Ireland score nine tries in Rome as they ease to bonus-point victory
Braces from Keith Earls and CJ Stander gave the away side a 28-10 lead at the break
Stander completed his treble after the restart before Craig Gilroy (3) and Garry Ringrose added further scores
An imposing CJ Stander and replacement Craig Gilroy scored hat-tricks as Ireland powered to a convincing bonus-point victory against Italy in Rome on Saturday.
Bouncing back from a first round loss to Scotland, the Irish were rampant against the Azzurri as they made it six points from two games.
Scrum domination helped the Irish take immediate control with the bonus point secured by the 35th minute as Stander and Keith Earls both notched two tries.
Italy scored a first-half penalty try but for the most part were outclassed.
After Stander completed his hat-trick on 46, replacement Gilroy repeated the feat with Garry Ringrose also scoring.
Following their slow start at Murrayfield a week ago, the men in green dominated from the word go and eventually got their reward when Keith Earls dotted down the opening try after 12 minutes.
Paddy Jackson, who was again standing in for the missing Johnny Sexton, confidently converted but the Azzurri narrowed the deficit almost instantly as Carlo Canna calmly slotted a penalty, 3-7.
CJ Stander’s first half –
200 carries. 2 million metres made. 2 tries. pic.twitter.com/idt8D39Rjv
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) February 11, 2017
Nevertheless, determined to put the Italians away early, two minutes later Robbie Henshaw’s burst and Simon Zebo’s neat hands putt the bullocking Stander into the corner for their second try. Jackson’s ugly scudding kick scraped over for another two.
Ireland had their third try after 26 minutes when Earls, again unmarked out wide, was able to stroll in unchallenged for his second with Jackson converting yet again, 3-21.
A penalty try got Italy back in the game before Stander powered over for his second just before the break, securing the first ever try-scoring point in Six Nations history.
— Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 11, 2017
Jackson converted yet again to give Joe Schmidt’s men a 28-10 lead at half-time.
Ireland’s dominance continued after the restart as Stander again powered through attempted tackles for his hat-trick on 46 minutes. It was their first Six Nations treble since 2002 with Jackson slotting the extras to continue his 100 percent record off the tee, 10-35..
Replacement wing Gilroy, who stepped inside before racing under the posts for a 42-10 lead before Ringrose showed his class as he made his try number seven. With both Jackson’s conversions successful, Ireland were now 49-10 up.
Ireland would add two more tries before the end as Gilroy first collected Stander’s kick ahead on 78 minutes to run in for his brace, before Jackson fed the wing for his own treble to wrap up an impressive victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Ireland: CJ Stander
— British&Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) February 11, 2017