Ireland have emphatically beaten Italy 36-12 in the opening round of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
The Wolfhounds got off to a flying start, in blistering heat, with Liam Kay landing their first try in the early minutes of the game from quality Scott Grix pass.
Hooker, Michael McIlorum set up George King with a quality grubber through the Azzurris’ defence in the ninth minute to put Ireland ahead by double digits, with Kay picking up his second on the half hour mark.
The dying minutes of the half saw the Italian centre, Justin Castellaro, picking out an intercept to bring the score to 20-6.
Italy’s Josh Mantellato stunningly picked out a high ball and followed with an offload to Nathan Milone who crossed the whitewash five minutes after half time.
Irish centre Michael Morgan dashed Italian hopes of a comeback with a try in the 59th minute and a Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook ending the Wolfhounds’ day on a high, Ireland 36 Italy 12.