Keenan, Connors and Heffernan star as Ireland get win over Italy

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Irish debutants Hugo Keenan, Will Connors and Dave Heffernan shined in their Test match debuts for the Ireland Rugby team this afternoon, as Andy Farrell’s side romped to victory against Italy. After eight months side-lined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guinness Six Nations tournament returned this weekend to the Aviva Stadium. 

BONUS POINT

After a moderately slow start, Farrell’s side took control of the tie once the 20-minute mark hit. CJ Stander opened the scoring for the boys in green in the 8th minute with his second try of the season. But it was the new boys who shone today in the capital, after breath-taking performances from Hugo Keenan and Will Connors. 

Keenan, who had a try disallowed in the first half, came away from the game with two separate tries to his name. 

While Leinster flanker Will Connors finished the game with a Man of the Match performance. Connors shone this afternoon after 9 carries and a debut Test match try. In addition, Connaught’s Dave Heffernan also saw himself on the scoresheet with a third debut try for the squad. 

All three debutants played vital roles in a game which saw Ireland gain a bonus point in their fight to win their fifth Six Nations Championship. Ireland currently now sit top of the table with 14 points, a point ahead of England and France.

PARIS INCOMING

Ireland now travel to Paris to face rivals France in what will turn out to be a decisive moment both of their seasons. All eyes will be on the fixture as both teams hope for England to slip-up against Italy and fail to gain the bonus point. 

Ireland will be hopeful to keep up their performances after a good opening to the restart of the tournament. Captain Johnny Sexton helped the team to victory, converting five conversions from six attempts and bagging himself a try in the 65th minute. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIlhqvFOwk8 

Centre Bundee Aki also got on the scoresheet just three minutes after Sexton’s try, while Ross Byrne managed to convert in the 80th minute from Heffernan’s debut try. 

While it was a comfortable afternoon for Farrell’s side, Irish fans will be anxiously awaiting the result from England’s closing fixture. After a lapse in concentration from the Irish defence late in the game, another debutant got on the scoresheet. Italy’s Paolo Garbisi converted from his own try score deep into the game. 

While the bonus point stay in Dublin, fans can only hope that lapse of judgement doesn’t come back to haunt the team next Saturday.

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