Italy 16 - 26 Ireland - Match Report & Highlights

T. Furlong of Ireland in action against Italy during their Six Nations Championship match at Stadio Olimpico in Rome Sunday. — Reuters

T. Furlong of Ireland in action against Italy during their Six Nations Championship match at Stadio Olimpico in Rome Sunday. — Reuters

"I will just say there was relief at the end of it". Dubliner O'Shea delivers his reply in Italian.

The Italians took the lead for the first time a minute before the interval. Having played against Leicester before arriving at the club, it was a dream to be able to call Welford Road home and I leave having enjoyed many special memories with a lot of special people over my time here.

"France looked like they'd built a bit", Schmidt added.

Conor Murray assumes kicking duties.

Ireland fell over the line in Rome, winning 26-10 to make it two wins out of three in the campaign so far.

"We are relieved. Even the last phase of the game summed it all up".

"There is certainly stuff we can do better, and I know a lot is expected of us, but five points away from home is good because it is hard to win on the road in the Six Nations". It's an incredibly physical battle and they are a super rugby team.

As a collective, the fumbles and missed tackles reflect a mystifying lack of confidence and the uncertainty of their half-back leaders illustrates the sense of unease.

"We were almost trying too hard at times and forcing things so we just had to go back to the things that work so well for us and get back to basics a little".

Jonathan Sexton had departed by full-time; his volcanic anger surfacing as he crossed the touchline, lashing out twice at a towel and then the bench with the right leg which had deceived him once more on a frustrating evening.

Italy are languishing at the bottom of the Six Nations table after losing all the three games while Ireland now move to the third position with nine points. He felt a degree of frustration about that, and Conor is frustrated.

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"I think Conor is still trying to find his feet". He's frustrated that he's not the smooth-running machine that he normally is.

"So, he's frustrated about a few things".

"But I thought he put in some really nice kicks today".

"When we did get it, we put passes down. We'll dust donw and get ready for Twickers". That will be huge for us and we need to make sure we are still in there.

Few players escaped inclusion in the comedy of errors.

"We have to understand that the championship is a real possibility, but it's not going to come easy we're going to have to work hard for every single point we can get".

"We felt that we've begun to incline the level of performance that we've had in the first couple of games and wanted to go out there and play and create, in terms of the intensity we play with", he said.

"Now, suddenly, it's not".

"Unfortunately we made errors with some things that we could have controlled". Sexton, who came off midway through the first half in Murrayfield and failed a HIA, has recovered fitness to return to the starting team.

Ultimately, they did enough.

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