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Six Nations 2024: Ireland maintain Grand Slam bid with 36-0 rout of Italy

Ireland maintained their bid for back-to-back Grand Slams with a dominant 36-0 win over Italy in Dublin, joining England on two wins from their first two games of the 2024 Six Nations.

Andy Farrell’s side had been touted as favourites to retain their crown after recording an emphatic opening-night win over France last week, and they built on that success by avoiding an upset on Sunday.

The hosts needed just seven minutes to inch ahead at Aviva Stadium, with Jack Crowley crossing for his first international try after good work from Hugo Keenan and Robbie Henshaw.

Crowley was then heavily involved in the game’s second try, kickstarting a move which ended with Dan Sheehan crossing in the corner. Ireland continued to press their visitors back and saw their pressure rewarded again on the stroke of half-time, with Jack Conan driving over after a couple of near-misses.

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The bonus point was in the bag within 10 minutes of the restart as a dominant Ireland maul allowed Sheehan to grab his second try of the afternoon, and things went from bad to worse for Italy as Tommaso Menoncello saw yellow for a trip on James Lowe.

Ireland immediately made their numerical advantage pay for a 29-0 lead as Lowe shrugged off multiple defenders to dive across with just over 20 minutes to play.

Caelan Doris knocked on as Ireland let Italy off with nine minutes to go, but the hosts still finished with a flourish, Jamison Gibson-Park setting Calvin Nash free to cross before Harry Byrne added the extras.

Gibson-Park thought he had capped an impressive performance off the bench with a last-gasp score only to spill just short of the line, but that couldn’t take the gloss off an impressive shutout win for Ireland.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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