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Ireland Player Ratings As Debutants Steal The Show During Italy Win

Ireland Player Ratings As Debutants Steal The Show During Italy Win
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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It wasn't perfect, but job done for Ireland.

Andy Farrell's have run out 50-17 winners over Italy at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon,

It was a blistering first half from the home side, not giving Italy a moments peace at the breakdown and producing some brilliant rugby in attack. The second half wasn't quite as exciting, but Ireland did enough to put themselves in a good position heading to Paris next week.

Here's how we rated the performances on the day.

Ireland Player Ratings

Jacob Stockdale - 7

His kicking from the hand was a little bit suspect in the early stages, but his run to set up Hugo Keenan for the disallowed try was remarkable. He showed plenty of intent whenever he got on the ball, usually looking to run instead of returning the kick.

One knock-on in the second half aside, both his handling and positioning were very impressive.



Andrew Conway - 7

Perhaps overshadowed by his teammate on the opposite wing, this was still an excellent showing from Conway. He carried for over 50 metres and also produced a number of excellent kicks out of the hand.


He had little to do in defence.


Garry Ringrose - N/A


Ringrose had a bright start to the game, but was forced off after 28 minutes when his face collided with an Italian knee.


Bundee Aki - 8


Consistently attempted to break the line, although he didn't have all that much success in doing so.

Aki was typically ferocious in the tackle, making 12 throughout the game. He also took his try very well.



Hugo Keenan - 9

Showed brilliant feet on the wing to step inside the Italian defenders and touch down for a try on his debut. Was unfortunate to have a second try disallowed a few moments, but would finish off the breakaway try in the 36th minute.

Keenan was brilliant on the ball all game, carrying for 131 metres, breaking four tackles, and continually keeping it moving through the hands with some very clever offloads. A stunning debut.



Jonathan Sexton - 7

Sexton's kicking off the tee was exemplary all afternoon, knocking over a couple of very difficult conversions in the first half. He wasn't bad out of the hand either, consistently putting Italy under pressure with his kicks in behind.

It was his loose pass that let Italy in for their first try and in all Sexton didn't quite dictate the pace of the game in the way he would have hoped. However, he did well to touch down for his try.


Conor Murray - 7

Had the worst possible start to the game, getting sent to the sin bin after only three minutes when he hauled down an Italian defender then didn't roll away.

He showed brilliant awareness to dink the ball in behind for Keenan's second try. Murray chose to kick the ball much less frequently than we are used to seeing and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues against France next week.



Cian Healy - 5

Healy was strong in the scrum on the few occasions it was required, but he didn't impact the game in possession. He also missed a couple of tackles.

Not his best day.


Rob Herring - 6

Produced a bit turnover in the breakdown in the opening stage to set the tone for Ireland. His tackling was strong, making seven in the game with an 89 per cent success rate.

However, he didn't make an impact in attack, failing to make a single carry in the game. Solid line-out delivery before being replaced after 50 minutes.


Andrew Porter - 7

Caused issues both in the scrum and at the breakdown for the Italians early on, winning two penalties for his team with his doggedness on the ground.

He scrummed well, made five carries, and eight tackles without missing one. A strong showing, even if he was a bit quieter in the second half.


Tadhg Beirne - 8

Beirne was absolutely immense out of possession, making a huge 17 tackles during his time on the pitch.

He made seven carries, and while none went for big gains, they did come at vital times on occasion.


James Ryan - 6

Ryan went about his business in an impressive manner, allowing Beirne to do much of the heavy lifting in defence. A decent display.


Caelan Doris - 6

Forced the turnover for Ireland's third try and was a general nuisance all afternoon. He carried for 34 metres and was strong in the tackle throughout.


Will Connors - 9

Connors was brilliant in the tackle throughout the game, leading the side with a frankly ridiculous 18 made throughout the 80 minutes.

He drove the ball over in the maul to get the bonus point try for Ireland, something that capped off an exceptional debut for the 24-year old. A dominant performance from a player making his bow in international rugby.


CJ Stander - 8

Got Ireland's opening try of the game, making some early pressure on the Italian line pay by bundling over from close range.

He also carried the ball very well, making a massive 21 in total in the game. As we have become accustomed to seeing, his work-rate was second to none. A great display.


Replacements - 7

Robbie Henshaw came on early in the game and played his part in attack, while Peter O'Mahony's offload for the Aki try was incredible.

There debuts for Ed Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park, with Dave Heffernan getting a try.

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