Monday, February 16, 2009
Ireland secured a scrappy win over Italy at the Stadio Flamino on the weekend, taking them to the top of the Six Nations table.
Luke Fitzgerald crossed twice with Tommy Bowe, David Wallace and Brian ODriscoll also touching down against a limited Azzurri, who ran out of ideas after a rousing first 35 minutes.
Ireland crushed their resistance by cranking up the pressure at key moments, leading to scores for Fitzgerald and Wallace either side of the interval that swept them out of sight.
Luke McLean contributed all of Italys points with three penalties and, for all their possession and spirit, Nick Malletts team never threatened the visitors line.
The second half wasnt pretty as Ireland failed to put the Azzuri to the sword in a half in which they dominated, but also had a large error count.
There were however late tries from Fitzgerald and ODriscoll, making the final score of 38-9 make the match look one sided, when in reality, it wasnt.
'We're happy to have won. The scoreline may flatter us but we'll take anything we can get,' said captain O'Driscoll.
'It's pleasing that things didn't start well for us but the longer the game went on the better we got.
'We were patient and knew we'd have to wait to break them down before taking our opportunities.
'They didn't score a try and that's because of our defence, not because of their lack of ability. Things didn't click for them today.