bealham, Dillane, O’Mahony, Gibson-Park, R Byrne, Henshaw.
Italy: Hayward; Padovani, Morisi, Canna, Bellini, Garbisi, Violi; Fischetti, Bigi, Zilocchi, Lazzaroni, Cannone, Negri, Steyn, Polledri.
Replacements: Lucchesi, Ferrari, Ceccarelli, Sisi, Meyer, Mbanda, Braley, Mori.