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Ireland v Italy result: Hosts ‘like the All Blacks’ in win – but there is more to come


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Italy’s spirits wilted after the break, and Ireland could have had more than the three tries they got. Robbie Henshaw had one chalked off for a double-movement, and replacement scrum half Jamison Gibson-Park knocked on at the death. But Farrell was just as pleased at the fact that his team had successfully inflicted their first shutout on a team in the championship since 1987.

“36-0 is a nice scoreline for us,” he said. “I mean probably better than 50-20, if you know what I mean.”

With ‘Big’ Joe McCarthy producing another punchy performance, James Ryan excellent on his return alongside him (Ireland’s depth at lock is insane), young backs like Crowley and Nash growing in confidence alongside older heads such as Lowe and Keenan and Robbie Henshaw, all superb here, Ireland are simmering nicely.

So, did Farrell want to revise his opinion of the performance as “clunky”? “I’m probably harsh enough there but that’s how I want to be,” he replied smiling. “I thought we were clinical at times. Our set piece was excellent, top drawer. Then scoring some nice tries off the back of all that type of pressure was very pleasing to get over the line. Two from two. It’s a decent start. It gets tougher from here on in.”

Match details

Scoring: 5-0 Crowley try; 10-0 Sheehan try; 12-0 Crowley con; 17-0 Conan try; 19-0 Crowley con; 24-0 Sheehan try; 29-0 Lowe try; 34-0 Nash try; 36-0 Byrne con

Ireland: H Keenan (H Byrne 56), C Nash, R Henshaw (J Larmour 64), S McCloskey, J Lowe, J Crowley, C Casey (J Gibson-Park 73); A Porter (J Loughman 56), D Sheehan (R Kelleher 56), F Bealham (T O’Toole 56), J McCarthy, J Ryan (I Henderson 61), R Baird (J van der Flier 66), C Doris, J Conan

Italy: A Capuozzo, L Pani (F Mori 58), J I Brex, T Menoncello, M Ioane, P Garbisi, S Varney (M Page-Relo 58); D Fischetti (M Spagnolo 56), G Lucchesi (G Nicotera 56), P Ceccarelli (G Zilocchi 40), N Cannone, F Ruzza, A Izekor, M Zuliani (R Vintcent 70), M Lamaro

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Ireland v Italy: As it happened

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