Ireland have gone top of the Six Nations table after a very convincing 50-17 win over Italy in the first match back since the tournament was delayed back in March.
As we all know and remember, the tournament was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but with games to be played behind closed doors, the competition will come to an end over the next fortnight.
It was a day to remember for Irish debutants Hugo Keenan and Will Connors as they were both among the Irish scorers.
Keenan scored twice in the first half after CJ Stander got the Irish going following Paolo Garbisi’s penalty giving Italy an early surprise lead.
Edoardo Padovani intercepted Johnny Sexton’s pass to get Italy back in the game, but the Irish proved too much to handle with tries from Connors, Sexton, Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan ultimately putting the game to bed.
Italy scored again late on through Garbisi, but the Irish held on for their third win of the tournament, putting them within touching distance of a fifth Six Nations triumph.
Ireland sit one point ahead of England and France at the top of the table going into next weekend’s finale.
The final set of fixtures all take place next Saturday, with Ireland looking to seal the title with a win against fellow title challengers France. The French will need to win and better England’s result to have the best hope of clinching the title.
Italy are England’s opponents, while Scotland, who sit in fourth, go up against fifth placed Wales.