Debutants shine as Ireland dispatch Italy

Debutants shine as Ireland dispatch Italy

Job done for Ireland as they claim a bonus-point victory over Italy in the Six Nations. 

The rescheduled game from 8 months ago ended with Ireland beating Italy 50-17 thanks to tries from CJ Stander, Hugo Keenan (2), Will Connors, Jonathan Sexton, Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan while Paolo Garbisi scored a try and a further 10 points on his debut for Italy with Edoardo Padovani getting his name on the scoresheet for the viistors. 

Ireland will now travel to face France in the final round of the competition next week, while England play Italy, with the title likely to come down to bonus-points and points difference. Debutant wing Hugo Keenan scored two tries in the first half while fellow debutant Will Connors scored a second half try and was named man of the match for an all-action display in defence and at the breakdown.

Garbisi got the Italians off to a bright start with a penalty but Ireland hit back quickly with CJ Stander powering over the line just four minutes later with Ireland down a man after Conor Murray conceded the penalty inside his 22 with Italy attacking dangerously. 

Sexton added the extras as Ireland started to take control of the clash. Sexton added a penalty before Ireland worked it left from a lineout where Keenan stepped inside from the touchline, broke a couple of tackles and planted the ball down for a try on debut. 

He looked to have added another but it was ruled out for obstruction as James Ryan got in the way of an Italian defender.

However, he would not be denied again as Italy attacked towards the Ireland try-line when Stander and Will Connors forced the turnover which saw Caelon Doris canter away with the ball and started a move that ended with Murray’s measured kick in behind for the pacey Keenan to chase and dot down.

The second try saw Ireland lead 24-3 at the break.

Italy kept Ireland scoreless for the opening 10 minutes before Edoardo Padovani pounced on a loose pass from Jonathan Sexton and closed the gap on Ireland as Paolo Garbisi added the extras. 

Their try was quickly cancelled out as debutant Will Connors crashed over from a rolling maul just five minutes later as Ireland lead 31-10 following Sexton's conversion.

Sexton dotted down himself after a great line off a pass from Conor Murray as Ireland stretched their lead to 36-10.

A superb offload from Peter O'Mahony set up Bundee Aki for a try before Dave Heffernan scored with just a minute to play. 

Italy had the final say of the game as Paolo Garbisi threw a wonderful dummy to score and make it 50-17.

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