Watch: Outstanding CJ Stander hat-trick drives Ireland towards record bonus point victory over Italy
The individual recognition which has been absent in recent performances will be forthcoming for heroic CJ Stander, following an incredible hat-trick of tries against Italy this afternoon which earned Ireland a vital bonus point Six Nations victory.
Nothing but a bonus point win would do for Joe Schmidt’s side following a shock opening weekend defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield. Stander set a high standard early on with a first try after just 17 minutes when Simon Zebo’s pass left the 26-year-old in space.
Stander made it 28-10 before the break on 34 minutes with his second. Ireland set up a maul after Jamie Heaslip’s lineout, and with late replacement Niall Scannell preparing for a debut try Stander took control to burst through the Italian 22.
Stander added a third in the second half, with a Keith Earls double either side added to by Gary Ringrose and a separate second-half hat-trick from Craig Gilroy late on storming Ireland to an re 63-10 victory.