Ireland are finally up and running in the Six Nations championship after Saturday’s five try haul against Italy at the Aviva Stadium.
Tommy Bowe scored two tries in the 42-10 win as the Irish recorded their first victory of the season.
Three weeks after the defeat to Wales, Ireland looked rusty at times but finally blew the cobwebs away in the second-half of a game that saw Keith Earls, Tom Court and Andrew Trimble also cross the line.
Irish captain Paul O’Connell said: “It’s a good score-line, there’s no doubt about that.
“There was a feeling of frustration about the first-half performance and the simple things we didn’t execute. We didn’t get out of our own half as well as we would have liked.
“That was very frustrating and annoying and we had a bit of a chat about it in the dressing-room at half-time. But when we did then manage to get into their half I thought we were good.
“We were confident and we showed that we have a lot of excellent and classy players in this team. We took our tries well and that was very satisfying.”
Ireland will now play France in the re-arranged game next Sunday.
Coach Declan Kidney was already looking forward to that game after the Italian win.
Kidney said: “Today was a good day. Now we have an eight day turn-around before we’re back in Paris which is always a singularly huge challenge.
“If we look beyond that, we’d already be half-beaten. We need to go there and give it a really good go. I think the way the match finished today, that 12 points we got near the end will be handy in terms of points difference, but it’ll only matter if we can get a result next week.
“France will be so much better too from having some extra time together and another match under their belts, so it’ll be another serious test.”
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