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Ireland Player Ratings: Here's How We Rated Ireland In Squeaky Italian Win

Ireland Player Ratings: Here's How We Rated Ireland In Squeaky Italian Win
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Ireland were far from impressive in their third World Cup game. Schmidt will no doubt have some work to do ahead of next week's crunch game against France. It was squeaky at times, with Italy giving Ireland plenty of things to work on as Ireland secure quarter-final qualification.

15. Simon Zebo 6.5

ireland player ratings italy

A poor kick in the first half sticks in the memory, but he wasn't afforded that same amount of space and influence against Romania.

14. Tommy Bowe 7

Came off his wing looking for work a lot more in this game, and was used more effectively. Will need to see more of that going forward, but he looked good. Two turnovers, and chased kicks well. Still the best winger Ireland have at kick chasing. Probably secured his place.

13. Keith Earls 7

That try really settled his nerves. It was great support play that earned him the try, and he looked threatening in attack

12. Robbie Henshaw 7.5

ireland player ratings italy

There were early signs of rustiness with a mistimed pass off a backline move, but what an offload for the try.

11. Dave Kearney 6.5

Probably his quietest game in the last four months. He only got the ball five times, so his 13 metres is quite good.

10. Johnny Sexton 7

It was probably a tactic to kick high balls from just outside his own 22. Controlled the game well, and his passing - especially for the try was good. Would like some improvement going forward.

9. Conor Murray 7

ireland player ratings italy


He started the game very well, controlling the tempo. One knock on, from a key maul at the end of the half doesn't spoil a good performance. He faded a little in the second half, but his kicking was on point today.

1. Jack McGrath 7.5

He had four tackles inside the first ten minutes. That's an incredible work-rate. Then seven in the first 25. If anyone thought that Cian Hely would just saunter back into the first team, they were very mistaken.

2. Rory Best 7

Best looked busy around the park. His effectiveness at the breakdown was fantastic - with two turnovers in the first half. Looked better than usual with ball in hand, including a nice clean break.

3. Mike Ross 7

It's always a good day when you don't notice a tighthead prop.It means the scrum is rock solid, and that other players are doing there job and not exposing Ross in free play.

4. Iain Henderson 8

What a colossus this man is. Henderson grew into the game just when Ireland needed it, and fully deserves Schmidt's trust in the big games. Carried hard and effectively, and put in some big hits too.

5. Paul O'Connell 7.5

The man always steps up when Ireland need him. Ten tackles in an hour is phenomenal work, and the 35-year-old's engine is still humming.

6. Peter O'Mahony 8.5

The actual man of the match. Made a key lineout steal early on that lead to Earls' try, and his drive and passion was evident. It was his determination that got him over to Josh Furno to save Ireland from conceding a try early in the second half. Silly mistake got him binned, even if it was a bit harsh.

7. Sean O'Brien 6
ireland player ratings italy

Not O'Brien's best game in green. His carrying didn't get Ireland over the gainline like it usually does, and he was strangely quiet at the breakdown. Just four tackles including one missed is a poor game from his standards.

8. Jamie Heaslip 7

Six tackles, an offload and some good carrying. Heaslip conceded one very stupid penalty, which seemed to hamper his breakdown effectiveness - but can be pleased with a decent outing. Very quietly effective in support, and moping up loose balls.

16. Sean Cronin 6

Not on long enough to give a a real rating.

17. Cian Healy 6

One scrum penalty doesn't look well. He didn't get the ball in hand at all - but did a lot in defence,

18. Nathan White 6.5

The scrum didn't look as good with Ross off the pitch, but White made a crucial turnover.

19. Devin Toner 7

Made some big tackles when he came on, but it was a curious decision to take Henderson off as his influence was growing. No fault on Toner,

20. Chris Henry 7.5

Looked a man possessed in his short time on the pitch. Cemented at least a bench spot, and made a positive impact.

23. Luke Fitzgerald 6.5

He had one nice run up the touchline, and tried to make the most of his short appearance.

See Also: The Forgotten Story Of Johnny Sexton's Stabbing Cropped Up Again Today
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