Ireland’s Will Connors faces his team’s third attempt in the six-nation win over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photo: Marco Iacobucci / PA Wire.
Ireland finally got a victory in the Six Nations of 2021 after beating Italy 34:10 in Rome.
Attempts by Garry Ringrose, Hugo Keenan, Will Connors (two), CJ Stander and Keith Earls – with the extras of Johnny Sexton – made it a pleasant afternoon for head coach Andy Farrell.
Italy, who joined their team late and replaced Callum Braley Stephen Varney at half time, got off to a brilliant start and went in the fourth minute thanks to a penalty shootout by Paolo Garbisi 3-0 lead.
The lead lasted only two minutes when returning Irish captain Sexton converted a penalty on the other end.
Jonathan Sexton from Ireland kicks a penalty during the Guinness Six Nations rugby championship match between Italy and Ireland at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. Photo by Roberto Bregani / Sports File
Ireland came to life and took a 10: 3 lead thanks to a Garry Ringrose attempt, which was converted by Sexton.
The opening result came after Iain Henderson was denied an attempt when the teleplay referee believed he had lost control of the ball before landing.
Full-back Keenan broke through the Italian defense to touch down, and Sexton, who previously scored his second penalty of the game, added the extras.
Italy were 27-10 behind at half-time after scoring Johan Meyer’s first attempt of the game just before half-time .
Ireland guaranteed a bonus point by claiming their fourth try just three minutes after the restart.
After Italy had two men in sin after a series of penalties, Ireland used their numerical advantage to move forward.
Connors claimed his afternoon’s second attempt, with Sexton adding the conversion to make it 41-10.
James Lowe then blotted out one attempt after a pass from debutant Craig Casey was deemed to have advanced.
Tadhg Beirne was named Six Nations Player of the Game.
Replacement Earls added another Try on death – his ninth in an Irish jersey – with Sexton adding the conversion to add to Ireland’s final record.
A weekly update from rugby correspondent Ruaidhri O’Connor and the best writing from our team of experts. Issued every Friday.
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