Six Nations

Italy 22 Ireland 15. As it happened in Rome

Carl O'Malley Sat, Mar 16
LIVE: Six Nations

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  • Uuuuuuggghh, is this thing still on?

    Yes! And with gusto, if the tee-up on RTE was any indicator.

    Despite there being nothing tangible to play for after a disaster of a campaign, some of it self-inflicted, some not, the boys at Montrose went big on the ol' gladiatorial-stylee intro, before cutting back to studio where there is an undoubted bloodlust, but perhaps not for today's hosts.

    There are a few heads closer to home that may roll before the day is out.
  • Declan Kidney, the owner of the noggin closest to the chopping block, it seems, has at least fronted up for the cameras and said exactly what you'd expected him to.

    'Italy are no mugs anymore, since the Rabo and all that, they're a tough side, they beat France, lost to Scotand, but they had no Parisse that day, so, y'know....'

    Standard fare, really and what man wouldn't say the same at this stage?

  • Of course, this could well be the last time BOD lines out for Ireland in the Six Nations. The man himself has clearly stated his mind is not made up but the final curtain can't be far off at this stage.

    Normally, montages like the one being shown on RTE begin to grate but you can never get enough of a Bodathon

    "The best, the bravest, the most extraordinary player of the profesional era," says George Hook, who we all know is not one prone to hyperbole.
  • Ryle Nugent welcomes us to the Stadio Olimpico. It's a fine day in Rome, the sort this Irish team could have done with on the afternoon of the 12-06 defeat to England, or for last week's 13-13 draw wtih France.

    Manky, it was, slanty rain, that managed to soak every face and arse in the place, whether under cover or not.
  • Not that there were many uncovered arses, as far as I could see, anyhow.

    They really should autotune the teams' renditions of anthems. And maybe bang a ubiquitous dance track over the top of them.
  • Here we go. Italy kick-off and O'Brien takes. Ireland win penalty after Italy fail to release.  Jackson finds touch near the halfway.

    Best steps up. He'll need better darts today. Heaslip claims and Murray box-kicks. Parisse claims.
  • Orquera's clearance highlights the problem of the sun's glare for those unde the high ball. Kearney needed two attempts but he gathered and cleared.
  • Another penalty against Italy, this time on the halfway. Lo Cicero penalised and Jackson's kick is down to the 22.
  • Another lineout fail from Ireland as Italy disrupt and move upfield.

  • But it's back on the Irish side and Heaslip and O'Brien probe. Then Murray makes ground and the captain takes it on again into the 22.

    It's called back for a pen to Ireland.
  • Jackson right in front of the posts for his first shot at the sticks. Perfect conditions.
  • 6 min: And it's a clean strike from the youngster. Ireland lead 3-0.
  • After the restart Murray lost it forward at the back of a ruck. Scrum Italy just on the Irish 10 metre line. Sloppy from Murray, just took his eye off it.
  • The hosts are forced back and there's a bit pf possession tennis. Ireland won the ball but turned it over in the contact. Nevertheless, they forced a clearance from Luke McLean and have attacking platform off a linout.
  • It's clean and Murray breaks downfield. Heaslip is forced backwards and Murray finds the far corner with a well-judged kick.
  • 5 metres out and Italian ball. Play is stopped for O'Mahony to get a boot back on. Time for slow motion shots of massive sweaty heads.
  • Italy win it at the tail and Orquera clears. Well worked by the hosts in defence.
  • Ireland turn it over on their lineout again!! Parisse nicked it from Ryan's grasp. That's two attacking lineouts Ireland have already lost.
  • Penalty Italy after Ireland sack the support man at the lineout and Orquera finds touch in the corner. Their lineout has been solid thus far.
  • Zanni takes and Italy rumble on, Ireland scramble just three metres out.
  • Penalty Italy, which may be a bonus for Ireland because they looked in trouble there.
  • 14 min: Orquera levels the scores from under the posts.
  • Ireland are backpedalling frantically now as Italy get a sniff of blood, but the visitors have won it back and keep it in hand before Jackson clears. McLean gathers.  Italy on the irish 10m line now.
  • Ghiraldini, Fori and Parisse the ball carriers in chief for Italy, but they spill it forward and Murray gathers.
  • Murray tries a cheky chip over the top but it's straight into eager Italian arms. It was never on and it's a penalty for Italy after Mike Ross goes off his feet.
  • I tell ye these Italian lads are not to underestimated. Since they joined the Rabo n'all.

    Orquero for a three-point lead.
  • Oooooooooohhhhh, it's off the post and Heaslip carries it into contact as Ireland contemplate a counter.
  • They think better of it and clear, Parisse runs it back into the Irish half and Ireland, again, infringe at the break down, according to Barnes, who warns Heaslip to tell his players to "clear the tackle zone".
  • Orquera's up again. Not easy but on the right side for him form the left wing.
  • 22 min: No mistake this time and Italy lead by three.
  • Luke Marshall's kick through bounces off a knees and Italy attack again. Parisse's offload is sublime but the Italians knock on and Ireland are off the hook on their own 22.
  • Mike Ross is receiving attention for what seems to have been a blow to the jaw, but he's up and atom.
  • Marshall clears downfield and it's returned. Earls breaks down the left and opts to take contact rather than feed O'Driscoll. Better from Ireland, but Earls receiving treatment on his shoulder now.
  • Luke Fitzgerald has replaced Earls, who leaves the field in obvious discomfort.
  • Musical chairs for Ireland here, because Marshall is hobbling off and Madigan is introduced at inside centre.

    Meanwhile, Jackson has a shot at the posts but he has failed to curl it in from right to left.
  • Big test for Leinster's Ian Madigan here, in a unfamiliar position and setting. Only his second cap after a short stint against France last week.
  • It's getting ridiculous now. Ireland have lost Marshall and Earls and now O'Driscoll has been sin-binned for 'stamping' on Favarro. Unlike him but it was a fair cop. Will be cited for that and Ireland are under big pressure here.
  • So we have a midfield of Fitzgerald and Madigan, just six backs and a serious case of the yips, it seems.
  • Italy coming at Ireland in waves and Fitzgerald is dragging his broken carcass around the field now. Ireland are in ribbons, but they win a penalty after some brave defending from the 13 defending players.
  • Ireland have no back up if Fitzgerald has to go off. Paul Marshall is the only back that could be an option, but he's scrumhalf.

    Fitzgerald is back on his feet but he's not comfortable.
  • 34 min: Ireland lose a maul and Italy win the scrum on the halfway. Lenihan accuses Ireland off playing too fast and loose when they are under pressure.
  • Penalty Italy after Ross penalised again. Parisse signals to the posts and Orquera lines up another effort on goal.
  • Backrorw Iain Henderson is being prepared to replace Fitzgerald. Whether he goes into the backline or whether O'Mahony, perhaps, takes up a position there remains to be seen.
  • Orquera lands the penalty. O'Mahony heads out to the wing. Yes, the wing.
  • John B. Reid Italy are so dominant, but so incompetent! If New Zealand were playing Kidney's Ireland today, we would be 30-0 down at this stage.
  • And the rest, John.
  • Kearney clears downfield for Ireland nad McCarthy tackles Masi on the way back. Italy still in possession.
  • Oh, good gravy, O'Mahony is on the deck now. There's some sort of black magic mumbo jumbo in the air, I blame that new pope fella.
  • BOD getting ready to return is some consolation.
  • One minute to the break now and Ireland are praying to Papa for the halftime whistle.

    Injury latest

    Earls - shoulder dislocation
    Fitzgerald - knee
    Marshall - concussion

    Ye Gods!
  • To their credit, the players that are upright are endeavouring to put this right and they've won a penalty.  Jackson lines one up and lands it. Amazing! Ireland trail by just three at the break despite seeing their entire team mysteriously carpet-bombed at regular intervals during that half.
  • Heeeeeeerrrrrreee's Hooky!

    Parisse is "stupendous!"

    Conor O'Shea says Ireland "need the 10 to take control", but he's not doing it.
  • Hook: "We're in a difficult position."  It's that type of insight and analysis that has him where he is today. Stupendous.
  • Former Ireland flanker Johnny O'Connor spreading the love down the twitter machine to Hooky, there.
  • Everyone is in agreement on the panel. Italy can only lose this game. Ireland can't win it.
  • The good news is, I just got a Wispa.
  • It's like the Twilight Zone in Montrose. They agree again. BOD was lucky not to see red.
  • Italy are on the ptich and Ireland are wheeling themselves out reluctantly.  Jackson to restart
  • Lineout to Italy on the halfway. Parisse takes. Orquera's chip is gathered by O'Driscoll. Madigan's kick is returned by McLean and the Leinster man hoofs it straight back. That continues for a bit until Masi's clearance is spilled into touch by Kearney.

    Trouble ahead.
  • Chris Jaysus
  • I know. A Wispa!
  • Italy take it through the phases after winning their lineout but they are pinged for crossing. Masi the guilty party.
  • Schoolboy error from, eh, the schoolboy, as Jackson clears on the full and surrenders a lineout on the 22.
  • Ireland in defensive mode again. This can't last. Gilroy brings it back over his own line for a 5m scrum to Italy.
  • O'Driscoll and Kearney coaching O'Mahony on how to play on the wing now. Gubu!
  • In an admirable show of optimism, Nugent and Lenihan are contemplating the positive implications of Ireland actually surviving this latest Italian attack.
  • Zanni takes it on and Italy are held up in the corner. Gori tries for the line and then Favarro. We're heading for the TMO.

    It was coming, the only surprise is it took so long.
  • Orquera adds the extras.
  • Ireland, O'Brien and then O'Driscoll strive to get themselves back in the game. And it's a yellow card for Parisse after the home captain trips Rory Best.

    Jackson to reduce the gap to seven.
  • And he does. Good kick from the young fella. Not dead yet, said the corpse.
  • After a minor technical hitch, our end, we return to find Jackson lining up a penalty. Anyone  who can tell me how that happened, do the honours.
  • He lands it. 16-12 now and Ireland have five minutes left with the extra man.
  • Jackson has found a good touch inside the Italian half now. Italian ball. And it's crooked!
  • Madigan attacks the line and loops a pass over the McCarthy, who makes ground into the 22. BOD does the same and Madigan finds Gilroy who jinks through. Irleand three metres away from the Italian line.
  • Madigan takes it at full pelt, but he's stopped, O'Mahony is then held up, then Murray. Ireland win the penalty, though, Italy offside.

  • Jackson should slot this one as Parisse returns to the pitch. Ireland have scored six in his absence
  • Jackson lands it and it's a one-point game. Remarkable really. Andrea Lo Cicero leaves the field on the occasion of his final cap and gets a rousing send off from the home side.
  • Heaslip brilliantly gathered there but Devin Toner has cleaned out an Italian under another highball and it's Italian scrumhalf Gori in a heap on the ground.
  • Looked clear that Toner had no intent there, Gori is up again. The crowd want a yellow but Wayne Barnes has said it was an accident.
  • Healy penalised at the scrum and Stephen Archer is preparing to come on.
  • 66 min:  Archer replaces Ross for his first cap
  • In the meantime, Garcia is lining up the penalty attempt.
  • No, he drops it just short and marginally wide. Still one-point in it.
  • BOD puts pressure on the Italian line and bluffs his way to an Irish lineout, but Italy rob Best's ball and here the come again.
  • Penalty Italy after an advantage was played. There's an Italian on the deck and a linesman is flagging.
  • Donnacha Ryan has been shown a yellow card and that must be that for Ireland. A "late and dangerous tackle" by the Munster man, according to Barnes.

    Into the 70th minute now and Orquera can extend Italy's lead to four here.
  • Nichole Time for a change, kidney had to go
  • It begins.
  • It continues, might be more apt.
  • Scrum Ireland, wtih a whole new front five. Toner and Henderson in the secondrow, Archer, Cronin and Kilcoyne in front of them.  And they are pinged. Italy clear.
  • Zanni claims again and Italy go to the maul. Zanni has had a fantastic game.

    Canale tries to break through the Irish cover
  • 73 min:  Scrum Ireland after Minto was isolated.
  • Heaslip takes, feeds Murray and he clears. Good defensive scrum from Ireland
  • Italy empty the bench, fresh legs! Italy got the maul and Parisse breaks but his pass to Garcia is knocked forward.
  • Carlos A sad, sad day... Lets hope Drico doesn't bow out after this
  • Scrum reset in Ireland's favour. Decent attacking platform as O'Driscoll tries to jink inside his man on his own 10m line. Madigan attacks and Cronin takes it on. Parisse clobbers Murray but Ireland still have.
  • Kearney tries to punch a hole, O'Mahony takes a turn but Ireland still on the halfway.
  • O'Driscoll drives Ireland forward but Madigan is robbed and Parisse takes two Kearney and Jackson d ownfield with him. Murray is shown a yellow card, but Paul Marshall is on the field. That's not allowed.

    Barnes is doing a head count.
  • Ryan's sin-bin is over and Marhsall has effectively replaced him.
  • KIDNEY OUT i hope this is kidneys last match
  • it's done and dusted now as italy are awarded another pen and Ireland are staring at the possibility of a wooden spoon.
  • It's over and it's over. Orquera hammers the final nail in the coffin and the Stadio Olimpico erupts to greet a famous Italian win.
  • "The Ireland team had no structure by the end, through no-ones fault, but for a ridiculous run of injuries," says O'Shea.

    Codswallop, barks Hook.  "This team can only play for 40 minutes, the captain had the armband incorrectly taken from him.....Farcical."

    "This has been a very bad 6 nations for Ireland and they have to do something about it or this team is going nowhere."
  • Tom McGurk has mostly said 'but, but, but" for the duration of this conversation.
  • K Will the injury list save kidney, or will the wooden spoon - belt him out?
  • Michael Steffen Very sad about this loss, but theres always next Year... Greetings from Switzerland
  • Paddy Nothing to do with kidney the players must have an honest appraisal of themselves . Kidney deserves a new 3 year contract and less interference from irfu
  • Ann I have a tear in my eye, get well soon Ireland :(
  • Ah, don't worry about it Ann, we've had worse.

  • Patrick Hope to see BOD play on the Lions & one more year for Ireland. Great effort so proud of you despite all the adversity.
  • Pat Watching in sunny San Diego. Really proud of how u played. Lets celebrate Paddys day now.
  • Grainne Greetings from Cayman all! Any chance that Ireland has won the Grand Slam for number of injuries??
  • KSC Come on Wales!!!!!!!
  • Diddles Pity Kidney didn't use Madigan earlier in the tournament. He's superb
  • Steve Everyone wants Kidney out, why? With all the talk no one has said what they would do different. Point out what he could have done different...not what the players should have done different, not fix hamstrings