Ireland stuttered through an error-strewn first half as the lively Italians with two Mirco Bergamasco penalties took a 6-3 interval lead. The second period and Ireland improved and were rewarded with Brian O’Driscoll’s try to move 10-6 ahead but Luke McLean’s 75th-minute reply gave Italy a shock lead. Ronan O’Gara’s late drop-goal spared Ireland’s blushes as Italy were denied a sensational first ever RBS Six Nations victory over the Irish. Final score:
Italy 11-13 Ireland
Try: McLean Pens: Bergamasco 2
Try: O’Driscoll Con: Sexton Pen: Sexton Drop-goal: O’Gara
Italy: McLean, Masi, Canale, Sgarbi, Mirco Bergamasco, Burton, Gori; Perugini, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Dellape, Geldenhuys, Sole, Zanni, Parisse (capt)
Replacements: Garcia for Canale 69, Orquera for Burton 72, Canavosio for Gori 11, Lo Cicero for Perugini 64, Ongaro for Ghiraldini 64, Del Fava for Dellape 55, Bernabo for Sole 51.
Ireland: Fitzgerald, McFadden, O’Driscoll (capt), D’Arcy, Earls, Sexton, O’Leary; Healy, Best, Ross, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, Leamy, D Wallace, O’Brien
Replacements: P Wallace for D’Arcy 77, O’Gara for Sexton 66, Reddan for O’Leary 64, Court for Healy 77, Cronin for Best 77, Cullen for O’Connell 74.
Not Used: Jennings.
Referee: Romain Poite (FRA)