Japanese player loses ball over tryline


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


The Top 5 'Big Boppers' in World Rugby


Barbarians too good for England XV


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ireland see off Italy with strong second half in Dublin

Ireland piled on the points in the second half to come out convincing 42-10 victors over Italy in their Six Nations encounter at Lansdowne Road on Saturday. It's their first win of this year's championship and their first of four games on the trot.

Tommy Bowe scored twice while Keith Earls, Tom Court, and Andrew Trimble gave Ireland the comfortable win after Italy fought hard in the first half, but failed to take their chances. 

Jonathan Sexton acknowleged that they will need to up their game ahead of next weekend's meeting with France. "It wasn't perfect but we'll take the win and move on to France next week."

Coach Declan Kidney commended his side for their 'courage to play', but said that they need to find the right balance and make sure they don't get carried away after scoring a few late tries.

"There was a bit of wearing down that had to be done in the first 50 minutes, as there are in all test matches. We could probably have done a little more of that in their half rather than ours, but I can't fault the boys for trying to play,'' he said.

Captain Paul O'Connell on the other hand said that the scoreline gives them a nice boost in confidence ahead of their trip to Paris.

Highlights and clips from all the weekend's games will be posted in due course. If you have any particular requests, please get in touch via email or post a request on the forum.

Posted at 9:49 am | 22 comments

Viewing 22 comments

ernie February 26, 2012 2:11 pm

it's a shame our side (italy) cannot fight for 80 minutes nor can find a decent kicker...so good at kicking that useless rounded ball,so poor at kicking the odd shaped one...

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Fettsack February 26, 2012 2:42 pm

I think Ireland got a bit lucky to come out of the first half ahead on the score because Italy put good pressure during the second quarter of the game. Their second half was much better and Bowe's try at the 61th minute showa what they can do when playing with pace and organisation.

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POCandROG February 26, 2012 3:34 pm

When will Zebo get the call!!!! Well done to ROG

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AkaRed February 27, 2012 11:43 am

There is hardly any issue with our wings at the moment. Zebo will get his chance in due course no doubt.

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TMO February 26, 2012 6:03 pm

Zebo wouldn't make it with Fiztgearld coming back to his best he's not at the same level.

ROGs influence was minimal he kicked poorly when he arrived. Still worthy of a place in the squad though.....!

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jigby February 27, 2012 5:41 pm

Not like sexton did any better kicked well yes (for once.) But rob karney should have gotten man of the match. It seems sexton only has to show up and he is given man of the match. Very much an over rated player.

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Reality February 26, 2012 6:15 pm

Great camera work during the last try. Just forget about play and focus on the MOM instead of showing the try. They're meant to do that during a break in play.

Also, TMO, I'd say Rog's influence was anything but minimal. He missed touch from a penalty, kicked awfully out of hand at least twice, and as usual failed to tackle properly. I'd say that was a pretty big influence for just ten minutes.

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Pretzel February 26, 2012 7:11 pm

Lol, love the sarcasm creeping in with the comments above regarding ROG, I was going to +1 with TMOs' comment however I see you have covered the flip side there Reality!

Anyway, poor old Italy :( smashed by the Irish... as the first comment said it is a shame that they cannot gather up a decent kicker... I mean Botes plays scrum half at club level?!?!

They well and truly lack the depth to clear up a game... or to even stay in a game which is sad to see especially when they do so well on other occasions...

I think Italy need to bring in conscription... for the rugby squad at least!

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Cheis February 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Italy's forwards are awesome!! most notably the front row and backrow,

their backs however (apart from masi)... the really need a proper 10!!!!!!

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POCandROG February 26, 2012 10:19 pm

What was ROG suppose to do?I love the way Sexton has 3 below average years with Ireland and still hangs onto the 10 jersey,and ROG has 10 minutes to get up to speed with a high tempo game,and all of a sudden,he is not good enough..Zebo is the most exciting winger in the country,much more consistancy than Fitz

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Reality February 27, 2012 12:04 am

What was he supposed to do? Maybe not miss touch with a penalty and actually make a decent tackle for once.

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Pretzel February 27, 2012 2:44 am

Hmm a bit harsh, I do get what POCandROG is saying, it was a pretty mad game, I suspect because there was so much on that game with ROG winning umpteen caps etc that nerves got the better of him (which admittedly is not what you expect from a player like him) as for the tackle situation, well we all know ROG is not the worlds best tackler.. haven't we got over that one yet?

The kicks are his forte therefore we would expect him to slot anything and everything... he had a bad game... I laughed at your previous earlier comment however I feel stick towards ROG can go a bit to far... he really is a game winner (when he has his head screwed on properly!)

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Reality February 27, 2012 4:52 pm

I don't know, I think criticism is long overdue for him. Whenever he plays a half-decent game he's praised as the mastermind of the victory, and whenever he plays terribly people just pretend it never happened and call it a bad day. And people absolutely go mad whenever Sexton misses kicks at goal, but they just decide that O'Gara's inability to tackle isn't a serious problem. You ask if we haven't gotten over it yet? He's a professional rugby player who can't tackle! That is a massive, massive problem, and there simply is no getting over it.

I don't know what it is about Irish rugby, but people always just forget about the players' flaws and pretend that they're brilliant. I mean people say Stringer is a great player, whereas in reality he can't do anything except pass. D'arcy is a great centre, but in reality is a defensive liability and only ever does crash balls, at which he's too small to be effective. John Hayes is a legend etc. but he was a prop who couldn't scrummage. Until people start accepting the reality that players that are hugely flawed aren't good enough to play for Ireland and should be rightly criticised until they get their act together, then Ireland is never going to be a serious threat to the likes of France, New Zealand etc.

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Pretzel February 27, 2012 7:04 pm

lol... reality :)

Yeh I do get your point... I think O'Gara has been the saviour of Ireland therefore many people tolerate his inability to tackle... and when it comes down to winning and losing they feel that ROG puts on more points than he costs...

I do see your point though...

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modeselektor February 27, 2012 10:53 pm

Zebo consistancy?? He's very hot and cold. Wouldn't trust him yet. Fitz is a smart player and will hopefully rediscover form after injury, but agree his form last 12 months has been patchy. From the squad vs wales it looks like David Kearney is ahead of Zebo

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themull February 27, 2012 2:56 pm

I'm quiet happy to see Sexton getting the majority of game time as he is the outhalf for the foreseeable future for Ireland..I know it's really early to be talking about the next world cup, but ROG will be long retired by then and we need Sexton to get as much game time as possible early in his career....Sexton is also much better with ball in hand and in defence than ROG who can be a liability against teams with backrows like France and Wales in the NH and pretty much all SH teams...I mean the Irish defence hasn't been great as of late, so putting ROG back in would only be asking for more trouble..

Also Sexotn is actually playing very well at the moment and had an excellent game yesterday so calls for him to be dropped at this point are not going to hold much weight..

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Tullowtank February 27, 2012 4:59 pm

ROG should never, bar injury to Sexton, start for Ireland again. He is well, well into his 30's and the only thing he offers that is better than Sexton is his kicking from hand which is slighlty better (I don't know if anyone in the world is actually better than ROG at it). Sexton all-round is better than ROG now and better than ROG ever was. Sexton can run with ball in hand and defend like a modern day 12. Today's rugby needs a 10 who can get a backline running well and take the play on the gainline. ROG is not that kind of 10, he is a pocket 10 and a game-manager. He has been one of Ireland's greatest ever players and his conistency is remarkable but right now the present and the future lies with Sexton. He is a modern day out-half who can do it all. Stop looking at ROG with rose tinted glasses, commend him for an outstanding career, I love that he is still on the bench for Ireland but for the remainder of his career that is where he should remain.

Also Kidney has to start using O'Brien more, I would not be surprised at all if he the entire backrow has a much better game with ball in hand if Reddan starts next week, Murray does not get the backrow, one of our best attacking weapons, working well at all. He's young and a talent but the Reddan/Sexton axis will have Ireland play much better. I think it may be hard to swollow but Leinster I believe are a much better team than Ireland and unless Ireland take on the Leinster way of play we will not be able to challenge the Welsh and the French for 6N glory. To do that I feel we need to change things, first things first get rid of Kidney and in with a foreign coach without any connections to a province. We have become stale and stuck playing boring, slightly negative rugby. The game has moved on, we have the players but our game plans and structures haven't moved with it.

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xjxism February 27, 2012 5:53 pm

to say sexton is better then o gara ever was is just plain stupid. Sexton is good but he is the most over rated no 10 in the northern hemisphere at the moment. He is a bad kick of the ground. Better out of hand but no way the best. And he seems to be getting man of the match just for being there at the moment. It should have been rob kearny or paul o connell. Sexton is good but not as good as you think he is. And sexton is what 26 to say he is the future is a bit off. Most players are established internationals at that stage. He's not that young relatively speaking.

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Reality February 27, 2012 5:13 pm

Finally, someone who sees things from an objective point of view and doesn't gloss over the (many) problems Ireland have. Thank you Tullowtank, I've been waiting too long for a comment like yours.

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farlo February 28, 2012 8:41 pm

Tullowtank ............... I could not have said it better myself , Ireland are a great team but could be world class if playing the right players and are coached in the right direction ,we have the talent at club level and that is a fact so with the right man behind them the future could look really bright

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TMO February 28, 2012 9:00 pm

Against the French on Sunday unless we start fast and aggressively then the game will be lost by half time. This means Murray has to stop looking around like he's awestruck at his surroundings and throw the ball out FAST - no steps, no BS just pass! This is what REddan does and teh makes life so much easier for Sexton with Leinster. Momentum in attack is what will take the French not giving everyone of their defenders a chance to re-group and line up our back row! Reddan is the best man for this but unfortunately I can't see him starting.

Scotland did it for periods in Murrayfield and consistently broke the line.... and we have a a more complete set of backs capable of causing even more havoc.

Regarding ROG: the game has moved on and unless your no. 10 can unleash the players around him than he's only making up numbers. ROG great for taking the pressure off but when he's not on his game he can put alot of pressure on. End of.

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TJ-Hooker February 29, 2012 12:01 am

Its good to see sexton , kick well today , it makes a change . His general play was o.k
He still needs to do a lot more , one (man of the match ? ) game against italy , does not make him , world class, Let hope , he can play ,two good games in a row , this time against france. maybe , just maybe , he might stand up and be counted, go on sexton. You caaaan dooooooo iiiiitttt .
O'gara kick poorly, for the ten minutes he play for. that makes a change , from the 118 caps ,he has earn . Taking the hits , picking him-self up , ready to go again . sexton can learn so much from o'gara , maybe then ,there could be a change of sexton been a world class rugby player.
POC was outstanding , along with kearney , sean O'brien is been wasted, at number 6. time to drop heaplip and bring in peter o m, for balance, and leave sean do , what he is good at .breaking the line with ease. I hope we will put in a performance we can be please with . come on Ireland.

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