Six Nations: Farrell pays tribute to 'brave' Italy after Ireland rout

By Sports Desk February 27, 2022

Ireland coach Andy Farrell paid tribute to a "brave" Italy performance in defeat, as his side downed the 13-man Azzurri in a 57-6 rout in the Six Nations.

Two tries apiece for Michael Lowry and James Lowe helped the hosts to a crushing bonus-point victory at Aviva Stadium in Dublin to get their championship hopes firmly back on track.

But they had a numerical advantage for the majority of the game after Hame Faiva was shown a contentious red card for shoulder-to-chin contact on Dan Sheehan midway through the first half, with the World Rugby requirement for hooker-less Italy to be a man down in an uncontested scrum in such circumstances reducing them to 13 men.

A late yellow card for Braam Steyn further compounded issues for Kieran Crowley's side, who finished with 12 players.

Amid such difficulties, Farrell felt the visitors showed superb spirit throughout while his own side fell short of his expectations despite the scoreline.

"It was a strange old game," he told ITV. "I thought we were sloppy at times and with the scoreboard at 57-6, you'd think we'd be happy with that. I suppose we got the points we needed in the end.

"I thought Italy were unbelievably brave, they started the game well and were difficult to play against with 15 men. But, having said that, when they went down to 13, I thought they were so brave."

Italy captain Michele Lamaro refused to criticise the ruling by referee Nika Amashukeli and also focused on his side's commitment.

"It's not from my point of view, it's just the rules," he added. "Our hooker got injured before the red card and then the red card came to our other hooker, so we hadn't any other hookers who can play.

"We couldn't play contested scrums, so we had to take someone off to play uncontested scrums. It was really punishing us, but obviously it's the rule.

"I couldn't ask anything more of the boys, so we showed something, but it's difficult to be happy with such a result."

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