Andy Farrell says his Ireland side have shown "real character" as they avoided a fourth successive Guinness Six Nations defeat.

Under pressure for a result and performance, Ireland punished Italy with three well-taken first-half tries and added three more in the second period to run out 48-10 winners.

Following defeats to Wales and France, which rules Ireland out of the championship running, Farrell told RTÉ Sport: "I'm really proud of the players. They’ve shown real character over the last couple of weeks.

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"It’s nice coming after two losses and waiting a couple of weeks to try and put that right.

"We talked about it being a test of character and staying strong, they’re just very united together.

"As a group, I think they pulled together and showed their leadership in different ways.

"I thought we earned the right to score some points with the way that we approached the game in the first half. I thought our attitude was top class, approached the game in the right manner, we paid the game and Italy the right respect.

"I thought we punched away really well in the first half and then the game opened up." 

Ireland, now third in the table following Wales' 40-24 win over England, next face Scotland in Murrayfield in two weeks times.

"We know if we don't get our own intensity right, we don't earn then right to score the tries we have," said Farrell when asked how much can be taken from beating an Italy side who have now conceded 139 points, including 19 tries, in three defeats this campaign.

"That's what we did, first and foremost, and we approached the game in the right manner and we earned the right to score the tries.

"Does that prepare us well for Murrayfield? Look, we take a break now, we have a week off, then we dust ourselves down and prepare as best we can for Murrayfield. 

"We had two weeks off coming into this game and the questions being asked during the week was if we were on a hiding to nothing. Well, not to us because we judge our own performance. Our performance and attitude were good today." 

Farrell, whose squad are travelling home to Ireland tonight, added that they had a number of injuries to assess.

"There's a few niggles that we need to assess in the morning, especially after the flight home this evening so we'll see how people pull up," said the 45-year-old.

"Jordan [Larmour] had a little bit of tightness in his hip flexor so we had [Keith Earls] on early enough because we didn't want to take a risk there.

"Tadhg [Furlong] had just gone over on his ankle but he seemed to walk off pretty well. Ronán [Kelleher]  has just got a dead calf so he's going to be good and Dave Kilcoyne failed his HIA, but he's in good spirits in the changing room as well."