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Ireland 55-15 Italy: Irish score eight tries in U20 World Championship opener

Sam Berman scored a hat-trick as Ireland started their Under-20 World Championship campaign with a convincing 55-15 win over Italy in Pool B.

The Irish ran in five first-half tries in Cape Town to hold a 31-10 lead.

Italy, who lost to Ireland by one point in this year’s Six Nations, took an early lead as Lorenzo Elettri’s converted try cancelled out Danny Sheahan’s unconverted opener.

The Italians extended their lead through Martino Pucciariello’s penalty but from there it was one-way traffic.

Luke Murphy and Evan O’Connell crossed before centre Berman, who has just signed for Ulster’s academy alongside Irish fly-half Jack Murphy, got two tries to put Willie Faloon’s side into a commanding half-time lead.

Luca Bellucci capitalised on Sean Edogbo’s yellow card shortly after the restart but Berman crossed in the 48th minute to complete his hat-trick.

Centre Finn Treacy grabbed Ireland’s seventh try before replacement Sean Naughton completed the rout with 15 minutes left to play.

Ireland are back in action on Thursday (13:00 BST) against Georgia, who lost 35-11 to Australia in their opening match.

Ireland: B O’Connor; D Colbert, F Treacy, S Berman, H McLaughlin; J Murphy, O Coffey; J Boyd, D Sheahan, P Bell, A Spicer, E O’Connell (capt), S Edogbo , M Flynn, L Murphy

Replacements: S Smyth, E Calvey, A Sparrow, J McKillop, B Ward, J O’Riordan, S Naughton, H Gavin

Italy: M Belloni; M Scalabrin, F Zanandrea, N Bozzo, L Elettri; M Pucciariello, M Jimenez; S Pellicioli, N Gasperini, D Ascari, M Midena, G Milano, C Zucconi, L Bellucci, J Botturi (capt)

Replacements: V Siciliano, F Gentile, F Pisani, T Redondi, N Casartelli, L Casilio, S Brisighella, P de Villiers

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