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Ireland Player Ratings As Dominant England Send Clear Message In Dublin

Ireland Player Ratings As Dominant England Send Clear Message In Dublin
By Maurice Brosnan Updated

Hunted versus hunter. The chariot charged into Dublin and immediately set up shop. A gameplan built on collisions and competency. It was simple but it was successful. At half-time, Ireland's choice was obvious, evolve or perish.

They didn't change and a defeat was duly delivered. Eddie Jones' outfit were helped with a generous Garcès gift, but England were full value for their victory. Ireland never reacted to a furious and quick defensive line. The cows could see the train coming but didn't move. One line-out maul drive aside, they never got within a sniff of the try line.

Tries from Jonny May, Elliot Daly and two from Henry Slade made it four tries to one. By the time Schmidt emptied the bench Ireland were done, a late try operating as a mere consolation. 32-20, Ireland's unbeaten home record is over.

15. Robbie Henshaw - 6

A huge outing in his preferred position. Covered the backfield well but kicked poorly just before the half-hour mark to give England an opportunity inside Ireland's '22. Came into the line and carried with huge power when the opportunity presented itself. An amazing piece of fielding to keep the ball in play when Ireland were in attack. A role he can grow into.

14. Keith Earls - 5

It took just ninety seconds for England's first attack out wide and it ended in a Jonny May try after a bad Earls read. Engaged in a keenly contested aerial battle with May as both out-halves peppered their respective wings. Hit late and unwrapped by Tom Curry which resulted in the 20-year-old being sent to the bin. Targetted a second time by Maro Itoje which was just a penalty.

Never fully recovered from that knock and replaced at half-time by Jordan Larmour.

 13. Garry Ringrose - 8 

A terrific take in the air added to a big defensive shift from the former Blackrock man. Just a gorgeous passer of the ball off both left and right. A massive hit on Farrell to force a huge turnover.

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12. Bundee Aki - 7 

The leading tackler from Ireland's backs. Won his head-to-head battle against Manu Tuilagi. Big carries but never deployed any intricate strike move to unlock a lockbolt defence.

11. Jacob Stockdale - 6

A really unfortunate but costly error after leaving the backfield to come into the line, scrambling to recover and failing to catch the ball to hand Elliot Daly an easy try. The system calls for wingers to press high and try pack the defensive line but could have read the situation better. Tried to step into the line to little joy.

10. Jonathan Sexton - 6

Assured as ever from the tee, nailing Ireland's first penalty and conversion with ease. Cut a frustrated figure shortly after half-time when Larmour misunderstood the call and didn't follow up on a chip over the top. Conceded a silly penalty for hands in the ruck but Farrell failed to capitalise.

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9. Conor Murray - 5

A frustrating day for the 29-year-old. While he kicked well, lacked his usual incisiveness from the base of the ruck and missed two tackles. Through a loose pass which put Stockdale under a lot of pressure.

1. Cian Healy - 7

His usual hour-long burst contributed in defence with strong counter-rucking. Solid showing.

2. Rory Best (Captain) - 6

With Ireland under pressure to exit on their own '5, Best's throw to the back and was crocked and it presented England with a scrum just before half time. Misfired with another line-out throw shortly after. Best was then replaced by Sean Cronin

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3. Tadhg Furlong - 7


4. Devin Toner - 7

There was a striking moment late in the first half when England's fastball saw Ireland stretched and as Billy Vunipola came crashing around the corner, he had a one-on-one route against Toner. All two metres of the Leinster locked dived at his bootstraps and cut him down. A big loss due to an injury midway through the half.

5. James Ryan - 7

Jumped and commanded the maul expertly prior to Ireland's first try. The pack battled hard up front and Ryan was a big part of that.

6. Peter O’Mahony - 6

England's back-row edged the breakdown contest. In particular, O'Mahony will be disappointed with three missed tackles in defence. Only made two metres with his carries.

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7. Josh van der Flier - 7

Typical phenomenal tackle rate. 17 and did not miss one.

8. CJ Stander - 7

Steve Borthwick had clearly drilled his pack to counter Stander's carrying, with Mako and Billy Vunipola teaming up to try and met the Munster man at the gain line and hold him up. A small but significant aspect of Stander's game is his work on the ground and ability to present clean placed ball. While offensively he was curtailed, defensively he was crucial.

Replacements - 6

Jordan Larmour replaced Keith Earls at half-time and made a nice contribution with a good take in the air. Quinn Roux came on for an injured Devin Toner while Cian Healy and Tadgh Furlong made way for Andrew Porter and Dave Kilcoyne before the hour mark. Off the next scrum, Porter had Vunipola in real trouble. John Cooney and Joey Carbery were introduced in the closing exchanges and the Ulster man added his first try as a consolation.

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It's disappointment rather than disaster for Joe Schmidt and his coaching ticket. Ireland have plenty of work done, tonight demonstrated there is more to do.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Refereeing Howler The Talking Point After Ireland Defeat

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