Six Nations 2016: Joe Schmidt content as his Ireland side hammer woeful Italy

Simon Zebo produces an off-load as he is tackled by Italy full-back David Odiete
Joe Schmidt was pleased with Ireland's display of running rugby against Italy

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was content as his side broke out of their Six Nations shackles to notch nine tries in a 58-15 hammering of Italy in Dublin.

The holders' title hopes were already over after a draw against Wales and defeats by France and England.

But the Irish bounced back to crush a poor Italian side with a display of running rugby.

"It was great to get the win on the board and to do it with a little bit of room to spare," said the Ireland coach.

"We were probably afforded a bit more space than we had in recent weeks and that allowed us to open the game up."

Schmidt pleased by Ireland invention

Ireland's enterprising display was best exemplified by Jamie Heaslip's try just before the break after a delightful sweeping move, with Simon Zebo, Jared Payne, Johnny Sexton, Andrew Trimble and Fergus McFadden all involved.

"It's great to see that when you're afford the opportunity to play like that," said Schmidt of the Heaslip score, which extended Ireland's half-time lead to 25-3.

"That's exactly how you want to play. We've been squeezed for time and space by the teams we've faced so far and no doubt Scotland will squeeze us next week.

"We'll try to deliver the very best we can next week. And hopefully it will contain a little bit of open rugby, as there was today - and even as there was in the second half against England and the last time we were here against Wales.

"Today showed we haven't been that far away in the last few games and when the pressure valve broke, it was great to see some good scores coming out."

Best says Ireland cut out 'silly errors'

Skipper Rory Best said the Irish had cut out "a lot of the silly things we have been doing to date in the Championship".

"From the off, you could see the intensity and pace that we wanted to play at," said the Ulsterman.

"We know it's all about doing the simple things well. There's no secret to it.

"We just were better at keeping the ball and clearing the rucks and, ultimately, we were better in their 22, which is something we've been working hard at."

Parisse laments 'terrible' Italy display

Italy captain Sergio Parisse
Sergio Parisse says Italy have a lot of work to do to become competitive

A downcast Italy captain Sergio Parisse described his team's display as "terrible" after their fourth straight defeat in this year's Championship.

"The score is really, really hard but we deserved this score," said the number eight.

"We played a really, really poor match. Ireland played at a good level. We let them play with a lot of speed and that's hard to defend against."

The Italians now face the difficult task of attempting to regroup for a trip to Cardiff next Saturday as the wooden spoon looms.

"At this level, we have a lot of things to do to become competitive," acknowledged the Stade Francais star.

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