Ireland cruise to victory against Italy in 6 Nations opener

Tommy O'Donnell scored one of Ireland's tries

Tommy O’Donnell scored one of Ireland’s tries

Ireland started the defence of their 6 Nations crown with a comfortable 26-6 victory against Italy, but Joe Schmidt’s men were not convincing in their display in Rome.

Conor Murray and Tommy O'Donnell scored the Ireland tires in tricky wet conditions, yet improvements will be needed from Ireland if they are to make it two wins from two against France in Dublin next week. 

Just after Italy hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini had been sin-binned, scrum-half Murray got the first try in the 65th minute. That was quickly followed when late replacement flanker O'Donnell ran through for his touchdown.

It was Ireland's eighth victory in a row and represented a promising start as they attempt to retain the Six Nations for the first time.

Get a full report on Ireland's win in Rome in this weekend's Sunday World newspaper.

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