• Ireland boost title hopes

    Ireland scored seven tries to thrash Italy 46-7 in their Six Nations match in Dublin on Saturday.

    The result improved Ireland's points difference to +81, which could prove to be vital if they go on to beat France in Paris next weekend.

    Brian O'Driscoll, who will retire after the Six Nations, became rugby's most-capped Test player (140) and set up first-half tries for Jonathan Sexton and Andrew Trimble.

    Ireland led 17-7 at the break and scored another five tries in the second half.

    Ireland – Tries: Jonathan Sexton (2), Andrew Trimble, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Fergus McFadden, Jack McGrath. Conversions: Sexton (2), Paddy Jackson (2). Penalty: Sexton.
    Italy – Try: Leonardo Sarto. Conversion: Luciano Orquera.

    Ireland – 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
    Subs: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Fergus McFadden.

    Italy – 15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Paul Derbyshire, 6 Joshua Furno, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Quentin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
    Subs: 16 David Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Tommy Allan, 23 Andrea Masi.

    Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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    Simon Borchardt