In their opening game of the Six Nations Championship, title holders Ireland led by Brian O'Driscoll beat Italy 29-11 at Croke Park, Dublin, bringing to 12 Ireland's run of unbroken wins.
REUTERS - Ireland eased into the defence of their Six Nations title on Saturday, breezing past Italy with a 29-11 victory in Croke Park that extended their unbeaten run to 12 test matches.
Ireland were almost out of sight by half time with tries from scrumhalf Tomas O'Leary and number eight Jamie Heaslip which together with a flawless half of kicking from returning flyhalf Ronan O'Gara gave them a 15-point advantage.
Italy pegged back the lead thanks to a charged-down Kaine Robertson try just before the break and kept the hosts at bay for much of a dull second period.
Ireland, who last year won their first Grand Slam since 1948, face far tougher tests before the end of February with away games in France and England.
Calendar and results
Date created : 2010-02-06