Six Nations: Italy v Ireland

Joe Schmidt's side look to bounce back from their opening defeat as they take on the Azzurri in Rome

Patrick Madden Sat, Feb 11
 
LIVE: Six Nations: Italy v Ireland

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  • Good afternoon!

    Things didn't exactly go to plan for Ireland in last weekend's Six Nations opener, as Scotland ran riot before digging in to secure victory at Murrayfield.

    But do not despair - today Joe Schmidt's side have the opportunity to swiftly redeem themselves as they take on Italy in Rome.

    A bonus point victory will be the target at the Stadio Olimpico - something perhaps easier said than done.

    But Ireland know with Wales playing England in Cardiff this evening a big win will throw them right back into the Championship mix.

    It's a thoroughly miserable and bitter day on home soil, so get yourselves settled as we transport you to lovely Rome for the afternoon.

    Come on!!!

  • BREAKING: Ireland captain Rory Best has been ruled out of today's games after suffering with a stomach bug (something about the captain's runs?). He is replaced in the starting XV by Niall Scannell, who earns his first cap, with Leinster's James Tracy coming onto the bench.


    Brings to an end a stunning run of 51 consecutive Six Nations appearances for Ireland's skipper.

  • TEAM NEWS:

    Italy:  Edoardo Padovani; Angelo Esposito, Tommaso Benvenuti, Luke McLean, Giovanbattista Venditti; Carlo Canna, Edoardo Gori; Sergio Parisse, Simone Favaro, Maxime Mbanda; Andries Van Schalkwyk, Marco Fuser; Lorenzo Cittadini, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lovotti.  Replacements:  Ornel Gega, Sami Panico, Dario Chistolini, George Biagi, Abraham Steyn, Giorgio Bronzini, Tommaso Allan, Michele Campagnaro.

    Ireland:  Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Niall Scannell (capt), Tadhg Furlong; Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner; CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.  Replacements:  James Tracy, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Ultane Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Ian Keatley, Craig Gilroy.

     

  • John O'Sullivan is in Rome today, and he has the latest on Best's withdrawal HERE.
  • As noted, Ireland will be chasing a bonus point in Rome today - but on eight Six Nations visits to the Italian capital they've only scored four tries or more on four occasions - and haven't managed it still 2009.

    You can get a full rundown of Ireland's Rome record HERE.

  • Best's withdrawal means there are three new faces in the Ireland side this weekend. He's replaced by Scannell at hooker and he will have Cian Healy propping next to him at loosehead. There's also a start for Donnacha Ryan who has recovered from the knee injury which kept him out of the Scotland game, and he replaces the injured Iain Henderson.

    Gavin Cummiskey has spoken to Healy, who has his number one jersey back off Jack McGrath - for a week at least. You can read that HERE.

  • The teams are out in Rome!
  • Anthems done. Perfect conditions.

    Before we start there'll be a minute's applause for the late  Joost van der Westhuizen.

  • Canna has the ball in hand - Italy to kick off.

    We're underway!!!

  • 1 min: The aerial threat of Ireland's back three was barely utilised last week but Zebo makes a great take from a Murray boxkick inside the first minute here. Good early intent from Ireland, looking to swing the ball wide, but a knock on gives Italy the game's first scrum.
  • 2 min: Boom. Italy look to have things under control at the reset scrum but the Irish pack turns the screw and forces a scrum penalty. Another great start from the Irish frontrow. Penalty kicked to toouch.
  • 3 min: Clean off the top of the lineout and Henshaw has quick first phase ball and batters his way up to the 22. Murray works the blind and gets lucky when his grubber comes back to him off an Italian shin. Italy turnover and they clear to Kearney, who can't hold onto his own up and under.
  • 4 min: This is good from Ireland and Zebo, who dinks it neatly into the Italian 22. There's an accidental offside though and Italy are awarded a scrum.
  • 6 min: Ireland put the pressure on at the set-piece again and Murray monsters Parisse at the base. Ireland scrum.
  • 7 min: Ireland use it and there's two knock-ons - they'll have another scrum further inside. Ireland move it right but then keep it in the tight, O'Brien nearly forcing his way over. Ireland looking to pick and go and Healy thinks he's over, but the whiste is blown for an Irish penalty.
  • 9 min: Ireland opt for another scrum and Murray feeds Henshaw who is held up just short. They move it right, with a penalty advantage, and try to batter their way over. Eventually Murray switches deep to Jackson and Ireland work it out to Zebo on the wing, but he loses the ball as he tries to make a flying finish in the corner.
  • 10 MIN: ITALY 0 IRELAND 0
  • 11 min: Ireland had a penalty coming and they opt for another scrum under the posts. Again Murray looks for Henshaw who tries to bullock his way over.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!
  • The immense pressure finally tells as Ireland work the hands on the right and Earls scoots over in the corner. Excellent start.

    Jackson nails a wide conversion.

    13 MIN: ITALY 0 IRELAND 7

  • 14 min: Ireland give Italy a chance to get straight back in, penalised for offside from a Murray box kick.

    Canna slots a good penalty from out on the right.

    15 MIN: ITALY 3 IRELAND 7

  • 16 min: Ireland resume ownership of the ball and build away on the Italian 22. Heaslip slips a lovely ball out of the tackle to Henshaw who makes good inroads inside the 22.  
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Patient and clinical build-up play from Ireland and they have another penalty coming. Zebo cuts out numbers with an incisive pass out to Stander on the wing and he shows a big hand before crashing over in the corner. Nobody's stopping him from there.

    Jackson makes a hash of his touchline conversion but manages to skew it between the sticks!

    20 MIN: ITALY 3 IRELAND 14

  • 22 min: Italy finally hold their own at a scrum and it sets up their first sustanied spell of possession. However they can't breach the Irish 10-metre line and eventually Gori loops a pass into touch.
  • 23 min: Absolutely monster carry from Stander on half way, bursting a few tackles and getting into Italian territory.
  • 24 min: Electric from Zebo again, the ball is switched back to him on the left and he goosesteps his man and carries deep into the Italian 22. Ireland firmly in the ascendancy again.  
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Ireland are patient again, hammering away down the middle and then using their men over on the right, the ball coming to Earls who has another simple finish for his second score. One try to go.

    Jackson nails a brilliant kick.

    27 MIN: ITALY 3 IRELAND 21

  • 29 min: Italy have a penalty and kick it into the Irish 22 for their first real attacking platform. They get good lineout ball and set the maul - which Heaslip is penalised for collapsing. McLean goes back into the corner.
  • PENALTY TRY ITALY!!!!
  • Parissee claims the lineout ball and the Italian maul gains momentum before it's brought down - Ryan the culprit. It's only the second misdemeanour on Ireland's part but the referee waste no time in awarding the penalty try. Ryan gets sent to the bin.

    Easy conversion.

    32 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 21

  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!
  • That's the bonus point! CJ Stander is an absolute monster. Ireland get straight back on the front foot and have a lineout in the corner which is claimed by Heaslip. Ireland crank up the pressure and Stander booms his way over the line carrying four Italians with him.

    Another confident conversion from Jackson.

    36 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 28

  • 37 min: It's not a bad game this. Unpeturbed by conceding a fourth try Italy enjoy a decent spell of poessession in Irish territory. They are certainly better with the ball in hand under Conor O'Shea. Eventually though the ball is kicked in behind and Ireland can clear with a 22.
  • HT: ITALY 10 IRELAND 28
  • Jackson gets us back underway in Rome!
  • 41 min: Italy concede an early penalty for hands on the floor and Jackson pins it into the corner.
  • 42 min: Toner claims the lineout inside the Italian 22 and Ireland set the maul but a good counter-shove from the hosts sees them turn it over and they can clear.
  • 43 min: Lovely midfield loop from Jackson and Henshaw and then neat hands from Kearney finds Ringrose on the right. The Irish backline much more clinical today.  
  • 44 min: Ireland work a similar move from deep and Earls makes a darting run inside - Ireland up to the Italian 22.  
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Hat-trick hero! Murray pops from the base to Stander on a brilliant supporting line from the 22 and he shrugs off the tackle of Padovani and then shows another big hand before getting over in the corner.

    Jackson with another beautifully struck conversion.

    46 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 35

  • Change for Ireland, Henshaw replaced by Gilroy.
  • 48 min: Irish scrum inside the Italian 10. It comes to Jackson who dinks over for Earls, also on a hat-trick, and he hacks once but hits the deck before he can follow-up and it's touched down in-goal for an Italian 22.
  • 50 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 35
  • 51 min: Good sustained pressure from Italy, they're past 10 phases and into the Irish 22. Their attack gets flatter and flatter though and eventually Ringrose reads a deep pass to Gega and intercepts, but knocks forward.
  • 54 min: Italy making a good fist of things since that fifth Irish score and Earls has to make a great read out on the Irish left to stop the ball getting to the blue shirts free on the right.
  • 55 min: Italy scrum on the left and they put in a great shunt and win a penalty. Gori taps and goes and manages to snipe his way up to the five. Italy hammering away on the five but Ireland force a turnover under the posts and Murray clears to touch.
  • 56 min: Gega misses Parisse from the lineout and it falls for Toner. Ireland then move it left through Earls and then Zebo who clears up the left.
  • 58 min: Lovely Irish interplay, Ringrose offloading to McGrath who finds Earls who checks inside. Jackson then tries to swing a ball wide to Gilroy who has acres of space but it's forward.
  • 59 min: Italy have a scrum inside their own 22 and both frontrows pop up so it will be reset. Ireland put good pressure on second time round but they're penalised and Italy are reprieved.
  • 60 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 35
  • 63 min: Campagnaro breaks the Irish line but the ball goes loose on the Irish 22.
  • 64 min: Big Italian shunt at the scrum, Heaslip struggling to nurse it at the back, but the hosts drove in at an angle and Ireland are awarded the penalty. This is all a bit flat now.
  • 66 min: Ireland owning the ball but cmaped on the Italian 22. Ryan makes good yards but this is decent defence from the Azzurri. Eventually Jackson tries to kick but it's too flat and Gilroy can't claim it - mark called.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!
  • Ireland turn the ball over in midfield and O'Brien carries before moving it right. It comes for Gilroy who steps inside the cover and then turns on the burners to coast through the 22 and over.

    Can Jackson convert? Of course he can.

    ITALY 10 IRELAND 42

  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!
  • Ireland have the ball on halfway and Jackson drifts wide before popping inside for Ringrose, who takes the ball on an angle and evades two poor tackles, one from Parisse, before straightening up and scorching over.

    Jackson adds the afters.

    73 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 49

  • No prixes for guessing the man of the match - CJ Stander.
  • 77 min: Italy rallying late, getting intou double figures of phases and looking to stretch Ireland - but it's turned over.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!
  • Stander lumps a speculative kick forward and the ball bounces kindly for super-sub Gilroy who gratefully collects and accelerates away and over.

    Another two points for Jackson.

    78 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 56

  • 80 min: The clock is red but Ireland opt to tap a penalty and try and squeeze one last score. Jackson sweeps a lovely flat ball to van der Flier and then Dillane carries up to the 22 before Heaslip and Marmion combine down the shortside.
  • TRY IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!
  • And there's the hat-trick for Gilroy! Fair play to Ireland for going for it. Stander makes a huge carry and nearly scores his fourth but is held up just short. Ireland then move it right and Jackson loops a big ball over to Gilroy who has the pace to finish.

    Jackson nails another conversion - 100% for him today.

    82 MIN: ITALY 10 IRELAND 63

  • FT: ITALY 10 IRELAND 63
  • Right then, thanks for joining this afternoon as Ireland got the Italian job done in style.  

    I'm making the quick journey from Rome to Cardiff to bring you all the action from Wales and England - see you in a few minutes!