Six Nations – Round 2b

An unchanged Ireland are in Rome today to take on an Azurri with Bergamasco returned to his familiar flanker’s role. They’ll need to avoid the indiscipline of the English in what was a great game in Cardiff yesterday [see also Eddie Butler’s report] while still winning the forward battle and, as RTÉ’s Brendan Cole suggests, continuing to play their attacking rugby with the freedom of last week. Kick-off 2.30pm. 1st Half 4mins in Italy down to 14 men for 10mins after a horrendous clothesline tackle on Kearney. 17mins Great interception and try by Bowe. 31mins O’Gara sin-binned. 40mins Sighs of relief all round as Fitzgerald scores a try against stout 14man Italian defence. Half Time Italy 9 – 14 Ireland. 2nd Half 47mins David Wallace opens the scoring in the 2nd half. 75mins After a dire 30mins of the second half, quick lineout opens the way for a second try for Luke Fitzgerald. 78mins. Closely followed by an interception and try for BOD. Final Italy 9 – 38 Ireland. Far from a classic, or even a good, game. The tone was set by a horrendous clothesline tackle on Kearney 45 seconds in. Ireland, unsettled by the Italians for the first half, toughed it out to record a comfortable win.