23/03/02.A beautiful 39th minute cut-out pass from Ronan O’Gara, to his Munster team colleague John Kelly was the highlight of the opening at the end of which Ireland led 19-0.
By then Ireland were nine points to the good thanks to three David Humphreys penalties. However Humphreys was forced off with a head injury and O’Gara came on in his place. He converted Kelly’s try, added the points and a further penalty in injury time. That was awarded when the Italians were penalised at a breakdown ten metres from their own line and they had a second player yellow carded, prop Giamppiero de Carli ordered off for needlessly throwing a punch. Just before half time Humphreys returned to the fray and Dominguez missed an easy penalty.