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Dan Sheehan scores two tries to lead Ireland to a comfortable victory over Italy in the Six Nations tournament.
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Dan Sheehan scores two tries to lead Ireland to a comfortable victory over Italy in the Six Nations tournament.

Following a close loss against England in Rome, Italy arrived in Dublin with high hopes. However, they were ultimately defeated by Ireland’s dominant performance. Dan Sheehan, who also scored two tries during Ireland’s grand slam victory last season, led the way with two tries for the home team. Additionally, Ireland’s skilled backline was sharp and fluid as always.

Ireland’s current Six Nations champions have a perfect record of two wins out of two matches. They will be facing Wales, who have a talented team but are in the process of rebuilding, in their next game at home. Fans may be hopeful for a strong comeback after their disappointing exit from the Rugby World Cup last year, but the Irish team is staying grounded and not looking too far ahead.

Italy were completely outplayed, allowing their opponents to score six tries and not scoring any points themselves. They repeatedly gave away penalties during scrums, resulting in them losing possession, territory, and valuable momentum.

Unfortunately, Gonzalo Quesada’s team was unable to successfully defend against Andy Farrell’s formidable power-players, who relied heavily on their ruthless driving maul. Ireland’s performance was exceptional, making it difficult to judge Italy’s campaign based on their tougher matches.

Farrell made six alterations from the initial win in Marseille. Caelan Doris, who plays as a back-row, was chosen as the captain for his country for the first time, playing in the position of openside flanker. The duo of Craig Casey and Jack Crowley, who are teammates and roommates at Munster, displayed a seamless understanding on the field in the international camp.

“I believe our scrum was the standout performer, to be honest. It was a great asset,” Farrell shared with ITV. “I also feel that we continued our strong lineout performance from last week in Marseille.”

Italy started brightly and, when Robbie Henshaw was penalised at a ruck, the visitors had a kickable shot at goal. But it was a horrible scuff off the tee by Paolo Garbisi, and Quesada may immediately have questioned his decision not to start Tommaso Allan.

Ireland quickly lost momentum after Crowley’s skillful score. This was not only his first try for the national team but also his first try at the senior level. The fly-half demonstrated admirable determination to position himself for an easy pass from Casey just six minutes into the game.

In a display of Ireland’s physical superiority, Sheehan charged through Italy’s full-back, Capuozzo, and scored the second try after 23 minutes. The score was 12-0 after Crowley successfully converted a try that he himself had set up with a skillful offload to Keenan on the short side, who then passed it to the hooker.

Ireland’s Calvin Nash scores his side’s sixth try.

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Ireland’s following points were earned by their strongest players. Sheehan led the charge at the rear of a group push, which gained speed after James Lowe – exceptional in both offense and defense, and awarded player of the match – joined in and Jack Conan scored a try. The score was 19-0 at the end of the first half.

The Italian scrum was falling apart, both physically and symbolically, and a penalty against them resulted in Ireland earning a bonus point just 10 minutes into the second half. Sheehan once again took the ball at the back of a maul and scored his second try with alarming ease, causing concern for the Italian team.

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After a strong and determined effort by Keenan in the center, Sheehan was just shy of completing his third goal in the corner thanks to an impressive block by Stephen Varney. However, the score soon increased to 29-0 when Lowe sprinted down the left side and powered his way past Monty Ioane and a few other Italian players.

Quesada substituted Ross Vintcent from Exeter onto the field with just over 10 minutes remaining – marking his first appearance in an international match. Calvin Nash then scored a try, which was converted by the substitute fly-half Harry Byrne, concluding the scoring. In two weeks, Ireland will host Wales in Dublin while Scotland will play against England on the same day. Meanwhile, Italy will travel to Lille to face France.

“We were aware that we were facing one of the top teams in the world – possibly the best – and we expected to be challenged,” Quesada stated, before briefly mentioning the tasks on his agenda.

We must make advancements in our performance, possess the ball, enhance our set piece, strengthen our defense, and make effective use of the ball. It will be challenging for us without possession of the ball.

Reworded:

The outcome of Wales’ intense match against England on Saturday went against the recent themes of the Six Nations, while Scotland’s heroic effort against France brought a feeling of disappointment that may be familiar to Gregor Townsend’s team. However, there was never any doubt that Ireland would dominate Italy in Dublin.

Source: theguardian.com