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# out of 10
Earls excellence and all the player ratings from Ireland's big win over Italy
The Munster wing was impressive from start to finish as Ireland posted 56 points on the Azzurri.

IRELAND CLAIMED A bonus point win over Italy in round two of the Six Nations. Here’s how we rated Joe Schmidt’s men.

A view of Rob Kearney's jersey ahead of the game Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Rob Kearney: 6

Would have had a try to show for his efforts were it not for Romaine Poite blocking a pass his way. Performed his cover work with the usual efficiency, but the occasion didn’t call for his high-octane impacts and a loose kick off a poor connection invited the late Italian consolation tries.

Keith Earls: 9

Marvellous bursts of speed and power both on the outside edges and testing shoulders in-field. Took his first-half try well and made a pretty ill-advised grubber from Sexton in the right corner into a close run thing. Completeld the day as a midfielder and showed sensational fight to chase back and deny a fourth Azzurri try from the intercept off Joey Carbery.

Robbie Henshaw: 7

Robbie Henshaw scores their fifth try despite the efforts of Tommaso Benvenuti Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Ended the game horribly, injuring his shoulder in the process of grounding his second try.  His pass left to Stockdale put Ireland in position to build pressure and, when the chance came his way off the resulting set of pbases, Henshaw produced a powerful finish with a well-timed charge.

Bundee Aki: 8

A first international try for the Connacht man to cap an excellent day on Lansdowne Road. Constantly a bane for Italy’s midfield as he changed the point of contact with footwork followed up by slick passes.

Jacob Stockdale: 8

Showed his appetite for tries by cutting outside to secure a second score for himself. Plenty of involvements throughout after some clamour to see him cut from the team. Excellent footwork and pace in the lead-up to Ireland’s opener and linked nicely with Conan before Murray’s too.

Johnny Sexton: 7

No need for last week’s heroics, but Sexton’s fingerprints were all over Ireland’s four-try first half as he pulled the strings of Ireland’s attack. Flawless off the tee despite some tough angles to work with.

Conor Murray: 7

Always a good day when Murray is completing wrap-around moves and running in tries. Kept Ireland attacking to a solid rhythm before being replaced early in the second half.

Conor Murray scores his sides second try Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Jack McGrath: 7

Ensured a solid scrum and delivered that trademark work ethic with eight good tackles to his name.

Rory Best: 7

Good over for one of Ireland’s eight tries in the second half and played his part in a 100% line-out return.

Andrew Porter: 7

Dealt a tough hand by being forced into action after just three minutes, but scrummaged very well against tough opposition and was energetic around the park. We all hope Tadhg Furlong will be fit again before long, but the recently-converted loosehead put his hand up to compete with John Ryan on this showing.

Iain Henderson: 5

Makes straightforward days look like walks in the park. Didn’t have to extend himself , but contributed to a solid base for Ireland to play off with some powerful first-half carries before hitting the showers before the second half.

Devin Toner: 7

Responded as you would expect to being dropped last week, professionally. A tower of strength at line-out time as ever, and disrupted the Azzurri set-piece for good measure.

Peter O’Mahony: 8

Would not have been the Irish back row we would have predicted to play 160 minutes over seven days, but after leading the fightback in Paris, the Munster skipper delivered another strong showing with eight tackles – only behind Bundee Aki – and effective carrying to set the tone for an easy day for Ireland.

Peter O'Mahony is lifted off his feet by Simone Ferrari Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

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Dan Leavy: 7

Terrific first-half poach paved the way for Earls’ try. Was solid throughout, tasked with carrying into some heavy traffic. Will likely look back with annoyance at a missed tackle for Italy’s first try.

Jack Conan: 5

Superb reverse pass to set Conor Murray away for his try and appeared to be loving showing his wares at this level with some notable carries and yardage. However, he was called ashore at the interval.


Quinn Roux: 4

Hit rucks dutifully and showed some more of the work-rate Schmidt likes from him.

CJ Stander: 5

Introduced at half-time, but made some impressive yard-gains to help Ireland run up the score.

Jordan Larmour: 5

Will be annoyed at how much time he had to go backwards on debut, but was effective in chasing off the ball and made one burst that gives plenty of promise for the future.

Kieran Marmion: 5

One of his first involvements was to help get a shove on to help Rory Best claim his try. Will be glad of 30 minutes here after appearing to slip behind Luke McGrath in the pecking order.

Joey Carbery: 4

Looked desperate to unleash that flair, but owes Keith Earls a beer or two for preventing an intercept try on his wild late pass.

Not on long enough to be rated:  Sean Cronin, Cian Healy

This scorching Bundee break allowed Ireland clinch a bonus point before half time

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