Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

Ireland Sweep Past Italy To Maintain Perfect Six Nations Start

Ireland Sweep Past Italy To Maintain Perfect Six Nations Start

Ireland secured a bonus point in running in eight tries to outclass hapless Italy 56-19 in their Six Nations clash at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Get your weekend sorted with our guide to live streaming the Ireland vs Italy Six Nations 2018 match.

After the drama of last weekend's opening-round victory over France, Ireland enjoyed a far more comfortable afternoon's work against Italy in Dublin. Ireland eased to a 63-10 win over the Italians in Rome previous year.

Italy coach Conor O'Shea admits he had to stop himself from picking Ian McKinley to face Ireland purely to create a "romantic story".

Ireland had failed to score a try against France but Leinster back row Jack Conan made his Six Nations debut in one of four changes from the win in France.

The changes are all in the pack, with Luca Bigi is in for Leonardo Ghiraldini at hooker, Nicola Quaglio at loosehead replacing Andrea Lovotti and Braam Steyn at openside in for Renato Giammarioli.

Ireland made their intent clear early on as Johnny Sexton went for touch instead of the posts, but the Italians managed to hold Conor Murray up as he crossed the line. Now early in the second-half Robbie Henshaw has been forced off with what appears to be a really serious injury.

The Azzuri struggled to keep the hosts at bay and a third try came midway through the first half when imposing centre Bundee Aki showed formidable strength to outmuscle two Italy defenders and power through to score.

Schmidt's side earned their bonus point after 35 minutes as Aki, who sold a dummy to the Italian defence, accelerated through the gap before switching the ball outside to a supporting Keith Earls.

"I think it is always nice when you get a compliment from an opposition captain, but ultimately we will look at this game and see there are a lot of things that we can do a lot better, especially in the second half", said Best.

That didn't stop the onslaught as Rory Best went over and Joey Carbery added the conversion.

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