In the immediate post-match interviews, the Ireland camp, understandably, didn't want to focus on Italy’s shortcomings yesterday.

Under pressure for a championship win of any hue, they preferred to bask in the glory of a six-try hammering of their hosts.

Waking up this morning and ahead of the review, that false comfort should be all out of their system now.

Italy were useless. Ireland could easily have scored three more tries (in fact they did score two more that were bizarrely disallowed – none of yesterday’s officials covered themselves in glory) and it would have been a fairer reflection.

But that doesn’t mean that Ireland can’t take anything from the games. Scotland will present a massive step up in class but at least three men put themselves front and centre for selection.

Robbie Henshaw, Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale have all been tried out since Rob Kearney lost his birth-right to the 15 shirt.

There were some good moments and some dreadful moments in this phase of experimentation but, it appears, Hugo Keenan has raced to the top of the queue.

The 24-year-old only made his debut against Italy last October and chipped in with two tries from the left wing.

But he has started five of his last seven games at full-back and it looks like he is giving Andy Farrell one less problem to think about.

Keenan ran a beautiful line for his score yesterday, screeching out of heavy traffic and sprinting to the line. In defence, too, his positional sense appears more instinctive than some of the other trialists. 

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Farrell was asked if Keenan, after a string of impressive displays, was the answer to his full-back conundrum and reverted to a stock answer without naming the Leinster man.

"What we keep talking about as far as selection is concerned is when there are 50-50 calls to be had then you leave it in the hands of the coaches," Farrell told RTÉ Sport.

"Sometimes those 50-50s just becomes a judgement call but when players are playing really well and putting their hands up and make those calls non-debatable, I suppose that’s up to the players.

"Quite a few of them have done that out there today." 

With Tadhg Beirne in the form of his life, picking up another man of the match award yesterday, you can safely stick the Munster utility forward in that "non-debatable" bracket too. 

"He’s improved massively since the end of November," said Johnny Sexton. "He’s become a proper leader in that pack." 

Scoring tries against Italy has been no protection from exile in the past but Farrell will look past Will Connors' brace yesterday and see an all-action performance that included 16 tackles.

"You know what you are going to get with Will," said Sexton of the 24-year-old Kildare man.

"The energy he brings, the chop tackles and his work in and around the breakdown but he’s a brilliant ball-player as well, which we probably haven’t seen an awful lot of. I think we saw it in glimpses tonight. He was outstanding." 

Ireland are back to winning ways in a championship that is now out of reach.

But, in addition to the solid debuts of Craig Casey and Ryan Baird, now have three more quality options and that's something at least to take from their Roman holiday. 

Follow Scotland v Ireland (kick-off 3pm, Sunday 14 March) via our live blog on and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.