Paula Fitzpatrick: Ireland must tackle indiscipline

Captain Paula Fitzpatrick admits Irish discipline must improve if they are to maintain their perfect start to the RBS Six Nations away to Italy tomorrow afternoon (1pm, live on RTE Two).

Fitzpatrick’s side scraped to victory against Scotland in their opening game last weekend (22-15) and were thankful their opponents failed to land a number of penalties in the second half. Fitzpatrick has vowed to learn the lessons from their trip to Broadwood Stadium when they face an improving Italy in Stadio Tommaso Fattori.

“The main issues we had against Scotland were around discipline. We gave away too many penalties, put them on the front foot. Things like handling errors, as well, really let us down. Those are very, very fixable things. We’d be looking to put it right this weekend.”

Fitzpatrick has pinpointed the areas where Ireland must be wary.

“They’ll be tough. Their scrum-half, Sara Barattin, she’ll be one of their key players. Their back-three will attack from anywhere. They’ll counter, and they’re good kickers, as well.”

The Irish side shows two changes from the Scotland encounter, with Highfield’s Elaine Anthony and Hannah Tyrrell replacing Orla Fitzsimons and Niamh Kavanagh, respectively. Anthony partners Marie-Louise Reilly in the second-row, while Tyrrell (who featured for the Sevens squad in Sydney last weekend) joins Mairead Coyne and the prolific Alison Miller in the back-three. Jenny Murphy and Sene Naoupu continue their midfield partnership, and recent debutant Alisa Hughes is again paired with Nora Stapleton at half-back. The front-row Leah Lyons, Lindsay Peat, and Ailis Egan are expected to face a physical challenge from Italy and, in a potent back-row, UL Bohemians’ Ciara Griffin will join Fitzpatrick and Claire Molloy. 2015 World Player of the Year nominee Sophie Spence is on the replacements bench.

ITALY:

M Furlan; M Sillari, M Cioffi, S Stefan, M Magati; B Rigoni, S Barattin; E Cucchiella, M Bettoni, L Gai; F Severin, A Trevisan; L Cammarano, I Locatelli, E Giordano.

Replacements:

M Ferrari, G Giacomoli, M Este, E Pillotti, I Arrighetti, S Salvadego, S Folli, P Zangirolami.

More on this topic

France's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with WalesFrance's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with Wales

Stuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year runningStuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year running

Rankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half placeRankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half place

There are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championshipThere are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championship


Lifestyle

Another great aspect of being able to roam around Phoenix Park is the abundance of wild garlic, which flourishes throughout the great expanse.The Currabinny Cooks: going wild with garlic

Dyed purple hair, fake tattoos ... Ophelia Lovibond certainly went against type for her latest role.Succes from Failure: Ophelia Lovibond certainly goes against type for latest role

Keeping plants like lupins and delphiniums happy now will pay off this summer, says Peter DowdallPeter Dowdall: Embark on a perennial quest

Three figures with roles in the Cork band’s trajectory tell Ellie O’Byrne about the legend-in-the-making that was sadly never to be.B-Side the Leeside: Nun Attax and the Knocknaheeny Shuffle

More From The Irish Examiner