It was a straightforward enough win for Ireland in the end but important as Andy Farrell’s men got back to winning ways.
Italy didn’t present much of a challenge for Ireland but the men in green put in an impressive attacking display nonetheless in the latest round of the Six Nations.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 27, 2021
Check out the Irish player ratings below
15. Hugo Keenan: 6
Ran a lovely line for his try but had a largely quiet afternoon other than that. Didn’t put a foot wrong however not much was asked of the full back from the Italian kickers.
14. Jordan Larmour: 6
Made a good offload for Will Connors’ try and enjoyed a number of nice jinking runs. Was playing quite well but did not emerge for the second half.
13. Garry Ringrose: 8
Took his try very well and provided a lovely offload to put Keenan through for the second try of the game. Ringrose has locked down the 13 jersey in a very competitive position.
12. Robbie Henshaw: 7
Very busy in defence, giving the Italians few attacking opportunities in the midfield. Wasn’t as impressive in attack but a solid performance overall.
11. James Lowe: 6
Made a couple of good runs down the touchline but didn’t have a huge impact on the game overall. The Italian defence did well to stop his carrying and offloading threat.
10. Johnny Sexton: 7
Attacked the Italian defence well, passing the ball a split second before being tackled. Got eight from eight from the kicking tee and looked sharp throughout. Lovely pass in the last minute for Keith Earls’ try.
9. Jamison Gibson-Park: 8
This type of game suited the Leinster scrum-half perfectly as his fast delivery kept the Italians constantly on the back foot. Questions remain over whether he can perform against better teams but it was an impressive performance nonetheless.
8. CJ Stander: 7
Busy day as per usual for the Munster man. Took his try well despite it not being overly clear whether or not he actually grounded the ball. Was unlucky not to score a second after Kelleher was deemed to have knocked it on in the build-up.
7. Will Connors: 8
Took his first try well, providing Jordan Larmour with a very good support line. Very busy in the loose all day and was rewarded with a second try late on. Was well in contention for the player of the match award.
6. Tadhg Beirne: 8
Not quite as good as he was against Wales but was awarded the official player of the match gong on this occasion. Played very well overall, despite starting in his less preferred back row position.
5. James Ryan: 7
Ireland’s top tackler on the day, the Leinster lock put in another tireless shift, having missed out on the game against France. In an increasingly competitive second row, Ryan has his position locked down.
4. Iain Henderson: 6
Was very unlucky not to have been awarded a try in the first half, having clearly grounded the ball. Other than that, the Ulsterman was quiet enough, not that a massive impact from him was needed.
3. Tadhg Furlong: 6
Caught not rolling away a couple of times but overall it was a solid performance from the Wexford man. Made plenty of carries and tackles in a busy 46 minutes.
2. Ronan Kelleher: 6
Energetic performance from Kelleher in the loose as usual but question marks remain over his throwing at lineout time. Hard to say whether he or Rob Herring should start against Scotland.
1. Dave Kilcoyne: 7
The Irish scrum got the upper hand despite conceding one penalty, largely thanks to the Munster man. Was very energetic in the loose but was unfortunately withdrawn early in the second half due to a head injury.
There wasn’t a huge amount left to do for the replacements but the bench helped to maintain Ireland’s dominance. Both Ryan Baird and Craig Casey were promising on their debuts.