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Hudson leads rout of Italy It's Ladies' night

U20s: Darren Hudson raced over for three tries as Ireland U20s got their campaign off to a flyer with a 39-0 win in Athlone.

Ireland were always on top against a poor Italian side at Dubarry Park, and the showing will give Allen Clarke's men a huge boost for the tougher ties.

The hosts led 13-0 at the break, but really should have been out of sight after a first-half of almost total dominance.

From the outset they were on top up front, which set the platform for victory, and centres Brendan Macken and Nevin Spence were in fine form.

They did not make the most of their chances in the opening period, but they never looked back once winger Hudson got in for his first try after 20 minutes.

Spence got the second seven minutes from the break and the game was over as a contest two minutes after the restart when Simon Zebo scored in the corner. Hudson later ran in two tries and Macken one to push up the score.

Scottish feel bite of Wolfhounds

IRELAND 'A': Ireland's second string began a new life with an old tag by chalking up a useful victory over a strong Scotland 'A' side at Ravenhill.

The Wolfhounds may be noted for exhibition rugby in days of yore, but they showed plenty of bite against a vastly experienced visiting outfit, particularly in the first half.

Gavin Duffy was very impressive at full-back, with the trio of Shane Jennings, Chris Henry and Dan Tuohy a magnificent back-row unit. Fergus McFadden showed up well in midfield and picked up a couple of tries for good measure.

It's Ladies' night

WOMEN'S: Kevin West's charges enjoyed an impressive 22-5 victory over Italy in Ashbourne last night.

Ireland went in at the interval armed with an 8-0 advantage courtesy of a Niamh Briggs drop goal after just 12 minutes, which was added to by a Joy Neville try on 37 minutes.

Between those two scores Italy caused Ireland plenty of bother, but West's improving team remained calm under pressure when required.

Eight minutes after the restart Neville went over for a second try which was excellently converted from the touchline by Briggs.

Debutant winger Alison Miller touched down on 63 minutes with Briggs adding the extras as Ireland moved 22 points clear, and, though Silvia Peron scored a try for Italy in stoppage-time, Ireland were never troubled enough in the second half to influence the result.