Andrew Porter and Joe McCarthy. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

'You’ve got to be happy with that' - Farrell satisfied after Italy rout

Ireland ran in six tries at Aviva Stadium.

ANDY FARRELL USUALLY finds a way to pick holes in any performance but the Ireland coach cut a notably satisfied figure as he reflected on his team’s dominant 36-0 Six Nations defeat of Italy today.

Farrell had made 11 changes from the 23 which won away in France last weekend – six in the starting team, five on the bench – for this second round meeting with the Azzurri and while his team lacked cohesion at times, they played some superb rugby as the ran in six tries at the Aviva Stadium, while also keeping their visitors scoreless.

The result means Ireland have now bagged maximum points for their opening two fixtures as they head into a break week, with a home clash with Wales next on the agenda on 24 February.

“You’ve got to be happy with that, Italy are a lot more pragmatic than they used to be,” Farrell said.

“When they’re not playing rugby in their own half, you’ve got to find ways of getting the ball back and we did that at times. We were pretty clinical, but a bit clunky and patchy in parts.

The set-piece was the best part of our game by a mile, our scrum was tremendous tonight and our lineout was right up there with next week.

“When I say clunky, it’s hard to get the ball back of them when they’re kicking the ball out of their own half all the time. Then, towards the middle of the second-half when we made the changes we got a little bit too desperate. Chased the game instead of working hard and making things happen, like we had done.

“We settled down as far as that’s concerned as well, I think everyone will be happy enough in the dressing-room.

“We want to win every game, we’re not shying away from that. The tournament’s only getting started, but we’re in a good spot.”

Some of Farrell’s changes were injury enforced but the likes of Craig Casey, James Ryan and Ryan Baird were rotated in and handed an opportunity to impress.

“When I tell them they’re not in the team I expect them to be disappointed, if they’re not they’re playing the wrong sport.”

Italy boss Gonzalo Quesada compared this Ireland team to playing New Zealand in their pomp.

“They didn’t need to do anything special, just go through their system, their attack,” Quesada said.

“They were always on the front foot and after several phases we were kind of waiting for them. It was not always like that, sometimes we defended better.

“The first-half was a bit different to the second but when we had that 19 points of difference it was like the All Blacks from some years ago when they do their basics and they had 100% from their scrum and their lineout and at high balls.

“They were also running their rucks in attack and defence with extreme efficiency so there was nothing we didn’t expect in terms of level of performance.

“They did what we know they can do. The frustration is more that we didn’t put a bit more pressure on them.”

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