Nobody could say we didn't see it coming – but defeat for the first time to Italy in the Six Nations left a bitter taste at the start of the St Patrick's festivities. And nobody could say the hosts didn't deserve their triumph in Rome.
In fact, the 22-15 scoreline doesn't do the Italians justice. They controlled all the key areas of the game and should have scored more in a fractious encounter in which Brian O'Driscoll was deservedly sin-binned for stamping. A citing will surely ensue, while for Declan Kidney – who is "considering his position" – the boot may follow.
See Sport, Page 1