Six Nations news: Michael Lowry scores brace on debut as Ireland thrash Italy

Ireland returned to winning ways in the Six Nations after annihilating 13-man Italy 57-6 in Dublin.

Ulster full-back Michael Lowry, who made his Ireland debut, and James Lowe claimed two tries apiece. Joey Carbery, Jamison Gibson-Park, stand-in captain Peter O'Mahony, Ryan Baird and Kieran Treadwell also stamped their names onto the scoresheet. 

A one-sided affair was ruined by the Azzurri being forced to play two men light for three quarters of the afternoon after Hame Faiva was sent off for a high tackle on Dan Sheehan, having replaced fellow hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi due to injury.

Ireland's Michael Lowry is tackled by Italy's Gianmarco Lucchesi during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture date: Sunday February 27, 2022.

Those premature departures led to uncontested scrums and, under World Rugby rules, necessitated the removal of a second player, with number eight Toa Halafihi the man sacrificed.

Penalties from Edoardo Padovani and Paolo Garbisi were scant consolation for the depleted Italians as they slipped to a 100th Six Nations defeat and 35th in succession.

Ireland fly-half Carbery - making a second-successive start in the number 10 jersey - kicked two conversions, with replacement Johnny Sexton adding a further eight points, as Andy Farrell's men bounced back from their 30-24 defeat in France a fortnight ago.

Ireland's Jamison Gibson-Park breaks clear to score their side's second try during the Guinness Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

Les Bleus remain in pole position for championship glory as the only team still with Grand Slam aspirations intact.

But this routine nine-try victory - secured in unusual circumstances - keeps up the pressure on Fabien Galthie's table-toppers ahead of Ireland's Twickenham showdown with fellow title hopefuls England in just under two weeks.

READ MORE: Six Nations: France crush Scotland at Murrayfield to remain on course for Grand Slam

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