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Six Nations | Ireland defeat Italy 50-17 in Dublin

Ireland debutants Will Connors and Hugo Keenan both scored tries as Ireland beat Italy 50-17 in their penultimate 2020 Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland scored seven tries in the comfortable bonus-point win, with man of the match Connors, Keenan (two), CJ Stander, captain Johnny Sexton, Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan crossing the whitewash.

Scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park and hooker Ed Byrne also came off the bench to make their international debuts, but Garry Ringrose suffered a broken jaw in the match.

Edoardo Padovani and Paolo Garbisi registered Italy's tries, but the Azzurri have now suffered 24 consecutive Six Nations defeats.

Andy Farrell's men will now likely need to secure their first-ever bonus-point victory against France in Paris to win the tournament.

With England set to face Italy in Rome, Eddie Jones' side are expected to come away with a bonus-point win and a favourable points difference.

“Points difference might not be enough now,” Sexton said afterwards.

"If we had got another score or not conceded at the end, maybe we could have put a bit of pressure on England. Now we might have to go over and score four. 50-17, if you’d offered me that at the start of the day I’d have snapped your hand off. But we go to Paris with it all to do.”

https://twitter.com/IrishRugby/status/1320089815426236416

Italy opened the scoring in Dublin, with Garbisi splitting the posts with a fourth-minute penalty, with Conor Murray sent to the sin bin for a foul in the buildup.

Ireland responded within four minutes, when Stander went over under the posts after prolonged pressure and multiple phases of attacking play.

Sexton converted, before adding three more points to Ireland's tally with a penalty five mintues later.

Ringrose had to be replaced after taking a knee to the jaw, so Farrell introduced Robbie Henshaw, who provided the assist for Ireland's second try.

Leinster winger Keenan opened his international account on the half-hour mark, going over in the corner after good work from Aki and Henshaw.

Keenan had a try ruled out for an infringement by James Ryan before the winger doubled his tally in the 36th minute after a fine steal from Caelan Dorris and a clever kick from Murray into his path.

Sexton converted, and Ireland led 24-3 at half time.

https://twitter.com/IrishRugby/status/1320054098104901632

Padovani scored Italy's first try in the 55th minute, intercepting Sexton's wayward pass and racing clear to touch down behind the whitewash. Garbisi converted.

Connors marked his debut with a try from a lineout maul in the 61st minute, sealing the bonus point with 20 minutes to spare.

Sexton nailed his third conversion before scoring a try of his own two minutes later. Keenan and Murray were involved again, and Sexton drove over the line to finish the move.

He missed his conversion, but Aki got in on the act with a 69th-minute try, which was assisted by substitute Peter O'Mahony. Sexton converted.

There were two tries in the dying moments, with Heffernan recording one for Ireland (Ross Byrne converted) and Garbisi snatching a last-gasp consolation try for the visitors.

Next up is France in Paris.

 

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