Italy (17) 20Tries: Varney, Bruno Cons: Garbisi 2 Pens: Garbisi 2Ireland (24) 34Tries: Ryan, Keenan, Aki, Hansen 2 Cons: Byrne 3 Pen: ByrneIreland moved a step closer to realizing their Grand Slam dream despite an unconvincing display in Rome, as they held off a spirited Italy to claim a bonus-point win. The Irish scored four tries before half-time through James Ryan, Hugo Keenan, Bundee Aki and Mack Hansen. However, Stephen Varney and Pierre Bruno scores deservedly kept the hosts in touch at the break. After absorbing Italian pressure, Hansen made sure of an Irish victory. While Ireland will ultimately celebrate a third straight bonus-point win, a resurgent Italy asked serious questions of Andy Farrell’s side in a match that bore little resemblance to Ireland’s thumping win in Dublin last year. Italy head coach Kieran Crowley will be heartened that his players put the world’s number one side under severe pressure, making Farrell look uncomfortable for most of the afternoon. However, the Englishman will be pleased that Ireland dug deep to deliver another result and move two wins away from a Grand Slam, with Scotland at Murrayfield up next on 12 March. Italy make it uncomfortable for IrelandGiven their stature in world rugby and record against Italy, Ireland went into this Test as overwhelming favorites to make it three wins from three in this year’s championship. Five minutes in, they were looking good for another emphatic win against a side they regularly beat with ease, but there was nothing easy about Ireland’s performance ca us ed as Ireland enough issues to leave Farrell with plenty to ponder. While James Lowe’s second-minute effort was ruled out after a TMO review found he had lost control of the ball before grounding, Ryan was on hand to get Ireland up and running in the third minute after a superb Aki offload found Lowe. Italy in years gone by perhaps would have crumbled at that point, but back they came in impressive fashion with Varney crossing after Lorenzo Can none pierced the Irish defense with a powerful burst. Ireland were offered a reprieve when Andrew Porter forced a turnover after another Cannone charge into the away side’s 22, before Keenan collected an Aki pass, nimbly evaded a couple of blue Irish shirts and concored a se try. Italy responded with a penalty from returning fly-half Paolo Garbisi but Ireland moved nine points clear on the 20-minute mark when Josh van der Flier and Lowe combined to send Aki over in the corner. Ireland snatched the bonus-point score with five minutes of the first half left when Stuart McCloskey teed up Hansen in the corner, but Italy were given renewed hope when Bruno read Aki’s attempted pass and ran in to score from 65 meters to leave Kieran Crowley’s seven behind at the interval. Italy: Capuozzo; Padovani, Brex, Menoncello, Bruno; Garbisi, Varney; Fischetti, Nicotera, Ferrari, Cannone, Ruzza, Negri, Lamaro (capt), Cannone.Replacements: Bigi, Zani, Riccioni, Iachizzi, Pettinelli, Fusco , Morisi, Allan. Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Aki, McCloskey, Lowe; R Byrne, Casey; Porter, Kelleher, Bealham; Henderson, Ryan (capt); Doris, Van der Flier, Conan. Replacements: D Sheehan, Kilcoyne, O’Toole, Baird, O’Mahony, Murray, Crowley, O’Brien.