Conor Murray’s late bonus point securing try meant Ireland kept their hopes of retaining the Six Nations alive.
Despite the win, it was a lacklustre performance and a frustrating day for the hosts. As Johnny Sexton was seen booting a water bottle, just before full time.
Ireland needed a big win to strengthen their title hopes but were undone by their own poor lineouts and handling errors.
Quinn Roux, Jacob Stockdale, Keith Earls and Murray’s tries were enough to hold on for the win.
However, Italy led at half time through tries by Edoardo Padovani and Luca Morisi.
But the Italians were unable to add to their points and paid the price in the second half.
Man of the match Peter O’Mahony, had a fantastic game and produced a crucial turnover just before Italy looked set to regain their lead, in the second half.
The win sends Ireland into third, now needing a huge slice of luck if they are to retain their Six Nations crown.
Italy’s run of Six Nations defeats increases to 20 but Conor O’Shea will take encouragement from today’s superb first half display that rattled the holders.
Ireland are at home to France next week, needing a bonus point win and results to go there way in order to have a chance at the title.
Whereas, Italy are away to England hoping to pick up their first points of the campaign.
Written by Ben Jaycock