Ireland recorded their first victory of the 2016 Six Nations with a thumping 58-15 win against Italy at the Aviva Stadium. The defending champions have largely underwhelmed during this year's tournament, but found the ideal opponents in Jacques Brunel's team, who offered limited resistance.
The Irish racked up 25 points during a try-laden first half of rugby, with Andrew Trimble, Jack McGrath, CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip all going over for the hosts. Italy, for their part, could only manage one successful penalty through fly-half Edoardo Padovani, who was making his first start at international level.
The game continued in similarly one-sided fashion in the second half, with Sean Cronin, Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden getting their names on the scoresheet, while Heaslip also added a second try to his name.
There was some consolation for the Italians, with Leonardo Sarto and David Odiete both recording second-half tries. But their general performance was a huge disappointment and they remain pointless in the Six Nations table.
Ireland captain Rory Best admitted after the game he was thrilled by the improvement of his side. "We talked a lot before the game about things we hadn't done well enough. It's pleasing – to score 58 points in a Six Nations game is an achievement," he told ITV.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt would have been thrilled with the response of his side, who were defeated by England last time out. However, his joy is sure to be have been tempered by the realisation that Italy's resistance was feeble.