Six Nations: Ireland scores 9 tries, beats Italy 58-15
Mar. 12, 2016
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland became the latest team to hand Italy a beating in the Six Nations, winning 58-15 in Dublin on Saturday to earn a first victory in its disappointing title defense.
The Irish scored nine tries — four in the first half, five in the second half — with No. 8 Jamie Heaslip grabbing two of them. Andrew Trimble, Jack McGrath, CJ Stander, Jared Payne, Sean Cronin, Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden also crossed for Ireland, which started the competition with three straight losses.
After opening with a narrow loss in France, Italy has conceded a total of 134 points in consecutive defeats to England, Scotland and Ireland at a time when some are questioning whether the team deserves its guaranteed place in the Six Nations.
"We talked a lot before the game about things we hadn't done well enough," Ireland captain Rory Best said. "It's pleasing. To score 58 points in a Six Nations game is an achievement."
It was most tries Ireland has ever scored in a Six Nations match, and there could have been more with Italy's defense getting pierced regularly.
Heaslip's first try, which was Ireland fourth, was the pick of the scores. The move started just outside Ireland's 22, included a deft offload by Simon Zebo near halfway and ended with McFadden giving a short pass for Heaslip to collect 10 meters out and barge over.
David Odiete and Leonardo Sarto were Italy's try-scorers on another tough day for the injury-hit Azzurri, whose flyhalf Edoardo Padovani was making his debut. He kicked one penalty but made an error early in the second half when his long pass was intercepted by Payne, who romped over from 30 meters out.
Third place is still in sight for Ireland, which finishes against Scotland.