Six Nations 2024: Ireland 36-0 Italy – Irish secure comfortable bonus-point win in Dublin

Ireland wing James Lowe scored the pick of the tries with a superb finish in the second half
Ireland: (19) 36
Tries: Crowley, Sheehan 2, Conan, Lowe, Nash Cons: Crowley 2, Byrne
Italy: (0) 0

Ireland maintained their push for successive Six Nations Grand Slams with a comfortable, if sometimes scrappy, bonus-point win over Italy in Dublin.

First-half tries from Jack Crowley, Dan Sheehan and Jack Conan put the Irish 19-0 up at half-time.

Sheehan added his second to give Ireland the bonus point before Robbie Henshaw had a score ruled out.

But James Lowe scored the pick of the tries before Calvin Nash capped Ireland’s win late on.

While this Irish performance will not live long in the memory, it maintains their momentum going into a rest week before hosting Wales on 24 February as they bid to become the first side since France in 1998 to win back-to-back Grand Slams.

For Italy, it is another dispiriting visit to Dublin and a hugely disappointing performance after giving England a scare in their opening match in Rome last week.

Ireland on top at the break after scrappy half

Having secured one of their greatest Six Nations wins over France in Marseille last week, Ireland were fancied to sweep past the Italians with little fuss in their first home match since the World Cup.

And even with six changes to the side that started the win over France – some of which were injury enforced – the hosts proved too strong for the Italians as the reigning champions registered a 17th successive home win.

Going into Sunday’s game, Ireland had scored 50 points in each of their last four home Six Nations wins over Italy, but they were not fluent enough to tear the Azzurri apart during a scrappy first half.

After Paolo Garbisi’s early missed penalty, Ireland struck with their first meaningful venture into Italian territory when a move started by the excellent Hugo Keenan was finished by Crowley for the fly-half’s first international try.

The next 15 minutes were scrappy, disjointed and not overly entertaining. Italy enjoyed their fair share of possession but were not clinical enough.

Ireland’s kicking game was a little erratic, but despite letting errors creep into their game, they moved further clear when Sheehan struck again after his score in Marseille last week.

Crowley sent Henshaw clear with a clever offload. Henshaw found his midfield partner Stuart McCloskey, who teed up Sheehan for the Leinster hooker’s first of the afternoon.

The third Irish try was down to the forwards, with Conan touching the ball down from close range after a catch and drive pushed Ireland close to the Italian line. An increasingly confident Crowley drilled superb conversions for the second and third tries after misjudging his first.

More to follow.


Ireland: Keenan; Nash, Henshaw, McCloskey, Lowe; Crowley, Casey; Porter, Sheehan, Bealham, McCarthy, Ryan, Baird, Doris (capt), Conan.

Replacements: Kelleher, Loughman, O’Toole, Henderson, Van der Flier, Gibson-Park, Byrne, Larmour.

Sin-bin: x

Italy: Capuozzo; Pani, Brex, Menoncello, Ioane; P Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Ceccarelli, N Cannone, Ruzza, Izekor, Zuliani, Lamaro (capt).

Replacements: Nicotera, Spagnolo, Zilocchi, Zambonin, Vintcent, Page-Relo, Allan, Mori.

Sin-bin: Menoncello (57)

Referee: Luke Pearce (Eng)

TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)

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