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Monday, February 16, 2009

Ireland go top of the Six Nations after win over Italy

Ireland go top of the Six Nations after win over Italy

Ireland secured a scrappy win over Italy at the Stadio Flamino on the weekend, taking them to the top of the Six Nations table.

Luke Fitzgerald crossed twice with Tommy Bowe, David Wallace and Brian ODriscoll also touching down against a limited Azzurri, who ran out of ideas after a rousing first 35 minutes.

Ireland crushed their resistance by cranking up the pressure at key moments, leading to scores for Fitzgerald and Wallace either side of the interval that swept them out of sight.

Luke McLean contributed all of Italys points with three penalties and, for all their possession and spirit, Nick Malletts team never threatened the visitors line.

The second half wasnt pretty as Ireland failed to put the Azzuri to the sword in a half in which they dominated, but also had a large error count.

There were however late tries from Fitzgerald and ODriscoll, making the final score of 38-9 make the match look one sided, when in reality, it wasnt.

'We're happy to have won. The scoreline may flatter us but we'll take anything we can get,' said captain O'Driscoll.

'It's pleasing that things didn't start well for us but the longer the game went on the better we got.

'We were patient and knew we'd have to wait to break them down before taking our opportunities.

'They didn't score a try and that's because of our defence, not because of their lack of ability. Things didn't click for them today.


Time: 04:43

Posted at 4:28 pm | 31 comments

Viewing 31 comments

JJM February 16, 2009 6:46 pm

That Masi tackle should have been red. Doesnt matter if its the start of a game or not, had Rob Kearney not jumped up so fast I'm sure he would have been gone.

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 6:53 pm

The worst ref the world has seen. Was that Chris White? A real English pussy, he gave advantages to Ireland during all the match. With a good ref Ireland would have got like 2 or 3 sin bins

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 7:55 pm

worst game of rugby ive ever seen. got so bored i left at half time to watch a gailec match.

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T February 16, 2009 9:34 pm

Ireland didn't have a clue when O'Gara went off.

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Ronan February 16, 2009 9:48 pm

Actually, Ireland put together their most continuious phases, got their act together and generally got their act together in the absence of O'Gara.

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themull February 16, 2009 9:51 pm

Ireland were much much much more effective with Stringer at SH...Bloody O leary spends half an hour waitin over the ball at ruck time allowing time for the defense to set up while with Stringer the ball was fed out immediately...

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 11:35 pm

yeah then Italy should have had half the team sent off martin castro giavani should have been sin bined for the amout of fights he started and Italy have improved there fowards are great the irish have been saying there very physical up fron ud actualy have to read articals to the build up mesi should have been red carded it was compleetly intentional and so should giovanai for dirty play in the foward pack but the italians wore down we have another confidence boos 2 down 3 to go

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Anonymous February 16, 2009 11:38 pm

Did you hear commentator's pronunciation of Donncha? Priceless.

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Paddy Wallace's Face February 16, 2009 11:50 pm

I agree with themull on this one. I was hoping Stringer would stay in and O'Leary would go off once ROG got back in. Fitzgerald's first try never would've happened with O'Leary's slow-ball tactics.The rest of you above, I don't know what you're on about...I thought the ref. was pedantic, but that was about it. Italy, like France, is unfortunate enough to not speak English as fluently as the rest of the 6N crew, but that's just their shitty end of the stick. It could be nice if some refs had a working knowledge of French and/or Italian....sending Masi off for the clothesline would have made what was already to be a poor match simply unbearable.Best moments of the match:1) Awkward rendition of "Ireland's call" where the crowd thought it was over after the first chorus and none of the squad seemed to know the words.2) Philip Matthews' not so subtle (and pretty needless, IMO) allusion to Italian soccer and saying Canale "made the most of" being 'tackled' by O'Gara.3) O'Gara is in the bin, Ireland gets a penalty, and Eddie Butler remarked, "I think Brian is saying, 'Does anyone know how to kick this thing?'"Anyways, I thought Griffen did a good job at scrummy, despite being 30-something. It was a shame Italy couldn't get more points on the board...it seemed like they fought hard enough to get some.

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 1:03 am

o leary is a more balanced player than stringer.his defence and his ability to break is immense,also has a good box kick unlike stringer.his passing isnt as good as stringers but its not far off and some of the critisicm hes getting is unjust

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 1:38 am

Well, i will tell u 1 ting...2 from 2 and top of the table, cant ask for more really:)

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eating is cheating February 17, 2009 1:47 am

im a irish man and i have to say i feel sorry for italy they dont deserve to get 30+ point put on them!! even though it wasnt great that exciting i quite enjoyed watching two packs cutting the fuck out of each other.....and i think strings did bring alot more into the game than o leary was!!

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Stinky Farts February 17, 2009 2:21 am

No, the criticism of O'Leary isn't unjust....it comes from observation.You are right - he is certainly better at kicking than Stringer. He's also a bigger player and much better at tackling. I'm not sure if he's all that much faster than Stringer, but he seems to always be where he needs to be...if that makes sense.However, in a game like this one, where the difference between getting the ball out quick or taking a long time was clearly illustrated, Stringer was much more suited to be playing scrumhalf. Stringer gets the shit out without hesitation - almost dangerously quick sometimes (ie - he doesn't always LOOK where he's throwing it...)Plus, c'mon, the man loves his ankle taps!!

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 3:10 am

cant see a thing, poor quality

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jamestheconvict February 17, 2009 7:30 am

well well well - a thuggish strong confident ireland against reigning champs Walesthats a 6 nations match worth waiting for - all in all the level of rugby has been substandard.your all going to tell me to piss off and shut up and ask what do i know - well all i can say is i watched the gamesno 10 has stood up - Steven Jones is playing well but isnt exactly Matt Giteau or Daniel Carter - to now its been bumble bumble, grinding stuff for all the teams expected to win - even if england are rubbish at the moment - except France V Ireland the skill level in basic kicking, passing, tackling is pretty low - there is no intensity from the playersthe crowd do make up for the atmosphere and intensity - but im being objective on the rugby here - not the 6 nations as a spectacle -the growth in Europe has been nothing short of phenomenal in the last 10 years and the continued strength of the game in UK and Wales is only going to get better.any S14 highlights coming up RD ?

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jamestheconvict February 17, 2009 7:34 am

can we see any better footage of the early high tackle ? it was heavy alright - but he sprang straight back up !!

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 9:26 am

PLease everyone dont reply to jamestheconvict, he has done this sort of thing in the last 4 posts and started arguements. No replies on his post please, as far as we are concerned it doesnt exist.

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aussierugbyfan February 17, 2009 9:45 am

ha ha ha ha ha lol james well funny they wont even reply

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 10:41 am

SHIT WHAT A GAME YOU GUYS IM SO EXCITED

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minstrel boy February 17, 2009 11:24 am

stringer gave some tempo to the game both times he was brought in. he may not be a complete player as o`leary but this game proved that quick ball is vital to break a well organised defence

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Kember February 17, 2009 11:30 am

I'll reply to James but only cos I agree with him on this one and I'm English. I don't agree with everything he says ie no intensity but I do think that the standard of rugby overall has been below par...Wales v England was a good game to watch but no spectacular rugby was played. I can't really remember much of the France v Ireland game as I was trying to watch it through one eye and a haze of Guiness so won't comment on that but the other games have been pretty terrible...the problem is, nowadays Intl games are often a let down. I watched Wasps V Leicester on Sunday and it was far quicker and more entertaining and that's with most of their intl players missing.

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 12:17 pm

masi should be cited because it was the first play, he comes out of position to clearly try to take out Kearney the real dangerman, one arm no shoulder and grabs the face to reef him out of it. Totally disgraceful

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piaruskov February 17, 2009 1:35 pm

anybody noticed something? Ireland v. France: 80 mins, 2 penalties against the Irish (when the game was pretty much over), Ireland v. Italy: 3 mins: 2 penalties against the Irish. Now I have already mentioned in a previous post that if the French have been so penalized against Ireland, it is because they have a hard time adapting to a different refereeing standard than that of the Top 14. But what these 1 st 3 minutes tell is that there are huge gaps between referees: Owens= pretty lax about rucks (especially with Munstermen), White= not lax at all. good job from the Irish who got that pretty quick and did ok adapting to it

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Kenny February 17, 2009 1:54 pm

On the substandard play of the game, any team trying to play Italy will be forced to play their way for large chuncks of the match,They slow everything down and give no room to play.Even the "mighty" Australia could barely beat them!!

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 3:34 pm

Oh come on Kelly... Shut up and learn something about rugby

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Anonymous February 17, 2009 3:35 pm

Sorry; that was Kenny

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jamestheconvict February 17, 2009 10:00 pm

Thanks Kember It was designed to be constructiveYou guys cant honestly tell me the standard of rugby is good enough for the 6 nations. I think the coaches have a lot to answer for - think of the up skilling Henry and Deans put an emphasis on

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Anonymous February 18, 2009 3:32 am

james who gives a fuck.....every clip u say something reterded??? jus talk about the match not how fantastic the southern hem is!!!

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jamestheconvict February 18, 2009 3:51 am

i was talking about the match(es) you idiotread my post and take off your blinkers

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Kenny February 18, 2009 10:04 am

"no 10 has stood up - Steven Jones is playing well but isnt exactly Matt Giteau or Daniel Carter - to now its been bumble bumble, grinding stuff for all the teams expected to win - even if england are rubbish at the moment - except France V Ireland" James im not gonna tell you to shut up, cause in all honest you really tried to give us a few thumbs up in your last post, it must have hurt like hell but you did so fair play, SH rugby has always been a notch better that NH, but that just makes the matchs all that bit juicier cause its favourite against underdog no matter where they play.And Anonymous who called me kelly first come back when you get over your dyslexia you git, I dont assume to know it all about Rugby but please allow mw to make a fair comment. Italy pushed Australia all the way earlier on the year as did Ireland. Australia won both matches as they are a superior team. I have no problem admitting that so get over yourself you self righteous hick, come back when you can maybe spell a 5 letter word right and so you dont have to come back in the next post and apologise you useless git. Go back to school with that crap.

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mise February 21, 2009 11:51 pm

re all 6N matches being shit thus far:ireland france match was excellent. Period. all other matches weren't but that one was. just a quick point of order.

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