Round Four of the 2020 Six Nations has finally been completed. Ireland have kept themselves in the running for the title with a 50-17 victory over Italy. Debutant winger Hugo Keenan scored two tries to help seal the bonus point win.
Debutant Hugo Keenan shines
After a very early yellow card for Conor Murray, which gave Italy a penalty and a 3-0 lead, Ireland were able to set about their task of scoring four tries. CJ Stander drove over from short range during the sin-bin period, and then Ireland were able to release their backs.
Winger Hugo Keenan, the 24-year-old Leinsterman, scored Ireland’s second after 29 minutes. He had another chalked off not long after because of blocking by James Ryan. But he was celebrating a few minutes later, after he latched onto a superb grubber from Johnny Sexton, picking up and diving over.
Bonus point victory sealed
Ireland led 24-3 at half time with three tries on the board. Italy were able to frustrate them in the third quarter, scoring the first try of the second half. Edoardo Padovani intercepted a pass from Johnny Sexton to take the score to 24-10.
But as the hour mark passed Ireland pulled away, with three tries in 10 minutes from Sexton, Bundee Aki and Will Connors. They hit 50 with a minute to spare through Dave Heffernan, but in an attempt to get another try, a knock-on from kick-off led to an excellent individual score from Paolo Garbisi.
Title to be decided on Super Saturday
With all teams having now played four games, Ireland lead the table going into ‘Super Saturday’. England, France and Ireland could all still take the title, and it will almost certainly go down to the final game in Paris.
FULL TIME Ireland 50-17 Italy
The #GuinnessSixNations roared back to life in Dublin
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) October 24, 2020
Six Nations Round Five fixtures:
Wales vs Scotland – 14:15 GMT
Italy vs England – 16:45 GMT
France vs Ireland – 20:05 GMT
With England playing winless Italy, you have to assume they will pick up the bonus-point win to finish on 18 points. This would require Ireland to either win with a bonus point to reach 19, or better England’s points difference if they get a regular victory.
As it stands, Ireland have the superior points difference: +38 compared to England’s +15. Therefore, England’s mission will be to win and pile on as many points as possible in Rome, leaving Ireland chasing a bonus-point win in Paris. But the men in green will know exactly what is needed by next Saturday evening; they hold all the cards.
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