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Rugby

11th Feb 2024

Ireland vs. Italy: All the biggest moments, talking points and player ratings

Patrick McCarry

Ireland ratings

IRELAND 36-0 ITALY

Ireland made it two from two with a thumping win over Italy, in Dublin. Our live hub of the match (below) has all the biggest moments, talking points, best scores and full Ireland ratings.

Andy Farrell’s side got their Six Nations defence off to a record-breaking start as they demolished France 38-17 in Marseille. Next up, was an Italian side that let victory against England, in their opener, slip through their fingers. Ireland scored six tries and were denied two more after TMO checks.

OUR FULL IRELAND RATINGS

Hugo Keenan – 8

Made 44 metres off five carries and picked some nice lines of attack. So calm and composed in defence, even when under huge pressure. Had an excellent attacking break that set his side up in the 22, eventually leading to Henshaw’s try.

Calvin Nash – 7

A couple of decent first half carries, fighting for extra metres after the tackle. Over-cooked one kick, in behind. A quiet enough afternoon but stayed out wide and was rewarded with a late try.

Robbie Henshaw – 7

Was pinged, early, at the breakdown but Italy missed the penalty. Flat pass put Lowe away on a burst. Denied a try the TMO spotted a double movement after he was tackled.

Stuart McCloskey – 8

Lovely carry and offload to Lowe, midway through the first half. The No.1 ball-carrier in the first half – getting over the mainline on a few.

James Lowe – 9

Couple of his early kicks and clearances were not as spot-on as usual. Won an important first half turnover and carried well. Lovely awareness to cut in off his line and strength to ride three tackles and score a fine try. Ireland’s best attacker, making well over 100 metres on carries.

Jack Crowley – 7

Cantered over for his first Test try after getting back to his feet swiftly. Dragged his resulting conversion wide. Sublime offload before that Sheehan try. Showed lovely hands with a tip-on pass as he was being thumped. Switched to fullback after Keenan was injured. Missed three of his five kicks at goal.

Craig Casey – 7.5

Quick tempo and today pass key in that opening try. Nice dink into the Italy 22 after Baird’s strong carry. Was permitted to play on after taking an accidental smack to his chin.

Andrew Porter – 8

Conceded a breakdown penalty in the first quarter. Referees are watching him like a hawk but he won two scrum penalties for his side.

Dan Sheehan – 8

Strong kick chase forced an Italian error. Bagged another Test try but was close to getting held up after he tried to sneak some in-field metres. Crashed over for his second after a dominant rolling maul. Denied a hat-trick, out on the wing. Not getting that down and two missed tackles (from nine attempted) his only blemishes.

Finlay Bealham – 7

Strong tackle forced a knock-on turnover. Irish scrum had the edge today, and he played his part well.

Joe McCarthy – 7

Only took him nine minutes to secure a turnover with a thumping tackle on Garbisi. Blocked down an attempted box-kick.

James Ryan – 7.5

Got through a heap of defensive work in the first half. Penalised for a neck-roll, on 47 minutes. Called the line outs well, even though Italy opted not to contest a fair few.

Ryan Baird – 7

Great aerial take, and presentation, after a big up-and-under. Made a trademark bullocking run, near the end of the first half. Pinged for an offside call when he jumped the gun.

Caelan Doris – 7

Calm and in control with his captaincy. Wanted his side kicking for an attacking lineout when a first half penalty was awarded (before the Conan try). Got about his open side business well. One late blemish when he knocked on inside the Italy 22.

Jack Conan – 7

Had the simple task of crashing over for a 10th Test try after Ireland bossed Italy on a rolling maul, and some punishing phases. Conceded a penalty for holding on, but unlucky as he was left isolated by his teammates. Wasted Ange Capuozzo with a dominant hit that knocked the ball loose.

REPLACEMENTS

  • Ronan Kelleher (for Sheehan ’55) – 6
  • Harry Byrne (for Keenan ’55) – 6 – Knocked on, soon after his arrival, but poor pass did him no favours. Nailed a late conversion.
  • Jeremy Loughman (for Porter ’55) – 5 – Pinged at his first scrum.
  • Tom O’Toole (for Bealham ’55) – 6
  • Iain Henderson (for Ryan ’60) – 6
  • Jordan Larmour (for Henshaw ’63) – 6
  • Josh van der Flier (for Baird ’65) – 7
  • Jamison Gibson-Park (for Casey ’72) – 6 – Set up Nash and denied late try.

Click on the key point you want to read about, or just keep scrolling to see updates in our live hub [below]:

Ireland ratings

Ireland ratings from most recent outings

Looking back at our Ireland player ratings for that Six Nations opener and the World Cup, it gives us an idea of who stepped up in some big games for Andy Farrell.

Most recently, we had Bundee Aki and Joe McCarthy score 8.5 out of 10 in that win over France. Tadhg Beirne, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Jamison Gibson and Caelan Doris all scored 8s.

Against Romania, in their World Cup opener, Keenan, Aki, Johnny Sexton and McCarthy all scored 8/10s. Against Tonga, Sexton and Mack Hansen both scored 9/10 while James Ryan, Andrew Porter and Aki all got 8s.

In that epic, tense win over South Africa, Doris, Porter and Lowe all scored 8/10, while Aki got 8.5 after another great effort. Doris and Garry Ringrose topped our Scotland ratings, with 9/10 each. In the quarter final loss to New Zealand, Aki top scored with 9/10, with Beirne getting 8. The rest had 6s and 7s.

HOUSE OF RUGBY, WITH JAMES DOWNEY & LINDSAY PEAT

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