Rugby, Six Nations: Italy falls in Dublin. Ireland win 36-0

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By John

IRELAND-ITALY 36-0

Markers: pt 8′ m. Crowley, nt (5-0); 24′ mt Crowley (12-0); 37′ m. Conan, t. Crowley (19-0). ST 50’m. Sheehan, nt (24-0); 62′ m. Lowe, nt (29-0); 78′ m. Nash, t. Byrne (36-0)
IRELAND: Hugo Keenan (57′ Harry Byrne), Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw (64′ Jordan Larmour), Stuart McCloskey, James Lowe, Jack Crowley (58′ Harry Byrne), Craig Casey (73′ Jamison Gibson-Park), Jack Conan , Caelan Doris (C), Ryan Baird (66′ Josh van der Flier), James Ryan, Joe McCarthy (60′ Iain Henderson), Finlay Bealham (57′ Tom O’Toole), Dan Sheehan 57′ Ronan Kelleher), Andrew Porter (57′ Jeremy Loughman) Coach: Farrell
ITALY: Ange Capuozzo, Lorenzo Pani (58′ Federico Mori), Juan Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Monty Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney (58′ Martin Page-Relo), Michele Lamaro (C), Manuel Zuliani (69′ Ross Vintcent) Alessandro Izekor, Federico Ruzza (56′ Andrea Zambonin), Niccolò Cannone, Pietro Ceccarelli (41′ Giosuè Zilocchi), Gianmarco Lucchesi (56′ Giacomo Nicotera), Danilo Fischetti (56′ Mirco Spagnolo) Coach: Quesada
REFEREE: Luke Pearce (RFU)
TAGS: 58′ Menoncello (ITA)
SOCCER PLAYERS: Garbisi (ITA) 0/1; Crowley (IRE) 3/4
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: James Lowe (IRE)
NOTE: dry day, strong wind at times, spectators 82,300.

Italrugby falls to Dublin and suffers their second defeat of the 2024 Six Nations. Against Ireland, Quesada’s Azzurri were beaten 36-0 in a match that the hosts did well to immediately bring to their side. Ireland thus remains at the top of the Tournament standings with full points. The match was decided by the tries of Crowley (author of 2 transformations), Sheehan (double), Conan, Lowe (also awarded player of the match) and Nash, with the final transformation by Byrne. After the break week, Italy will face France in Lille, while Ireland will travel to Twickenham to take on England. A foul by Henshaw, who “digs” inside the ruck after putting his hands on the ground, grants the Azzurri the first opportunity from the 10 meter line: Garbisi fails to find the posts. Ireland responds with a great restart from Keenan’s 22, then two breaks from Henshaw himself create the first opportunity for the home team, who begins the usual multi-phase which creates numerical superiority on the right side, Casey opens on the right side for Crowley who at that point has the space to score.

The conversion doesn’t arrive, then Crowley himself doesn’t go for the posts in the 12th minute and brings his teammates back to the red zone, but the Azzurri’s maul defense is excellent and the action fades. The match continues at a low pace, with Italy defending well and Ireland insisting on finding spaces, finding them in the 24th minute: great advancement in an orderly scrum and first pocketed by Keenan, then Crowley, Henshaw and McCloskey find themselves perfectly and Sheehan finishes with the flag. Crowley converts to make it 12-0. There is a lot of play in the mid-field, with the Azzurri forwards fighting in the meeting point but in the 36th minute they give in again in the fray, Ireland takes a throw-in and advances with the maul, then Conan finalizes a series of pick-ups and runs on 19-0. At the start of the second half Quesada introduced Zilocchi for Ceccarelli, the Azzurri built the game but wasted too much in attack and were punished in the 50th minute with another advancing maul by Ireland, finalized by Sheehan for the 24-0.

Farrell’s team raises the pace and builds an action from 24 phases: Casey finds a kick for Keenan who flies towards the Italian 22, Varney saves on Sheehan but the forwards continue to make their way until Henshaw scores, canceled out by Pearce for a double movement. In the 57th minute Menoncello was booked for tripping Lowe, and with numerical superiority Ireland didn’t have to wait: Lowe himself scored the fifth try with a splendid acceleration. In the final Ireland continues to push, the newly introduced Gibson Park gives a notable acceleration to the Irish offensive maneuver, McCloskey makes his way through the middle and then Crowley opens well on Nash, who passes between Vintcent and Page-Relo to mark the 36-0 goal with which the match ends. Ireland wins another 5 points, moves up to 10 in the standings and after two days is leading the 2024 Six Nations.