Six Nations 2016: Ireland score nine tries in Italy romp

By Lyle JacksonBBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland (25) 58
Tries: Trimble, McGrath, Stander, Heaslip 2, Payne, Cronin, Madigan, McFadden Cons: Sexton 3, Madigan 2 Pens: Sexton
Italy (3) 15
Tries: Odiete, Sarto Con: Haimona Pen: Padovani

Ireland broke their own Six Nations record by scoring nine tries as they thrashed Italy to clinch their first win of the 2016 tournament.

Last year's champions dominated as Andrew Trimble, Jack McGrath, CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip crossed the Italian line in the first half.

Jared Payne, Heaslip and replacements Sean Cronin, Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden added further tries.

Backs David Odiete and Leonardo Sarto touched down for outplayed Italy.

The visitors fell to their 11th defeat in 13 games and did not present the Irish with a real challenge, but coach Joe Schmidt will be relieved after an entertaining display from his dethroned champions.

Ireland's early onslaught

Ireland may have been under pressure to deliver after back-to-back defeats, but they did not let it show as they ran in four tries in a superb first-half performance.

Winger Trimble, who missed out on the World Cup, showed the form which made him Ireland's player of 2014 when he landed the opening try in the left corner.

Loose-head McGrath then got over to put the hosts 12-0 up inside 15 minutes and South African-born flanker Stander scored his first international try, before number eight Heaslip finished a sparkling attacking move just before half-time.

Ireland were in complete control and their attacking play encouraged a delighted Dublin crowd, suggesting Schmidt's side are far from a spent force.

The points pile up

Jamie Heaslip scores his second try
Jamie Heaslip scored a try in either half and also made 10 tackles for Ireland

There was no let-up from a ruthless Ireland as they racked up the points after the break.

Ulster centre Payne was gifted an intercept try and Heaslip drove over for his second score.

Replacement hooker Cronin celebrated his 50th cap with his fourth international try before full-back Odiete went over after a rare Italy attack.

Fly-half Madigan, on for Johnny Sexton, who landed three conversions from six attempts, grabbed the eighth Irish try while winger Sarto got a second for the visitors.

Winger Fergus McFadden also came off the bench to wrap up the huge win.

Skipper's reality check

Ireland took great satisfaction from a job well done, but captain Rory Best acknowledged tougher tasks lie ahead.

Scoring more than 50 points in international rugby is always an achievement, but the experienced Best warned: "We will need to be better next week against Scotland, and we will be better."

There was much for Schmidt to be pleased about. As well as attacking with flair, they refused to afford the Italians any time to play.

They may have lost their Six Nations title, but Ireland seem intent on not bowing out with a whimper.

Man of the match - Andrew Trimble

Andrew Trimble
Andrew Trimble's try on Saturday was his 17th in Tests

Ulster winger Andrew Trimble was fired up from the word go, scored the first try and went close to adding to that. A huge statement from the 31-year-old, who missed last year's World Cup.

Ireland: Zebo, Trimble, Payne, Henshaw, Earls, Sexton, Murray; McGrath, Best, Ross; Ryan, Toner; Stander, Van der Flier, Heaslip.

Replacements: Cronin, Bealham, White, Dillane, Ruddock, Marmion, Madigan, McFadden.

Italy: Odiete, Sarto, Campagnaro, Garcia, Bellini, Padovani, Palazzani; Lovotti, Giazzon, Cittadini, Biagi, Fuser, Minto, Zanni, Parisse.

Replacements: Fabiani, Zanusso, Chistolini, Geldenhuys, Steyn, Lucchese, Haimona, McLean.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)

Match stats
6 (0)Scrums won (lost)5 (1)
8 (0)Line-outs won (lost)10 (3)
9Pens conceded9
129 (1)Rucks/mauls won (lost)90 (2)
26Kicks from hand15
127 (10)Tackles made (missed)192 (16)
613Metres made254
14Line breaks4