Eight tries from Ireland secured a mammoth 56-19 victory over Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Joe Schmidt’s side had the game wrapped up at half-time but they would have been annoyed to concede three tries to Italy in the second half.
Injuries to Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw will be a worry to Ireland but here are our player ratings after a one-sided victory from Ireland.
Rob Kearney – 6
A solid game from the ever-reliable Kearney. The full-back showed some lovely touches in the opening minutes as Ireland made their intentions clear in attack. Was rather subdued after that but did what was expected of him. He would have hoped to be more involved from an attacking perspective and should of had a try if referee Romain Poite didn’t get in the way. Wasn’t tested defensively.
Keith Earls – 9
Got his hands on the ball early on and showed some good defence in the first half to tackle an opponent into touch. However, it was his attacking exploits which delighted supporters. The Limerick man was electric in attack where his footwork and acceleration dumbfounded the Italian defence. Got a try for his efforts at the end of the first half thanks to some great work from Bundee Aki and was very busy in the second half too.
Robbie Henshaw – 8
A brace of tries from Henshaw was a great return from the Leinster centre but he was removed from the field of play when he scored his second try which what looks to be a serious shoulder injury – a terrible shame after playing so well.
Bundee Aki – 8
Despite an early knock on, Bundee Aki didn’t let that stop him from putting in an excellent performance. He showed everything in attack – power, direct running, great footwork which yielded a brilliant linebreak for Keith Earls’ try at the end of the first-half. Scored his first try for Ireland too with an absolutely massive carry into contact.
Jacob Stockdale – 8
Looked really lively throughout and played a crucial role in the build-up to Conor Murray’s try in the first half. Managed to get on the scoresheet in the second half and it was an impressive performance overall – a much better performance after some questions were raised last week at the Stade de France. Showed incredible pace to get his second try of the game and he backed himself to beat the tackle of the last Italian defender.
Jonathan Sexton – 7
As ever, Sexton was crucial to everything good Ireland did in attack. He linked play excellently as ever with some sublime passes and was 100% from the boot too.
Conor Murray – 8
Another solid outing from Conor Murray who dictated the tempo very well throughout and ran a great supporting line to receive the pass from Jack Conan for his try. He only played 50 minutes but his passing was on the money all day long.
Jack McGrath – 7
Great shift from McGrath who responded just how Joe Schmidt would have wanted him to after losing his place to Cian Healy last week in Paris. Topped the tackle charts as he left the pitch in the second pitch in a highly industrious performance.
Rory Best (c) – 7
Did well from the lineout maul in the build-up to Aki’s try. The Ulsterman went up the blindside and did excellently to stay in touch and almost got over for a try himself in the process.
In the second half he did manage to get on the scoresheet when he showed excellent strength and determination to touch the ball down from the back of a rolling maul.
Tadhg Furlong – N/A
Only lasted four minutes after he was replaced early on by Andrew Porter. Seems to be a hamstring injury which will be a huge worry for Ireland.
Iain Henderson – 6
Quiet game from the Ulster second-row who was replaced by Quinn Roux at half-time.
Devin Toner – 7
Was colossal at lineout time where he secured vital, clean setpiece ball for his side in addition to stealing ball on the Italians throw-in. Showed some strength in the carry which will prove a good reminder to Joe Schmidt that he can still prove highly effective.
Peter O’Mahony – 7
Another gritty display from the Munster talisman. Carried, harried and tackled with gusto throughout an energy-filled 80 minute performance. Becoming a crucial member of this Irish back-row and he will look forward to the two-week break after two huge shifts in the last week.
Dan Leavy – 7
First on the scene to pick a ball up off the deck early in the first half and showed some nice footwork with ball in hand. Produced a great turnover in thebuild-upp to Earls’ try which secured the bonus point for Ireland before halftime. Would have been disappointed with a crucial missed tackle in the second half but it was a good performance on his first Six Nations start.
Jack Conan – 6.5
A quiet game from Jack Conan who was replaced by CJ Stander at halftime but he did produce a wonderful offload to Murray for his try in the first-half.
Would have hoped to see more from him with ball in hand but he carried well when called upon.
Andrew Porter – 7
Produced a whopping 13 carries and to be honest, Furlong wasn’t really missed due to the immense shift that the Leinster man put in. Coming in so early into a game and playing 75 minutes is no mean feat and he may well be called upon to start against Wales in two weeks time.
CJ Stander – 7
Only came on in the second half but almost topped the carrying charts regardless. Busy performance from the South African native and he will likely get the nod to start against Wales in a fortnight.
Quinn Roux – 6
Knocked the ball on in the opening minutes of the second half but recovered well to put in a hugely physical shift for the rest of the second half.
Jordan Larmour – 6
Showed some electric acceleration in the last few minutes of the game which will led to a huge gasp around the Aviva Stadium but he needed to do better for two tries Italy scored in the second half – a valuable lesson and he will only get better.
Joey Carbery – 6
Almost gifted Ireland a try when a shovel pass was picked off by an Italian defender but thankfully Earls was on the scene to mop up the mess. Overall he did well when he came on for Sexton but with the game already won, it’s difficult to gauge his impact.
Kieran Marmion – 6
Kept things ticking over nicely when he came on for Conor Murray.
Sean Cronin – N/A
Not on long enough to rate.
Cian Healy – N/A
Not on long enough to rate.