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Full-Time: Ireland 36-6 Italy

Conor O’Shea is nervous: “This is Italy’s Australia,” he says. Welcome to our live coverage of Ireland’s crucial, final Pool C match against Italy at the Otago Stadium in Dunedin…

There’s no wind, there’s no rain, perfect kicking conditions for Ronan O’Gara. Hopefully.

Italy: Masi; Benvenuti, Canale, Garcia, Bergamasco; Orquera, Semenzato; Perugini, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni; Geldenhuys, van Zyl; Zanni, Bergamasco, Parisse.

Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Earls; O’Gara, Murray; Healy, Best, Ross; O’Callaghan, O’Connell; Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip

Ronan O’Gara kicks off and Rob Kearney sets the tone with a really fine take under pressure…

Italy clear their lines easily as O’Gara puts them under pressure..

Brilliant chip through from O’Driscoll and Ireland seize the advantage from an Italian line-out…

It’s all Ireland inside the opening five minutes – Healy sucks in a number of Italian defenders as the men in green look to go through a number of phases and break Italy down gradually.

O’Gara lines up a pop at goal.

Absolutely no problem – dead centre from O’Gara, he hit it so sweetly. He has scored more points against Italy than any other team. Ireland lead.

Much better pressure from Italy as Castrogiovanni gets in and around Healy. It’s a penalty to the Azzurri.

Bergamasco’s first attempt is good. Scores are level.

Another penalty to Ireland and, again, it isn’t easy. It hits the post and goes straight into the arms of Garcia. Italy attempt to clear their lines.

Conor Murray almost sneaks through, the ball runs through to O’Driscoll and then Keith Earls. So close to a try but the Munster man runs out of room. Italy line-out.

Italy lose their discipline, needlessly, and O’Gara knocks over his second successful kick.

A really good maul by Italy – they’re almost over the line….

…before Ireland collapse and give away the penalty. Bergasmasco makes no mistake and this is shaping up to be a tight affair.

Blatant eye gouging! Ghiraldini on Cian Healy and Brian O’Driscoll is livid. He may be cited after the match but that’s no good to the Irish now…

Good structure to Ireland’s attacking play but Italy’s defence is impressing.

Tommy Bowe goes under the posts but the referee rules it out. Harsh call. Bowe seemed to juggle the ball legitimately after a fine steal from Jamie Heaslip. Another shocker from the ref. The score stays level.

Canale is penalised for not rolling away from the tackle after a fine drive forward by Rob Kearney. Castrogiovanni is struggling for Italy, he’s walking off to be replaced by Lo Cicero.

No problem for O’Gara who puts Ireland back in the lead.

The Italian scrum has been weakened considerably.

Another easy penalty given away by Ireland. They’re losing the ball at the most inopportune moments. Bergamasco hits the post from the penalty, however, and O’Brien clears.

The last kick of the half should see Ireland clear the ball. It’s been a scrappy half.

The teams are re-emerging. Referee Jonathan Kaplan is making no friends in the Irish contingent, will his myopia shift in the second half?

Ireland get the penalty advantage and a chance to stretch their lead. Lo Cicero didn’t release the ball and it’s silly by the Italians.

O’Gara strikes it well. It’s 12-6.

O’Gara attempts a drop goal but he sends it wide. He just couldn’t catch it properly.

Ireland have their first try! Brian O’Driscoll grabs his 45th international try – fantastic awareness by Tommy Bowe who finds his captain on the inside line.

Ireland have been tentative in this game, but that try – the result of Bowe’s magnificent switch to O’Driscoll – leaves a bit of breathing space for Kidney’s team.

D’Arcy drives forward brilliantly, giving Ireland a momentum that results in a try for Keith Earls on his 24th birthday. Stephen Ferris was involved twice, drawing in the Italian defence before offloading to Earls.

O’Gara with a pinpoint conversion.

It’s TMO time – have the Italians managed to hold up Rob Kearney’s try? Yes. Not given.

Couldn’t have put it better ourselves…

D’Arcy is down and looks to be in a fair bit of pain. He’s receiving treatment as play goes on. O’Gara knocks it forward to Kearney.

Parisse hits an Irish player off the ball for the third time in the match. Disgraceful. Meanwhile, O’Connell goes off…

Penalty against Ireland and Bocchino has a chance to go up the line..

Fifteen minutes remaining and the Italian front five is in complete tatters. Scrum to Italy.

Sexton comes in for O’Gara, who has kicked superbly.

Italy are penalised for not releasing the ball. Sexton’s first chance to score.

He makes it! Another three points to the Irish and it’s beyond the Italians, surely?

Italy are at the line, Ireland are desperate not to concede a try and are rewarded with the put-in to the scrum.

Andrew Trimble replaces O’Driscoll. Ferris is off too… Denis Leamy comes in… Tom Court too…

Sean O’Brien is named as the Man of the Match and it’s very well deserved. A stellar display from Ireland’s number seven.

Penalty awarded against Donnacha Ryan, Italy will go for the corner. Parisse, who has been Italy’s best player, receives treatment. The tournament will miss him.

Looks like an incredible try by Tommy Bowe!

He didn’t get it, clearly, but there’s a case for a penalty try. However, neither has been awarded. The Irish boo.

Keith Earls scores his second try for Ireland! Andrew Trimble passes to the birthday boy and he races over the line.

Sexton’s conversion proves to be the final act of the game. It was an outstanding second half performance by the Irish, with Brian O’Driscoll and Keith Earls – who got two – the try scorers. The focus now turns to Wellington next Saturday morning at 6am, and a clash with Wales for a semi-final berth…

Before we go, here’s the quarter-final line-up: Ireland v Wales, England v France, South Africa v Australia, New Zealand v Argentina. Goodbye to the pools, hello squeaky bum time… Until next week, thanks for your time..

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