The 36-6 victory secured Ireland's passage through to the final eight of the World Cup and Kidney has admitted that he is "looking forward" to a meeting with the Welsh next weekend.
"This was an all or nothing game for us, we just wanted to get out of the pool," said Kidney.
"The first half was nip-and-tuck, as it always is in matches between Ireland and Italy, but the tries early in the second half gave us a bit of daylight.
"It was a case of taking the breaks when they came and now we're looking forward to the challenge of facing Wales."
Ireland scored 27 unanswered points after the restart against the Italians.