WATCH: Ireland go top of Six Nations table with bonus point win over Italy

Ireland moved to the summit of the Six Nations table following a bonus point 50-17 win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.

First half tries from CJ Stander and two on debut from Leinster winger Hugo Keenan saw Andy Farrell’s side 21 points ahead at the end of the opening 40 minutes.

They were added to by Will Connors, Johnny Sexton, Bundee Aki and Dave Heffernan after the break.

Ireland go into their game with France in Paris next weekend knowing that a bonus point would see them crowned Six Nations champions.

CJ Stander opened Ireland’s try account in their big win over Italy. Mandatory Credit ยฉINPHO/Gary Carr

Ireland started the game sluggishly with a defensive lapse seeing Conor Murray sent to the sin bin after just three minutes.

Young Italian out half Paolo Garbisi slotted the penalty to give his side the early advantage.

Ireland’s response was swift and went in front while Murray was still in the bin. A serious of darts close to the line eventually saw Stander power over. Sexton added the extras to put Ireland 7-3 ahead.

Ireland would have hoped to kick on from there but were unable to do so until just before the half hour.

They finally got some quick phases of attacking play together and Keenan barrelled over in the left corner for his debut try that was brilliantly converted by Sexton once again.

Keenan thought he was in for a second moments later when a sublime Jacob Stockdale break saw him in again but the try was disallowed due to an infringement in back play by James Ryan.

However, the 24-year-old winger was not to be denied and he got his second five minutes before half time.

An Italian attack was scuppered by Caolan Doris. The blindside flanker passed left to Bundee Aki and he fed the ball left to Murray.

He looked to have run down a blind alley but a beautifully weighted kick ahead was coolly finished off by Keenan for the try that Sexton converted to give Ireland a 21-point half time advantage.

Ireland started the second half in similar vein to the first and struggled to create in the opening 10 minutes.

They were then punished when a Sexton pass was well intercepted by Edoardo Padovani and Garbisi slotted the extras from straight in front.

Ireland reacted in the correct way and pressured their opponents into a number of penalties that eventually saw Will Connors go over for his first Irish try off a lineout maul.

Sexton, Aki and Heffernan added further tries for a dominant Irish side but the victory was tainted slightly as Garbisi went in for a late Italy try that could have a major impact on scoring difference next weekend.s

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