Dan Sheehan of Ireland is tackled by Italy's Stephen Varney just short of the try line. [Inpho/Ben Brady]

Ireland too strong for Italians

Ireland 36; Italy 0

Ireland won pulling up with six tries with two more disallowed on a day when Italy just didn’t turn up after their great exertions the previous week against England in Rome.

This time in Dublin, they had little penetration and seldom bothered Ireland after an initial flurry which the home side contained before moving up through the gears.

With six changes from the previous away win against France, the big question was - would Ireland be able to hit the ground running with so much disruption to their pack and defensive lines?

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The answer was slow in coming but once Jack Crowley got over for the first try, there was little to stem the green flow thereafter.

This was a 10th straight win in the Six Nations for the Irish and for Head Coach Andy Farrell, it allowed him the chance to give run outs to squad members who hadn’t started thus far.

Then the Azzurri offered little resistance and in fact managed on only two occasions to visit the Ireland 22.

Other first half tries  from Dan Sheehan, who would repeat the dose in the second half, and Jack Conan had Ireland ahead 19-0 at the break. 

James Lowe, Calvin Nash and Sheehan completed the route with Robbie Henshaw and sub Jamison  Gibson Park both appearing to add to the tally before video evidence ruled out their efforts.

Next up  is Wales in the Aviva Stadium the weekend after next and they are currently in the wooden spoon position with their new look team which ran both Scotland and England close without managing to win.

Farrell expressed satisfaction with the win but pointed to mistakes that would need to be looked at.

"You have to be happy with that. Italy are a lot more pragmatic than they used to be, and when they are not playing rugby in their own half, it’s hard to get the ball back at times, and we had to find different ways of doing that, and we did at times.

"We were a bit patchy in parts, a bit clunky in parts. When I say clunky, it was hard to get the ball back off them when they are just kicking the ball coming out of their own half all the time.

"But then towards the middle of the second half when we made the changes, I thought we got a bit too desperate trying to chase the game instead of working hard and making things happen like we had done.

"But we settled down as far as that was concerned, so I think that everybody will be pleased in the dressing room,” he stressed.

Referring to the set pieces, he said: “Our scrum was tremendous and our line-out. We want to win every game, so we are not shying away from that. But the tournament gets harder from here on, it’s just started really, but we’re in a good spot.”

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