Brian O'Driscoll, captain of Ireland was exuberant after his team’s victory. After Ireland’s 36-6 victory over Italy in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, O'Driscoll told media that he felt as if he was at home.
A total of 28,000 fans; covered in green, white and orange attended the match. What was witnessed was an enthralling first-half that kept the starving Italians at bay by a ruthless Irish defense. Ireland broke the banks after the break as they brought wave after wave of attacks.
“That was the best, seeing rows of green everywhere you look,” O'Driscoll said, praising the fans and the support that had gathered. “It was like Lansdowne Road - in fact, I have played in Dublin before when it hasn't been that good.”
Fly half for Ireland, Ronan O'Gara kept the scoreboard alive at a stadium where kickers were usually dominators. O'Gara managed to retain his place ahead of Jonathan Sexton in the team and kicked 3 penalties in the first 40 minutes to help the Irish lead in front of a Italy, who were giving a tough battle at the Otago Stadium. The physical efforts put in the match by the Italian side were highly commendable.
The Italian prop, Martin Castrogiovanni got injured just 3 minutes before the half-time. This further weakened the Italian team. As a matter of fact the setback became their Achilles heel in defense. The score at the time of the injury was 9-6 but after the Castrogiovanni collapsed a very different game was seen. There were a lot more gaps and the Italians were starting to slightly fear in engaging with the Irishmen.
After Castrogiovanni departure the Irish won every skirmish and shredded the Italian defense into confetti. Italy on the other hand squandered whatever chance they got to score. O'Gara called it a night with 16 points allowing the teammate Sexton to take charge and he erred with a penalty and a conversion.
Ireland relentlessly attacked till whatever life remained in the Italian was drained out and they toyed with their opponents till the referee blew the final whistle. By then Italy was forced make 97 tackles in comparison to Ireland’s 38. This shows the amount of defense Italy had to put up against the Irish heavyweights.