Ireland head coach Andy Farrell admitted that he was frustrated by his side's wastefulness in their 34-20 Six Nations victory over Italy.
Farrell’s side had their bonus point before half-time and finished the game with five tries but they let almost as many tries slip through their fingers and were never solid enough at the back to frustrate Italy.
The Ireland boss paid tribute to the Italians and speaking to RTÉ Sport, he revealed just how impressed he was by the performance of Kieran Crowley’s side.
However, Farrell also emphasised that Ireland have plenty of room for improvement ahead of their trip to Scotland in two weeks’ time.
"I suppose the positive is the chances that we did create but the negative is that we didn’t take them all again," he said. "What was it? Four or five tries that we left out there?
"But all credit must go to Italy, that was a proper Test match, that was tough. They’re a proper side, everyone can see their progression but when you’re here and when you’re facing it…
"They were tough, they were resilient, in the forwards they gave us absolutely nothing and in defending their own line they were very physical.
"Then obviously in attack they were cutting us open from time to time, so congratulations to them, I thought it was great today.
"We let them into the game through lack of discipline at times and we didn’t control the game as well as we should in that regard.
"But Test match rugby does not go your own way the whole time but we found a way, even though we threw away four or five tries, we found a way and it’s nice to get the bonus point win away from home."
"That was a proper test match." - Ireland head coach Andy Farrell pays tribute to Italy after his side battled their way to a 34-20 victory in Rome, but he's concerned by Ireland's wastefulness. #RTERugby pic.twitter.com/C8pNl9LBkI— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) February 25, 2023
Player of the match Mack Hansen echoed his coaches’ comments and admitted that Ireland were 'patchy’ in the opening stages of the game.
Hansen bagged two tries but it wasn’t until his second time crossing the whitewash with ten minutes to go, that Ireland appeared to be secure.
"We were definitely patchy in the first half and as soon as we got on top, you just saw what Italy could do, they come back with a late try there and get themselves back in the game," he said.
"We knew coming out that the second-half was going to be a tough battle and it was.
"They play with so much emotion you can kind of get caught up in it all. Being composed was what we needed and I think we delivered.
"We brought it together when we felt like were down, we were able to take a breath and get back to it.
"We knew there was going to be plenty of emotion, plenty of sound, plenty of atmosphere around here. It was something we were working and it’s good to see it come out today."