Italy made the trip to Dublin for its February 25 RBS Six Nations
encounter with Ireland, and after showing great promise against England two
weeks ago, the Azzurri were seeking to challenge the Paddies.
The first half was an even affair, with both sides well matched and
captain Sergio Parisse, as ever, leading from the front for Italy. Tobias Botes
opened scoring with a well-taken penalty after 8 minutes to grab the lead, but
Sexton replied for Ireland 2 minutes later with a penalty, before Keith Earls
ran in an Irish try that was duly converted on 16 minutes by Sexton, bringing
the score to 10-3.
A sustained period of Italian possession saw them pose a continued
threat toward the end of the first half. Tommy Bowe had the final say of the
half when he ran in a 40th minute Irish to which Sexton added, leaving the
score 17-10 at the break.
The second half opened much the same as the first, though Italian errors
were mounting and Sexton punished with two penalty kicks, upping the score to
23-10 after 60 minutes before Bowe crossed again for the Irish after exciting
backs movement, a try once again converted by Sexton, to widen the gap to
By this time, Italy was looking tired and Ireland did not have to exert
any great pressure to gain further scores, with another two tries coming
courtesy of Tom Court and Andrew Trimble, the first of which was converted, to
reach the final score at 42-10.
The next game is away, on March 12 in Wales, a team that is in
scintillating form at present, and the match promises to be a tough step for
the Italians, who as of February 25, sit at the bottom of the standings, with 0