Italy's very slim hopes of making their match against Ireland any sort of contest were dashed when Epalahame Faiva was red carded in the 2oth minute.
In search of their first win against a Tier 1 nation since beating South Africa in 2016, Italy came to Dublin hoping to put up some resistance to the electric Irish XV.
However, after going down 7-3 in the first quarter of the match, Italy were dealt a major blow to their chances of victory. Faiva was shown red after the TMO had ruled that he had made direct contact with force to the head of Dan Sheehan.
RED CARD 🟥
Hame Faiva sent off for Italy for shoulder-to-head contact on Dan Sheehan. #IREvITA #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/nDu52MccFX
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 27, 2022
What made matters worse for Italy, though, as they were then reduced to 13 men due to Law 3 of World Rugby's Laws. Starting hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi had already been taken off through injury.
Under the laws of the game, if there are no nominated hookers capable of playing, the game must revert to uncontested scrums.
Law 3 states that the forward pack must remain at full compliment, meaning that a front row player must come on at the expense of a backline player.
Additionally, Law 3 states that if the reason for forced uncontested scrums is due to a red card, the team that cannot field a hooker must go down to 13 men.
Ireland capitalised on their two-player advantage by scoring two quick tries almost immediately after Pierre Bruno was taken off the pitch.
Ireland wrapped up the bonus point in the first half with a final try before half time. However, Paolo Garbisi managed to narrow the lead with a penalty on the stroke of half time.
With the game completely out of the Italians' hands, Ireland racked up a 50-point victory, in a completely uninspiring match for neutrals and even for Irish fans.
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