See below for quotes from players from the Ireland and Italy sides following Saturday’s Six Nations encounter in sunny Rome.
“We knew we had to score tries and put Italy under the screw from the word go, but we were disappointed to let them in for two tries at the end.
“The crowd were great though. We have always said the Irish fans are some of the best in the world.”
“It was a strange feeling in the dressing room when we came off. We scored as many points as we could, and we won the match, but we still came off feeling that it might not be enough.
“We thought we had to keep on playing and we did that. Eddie came in and said we were right to keep playing to the end.”
…Further reaction to follow…
“We knew it would be a very tough game for us because Ireland are playing the best rugby in Europe at the moment. We were very close at half-time, but then made a lot of errors and we were in danger once Ireland started to hold onto the ball and attack.
“The Irish were really strong and physical today and that made the difference.”
“It didn’t go the way we wanted but this is sport. We have to compliment Ireland, they have shown they are the best team in the tournament.
“We must understand that we are playing at the highest level and when you make mistakes against great teams, you are made to pay for them.
“But we have to be happy with what we have done so far. I hope the fans will continue to support us in our next competitions just as they have done in the Six Nations.”
“Unlike our (39-3) defeat to France, we didn’t give up against Ireland. We battled until the end and I think this reaction is very important for us in the future.”