Ireland methodical in win over disappointing Italy

2021 Rugby League World Cup
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Ireland v Italy

Italy were their own worst enemy all game, turning over possession in perfect attacking opportunities and giving away penalties late in the set to hand Ireland ideal field position, making scoring a lot easier for the Wolfhounds.

Ireland received a penalty after the very first tackle of the game, which would set the tone of the match for Italy. After three minutes, Liam Kay got outside the defence and dived over in the corner to open the scoring. Finn nailed a great goal from touch. Six minutes later, a brilliant grubber from McIlorum was regathered by George King who scored. Finn slotted the extras and Ireland lead 12-0 after 10 minutes.

Another penalty against Italy deep in their own half saw Finn take the easy two from in front. Italy started to get back into the game over the next ten minutes, but time and again they would make an error deep in the Irish half. A ruck penalty against Italy lead to the Irish spreading the ball left and Kay went over in the corner for his second try. Finn nailed another brilliant sideline conversion to give Ireland a 20-0 lead after half an hour.

With halftime bearing down and Ireland on the attack, a pass meant for Kay was intercepted by Castellaro who runs 70 metres to score untouched. Mantellato converted to reduce their deficit at the break to 14 points.

Italy had to be the first to score in the second half and they did just that after a great catch by Mantellato and pass inside to Nathan Milone who scored an easy try. Mantellato converted and Italy were back in the match. However two quick tries in 5 minutes to Ireland through an Amor barging run and then Morgan capitalising on a loose ball that eluded Tedesco blkew the score from 20-12 out to 32-12.

Luck swung back in Italy's way but they couldn't get their wat across the line. Then right on fulltime, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook scored a well-deserved try to give the Irish a commanding 36-12 win.

Next week Ireland will fancy their chances in Port Moresby when they take on PNG on Sunday afternoon, while later the same evening Italy will face USA in Townsville.

Ireland 36 - Italy 12

Venue: Barlow Park
Crowd: 9216
Halftime Score: Ireland 20 Italy 6 Players of the Match:
3 points - Liam Finn
2 points - Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
1 points - Liam Kay

Tries: Liam Kay (2), George King, Kyle Amor, Michael Morgan, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Field Goals:
Conversions: Liam Finn (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Liam Finn (1/1)

ITALY (12)
Tries: Justin Castellaro, Nathan Milone
Field Goals:
Conversions: Josh Mantellato (2/2)
Penalty Goals:

See how it happened in our Match Centre