Match Report: Ireland 50-17 Italy

Johnny Sexton kicked 18 points for Ireland
Johnny Sexton kicked 18 points for Ireland

Ireland 50-17 Italy, Aviva Stadium

Ireland have moved to the top position in the Six Nations table after trouncing Italy 50-17 in the fourth round at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.

This was the first game of the tournament played since the competition was suspended in Mach due to the pandemic coronavirus and the win means Ireland have 14 points - one more than England and France with the final round set to be played next weekend while Italy's losing streak continued.

Ireland started the game with a setback as Conor Murray was yellow-carded in the third minute for deliberately not releasing in the tackle on his own try-line and Paolo Garbisi immediately responded with a penalty goal to get Italy off the mark.

Ireland bounced back with CJ Stander's try in the 8th minute and Johnny Sexton kicked the conversion and a penalty to take them to a 10-3 lead.

Around the half-hour mark, Ireland lost Garry Ringrose to a jaw injury but shortly after that Robbie Henshaw played a pivotal role in sending Hugo Keenan over the line for his first score. By the 33rd minute, Keenan thought he has scored again, the try was ruled out following a video review but it was a matter of time he dotted down for the second time as Ireland completed the opening half with a 24-3 lead.

Italy started the second half briskly when Sexton's pass was intercepted allowing Edoardo Padovani to dot down but between the 61st minute and 70th minute, Ireland sealed the game with tries from Will Conors (61'), Sexton (65') and Bundee Aki (69').

The final few minutes saw Dave Heffernan and Paolo Garbisi exchange tries but it was Ireland, who dominated the encounter with a 33-point victory.

Team line-up:

Ireland: Stockdale; Conway; Ringrose, Aki Keenan; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Herring, Porter; Beirne, Ryan; Doris, Connors, Stander.

Reserves: Heffernan, E Byrne, Bealham, Dillane, O'Mahony, Gibson-Park, R Byrne, Henshaw.

Italy: Hayward; Padovani, Morisi, Canna, Bellini, Garbisi, Violi; Fischetti, Bigi, Zilocchi, Lazzaroni, Cannone, Negri, Steyn, Polledri.

Reserves: Lucchesi, Ferrari, Ceccarelli, Sisi, Meyer, Mbanda, Braley, Mori.