Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

'They play much better rugby than England' - Parisse heaps praise on Ireland

Malcolm O'Kelly praised former Ireland and London Irish teammate Conor O'Shea Malcolm O'Kelly praised former Ireland and London Irish teammate Conor O'Shea
Frederick Owens | 11 February, 2018, 06:25

He's a lot more comfortable now, which is promising, but what's not promising is the degree of discomfort he was in.

Joe Schmidt has not written Robbie Henshaw out of the Six Nations, despite the centre suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder against Italy.

Certainly the way they reduced the Azzurri to so much rubble will do their confidence levels no harm whatsoever ahead of the visit of Wales' in a fortnight's time.

Conor O'Shea's men were thumped 46-15 in Rome last Sunday and this latest setback marked their 14th straight defeat in the Six Nations.

Ireland secured what could ultimately be an invaluable bonus point for scoring four tries as they led a hapless Italy 28-0 at half-time of their Six Nations clash at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Conan replaced CJ Stander, while Jack McGrath, Devin Toner and Dan Leavy also came into the Irish pack. As a result Jordan Larmour was sprung from the bench to make his global debut.

Italy made three changes from the loss to England, with Braam Steyn, Nicola Quaglio and Luca Bigi all selected.

New Zealand-born centre Bundee Aki scored one of the quartet - his first for his adopted country - and set up Keith Earls for the fourth one.

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The comments came as the benchmark Nikkei 225 index dipped 7.1 percent in Tuesday afternoon trading, before recovering slightly. Stocks posted sharp losses Thursday with the Dow shedding 1,033 points, as higher interest rates continued to rattle investors.


"We turned the ball over more than we would ahvce planned to, always a risk, scored some really good tries in those 40 minutes and to keep them to nil when, as you saw in second half, they've got some very good players".

And just before the break, Keith Earls had stolen in for the bonus point.

Despite leaving before the half with an injury, many considered Henshaw to be their man of the match, his two tries proving to be both the kickstart that Ireland needed as well as what kept Italy from getting back into the game.

But not as miffed as Schmidt will be to have lost two key players to injury in Tadhg Furlong and Robbie Henshaw.

"The first 20 minutes was a disaster".

On the wrong end of the 56-point hiding, Italy captain Sergio Parisse may have balked at the suggestion that Ireland got passive.

Italy fashioned a response when fly-half Tommaso Allan scored and converted his own try.

Stockdale outpaced an Italy defender to cross for his second, before Italy earned their third try as full-back Matteo Minozzi beat Jordan Larmour to the corner to squeeze over.

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