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Ireland U20 Player Ratings: Ireland Reach First Ever World U20 Final

Ireland U20 Player Ratings: Ireland Reach First Ever World U20 Final
By Conor O'Leary
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Ireland are into the World U20 final. It's the first time ever at U20s, and the first time since 2007 since any age-grade Ireland team has made the final.

Ireland were so comfortable all game - playing within themselves, and there was some standout performances.

Here's how the players rated:

15. Jacob Stockdale 9

Stockdale is a quality player. His intelligent support lines got him two tries - the second of which was fantastic and allowed him to showcase his pace, power, and stepping ability.

14. Matthew Byrne 7

Challenged his Argentine opponent well for the first try. Most of Ireland's best play came when the wings came off their wings. He struggled a little with one one one tackles, but there was so much more positive than negative.

13. Shane Daly 8.5

The best I've seen Daly play. Always looked to keep the ball alive with offloads - but did them smartly. Ran great lines when Ireland got on top, and we saw the best of him because of that. Deserved his try.

12. Conor O'Brien 7.5

Every time he carried he seemed to make more metres than he should have. Great power and pace, and got Ireland on the front foot so they could punish Argentina out wide.


11. Hugo Keenan 8

Hugo Keenan doesn't look like a rugby player. But he's a damn fine one. Really intelligent, and his step that took out two Argentina defenders in the build up to Stockdale's try was a personal favourite.

10. Johnny McPhillips 8

McPhillips was not this good in the Six Nations. He didn't kick this well, or have this much control. He's making Ireland forget all about Bill Johnston.

9. Stephen Kerins 8

Kerins is just getting better and better, especially as the forwards are dominating. Service is so fast. His cover tackles could use some work, but that's nit-picking. Why am I nit-picking? Well he's doing that well.


1. Andrew Porter 9

What a beast. I'm running out of words for him at this stage. Should be a contender for player of the tournament, but will they recognise a prop like that? The Cian Healy comparison is extending beyond these pages.

2. Adam McBurney 7.5

Fantastic at scrumtime and the breakdown, and better from lineouts. Not where he needs to be, but he tried harder throws and helped set up mauls better.

3. Ben Betts 8.5


Betts will be the Munster tighthead for a decade. He's that good. He deserves game-time from next season because he's ready. He was so on top of Argentina, and showed up well in the loose too.


4. Sean O'Connor 7

He worked his socks off. He was everywhere, running himself into the ground. One of the best Munster locks in recent years.

5. James Ryan 8

It seems weird to watch an Ireland U20 game and not think Ryan is the best player on the pitch. He's struggling with injury, but still manages to empty the tank. Carries so much, and so well.

6. Greg Jones 7.5

Everything Deegan does, Jones tries to copy. It's not a bad way to be. His footwork going into contact gains so many yards. Worked really hard. Has had a brilliant tournament, put himself in the shop window for a pro contract.


7. David Aspil 7

He just loved smashing into Argentinian players. Over and over. All day. It was magnificent to watch.

8. Max Deegan 9.5

Deegan will probably get the Irish nod for the player of the tournament. He's been magnificent. His footwork into contact, his breakdown work, his pace. He's got it all. There's a logjam at Leinster, but Deegan is good enough.


16. Vincent O'Brien 6

I think he's a better thrower than McBurney. Did his job, and did it really well. Spoiled it with a yellow card.


17. James Bollard 6

Contributed his part in the scrum.

18. Adam Coyle 7

Carried on where Betts left off - with utter dominance in the scrum.

19. Evan Mintern n/a

Not on long enough


20. Kelvin Browne n/a

Not on long enough

21. Niall Saunders 6

He bullied Argentina. Like physically bullied them. Got in their faces. His passes look really quick too. He's a big prospect for next year.

22. Brett Connon n/a

Not on long enough

23. Jimmy O'Brien 7

Ran well, tackled hard. Showed the footwork that the rest of the team displayed to make metres. Did really well.

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