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Stockdale And Ringrose Top The Player Ratings As Ireland Win The Six Nations

Stockdale And Ringrose Top The Player Ratings As Ireland Win The Six Nations
By Gavin Cooney
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Scotland brought their bullets, but sadly for them, aimed them squarely at their own feet. Having butchered myriad opportunities, Ireland turned the screw to crush Scottish spirit and spring expectations of a Championship and tantalising thoughts of a Grand Slam at Twickenham.

A four-try, 28-8 victory means that Ireland will be champions tonight if England fail to earn a bonus point in victory against France.

Here are the Irish Player Ratings.

Rob Kearney - 8.5

Critics of Kearney's attacks are multitudinous, but some should be silenced by today's performance. A great break and step inside set the platform for Ireland's second try, and crucial to the third was has winning of an aerial tussle over the ball with Stuart Hogg. Defensively, however, he could have done better on Kinghorn's try but overall, a very fine performance and was a deserved man of the match.

Keith Earls - 7 

Earls least effective performance of the Championship thus far, meaning that England should be very wary of a particularly razor-sharp Earls next weekend.


Garry Ringrose - 9

Ringrose made a mockery of his lack of match practice ahead of this game with a scorching first-half performance, mixing his trademark step with some glorious hands. His presence in the team gives Ireland a second playmaker, which was crucial to the second try with too many Scottish defenders drawn to Sexton, leaving space for Ringrose to run a loop that ended predictably - a Stockdale try.

Defensively, Ringrose was outstanding too, bringing the Aviva to its feet in dumping Huw Jones out of play in the second half.


Bundee Aki - 7

Aki was outshone by his centre partner, but he was solid this afternoon. Was badly wanting for support with the try line at his mercy on the stroke of half-time, but Stockdale and Rigrose made that all academic. Crushed the last remnants of Scottish spirit with a turnover in the final minutes.

Jacob Stockdale - 9


Another brace of tries for Scotland, this time secured before half-time. Stockdale is melting norms and customs before our eyes: ten tries in eight Tests; the first man to score three successive braces of tries in the Five/Six Nations since England's Cyril Lowe in 1914; Ireland's highest-ever scorer in a single Six Nations campaign, with another game to go. A phenomenon.

Johnny Sexton - 7

Mixed from Sexton, the apogee of which was an outrageous kick and chase in the first-half that sorely lacked a support runner off his shoulder. Some of Sexton's kicking out of hand, however was far too loose and deep, and merely offered Scotland a very dangerous platform from which to attack and, admittedly, butcher a few tries. The kicking out of tee, meanwhile, was far from perfect too.


Conor Murray - 8

Murray was definitely targeted by Scotland, and responded with typical assurance. His box-kicking was as good as it has been all season, and he took his try superbly to add to a magnificent record.


CJ Stander - 6.5


Stander's ball carrying wasn't what Ireland needed it to be, making only 13 metres with ten carries. Could have shown more awareness before half-time, and moved to take Aki's pass rather than help to shove him over from close range.

Dan Leavy - 8.5

It is proof of Leavy's performances in this Championship thus far that Ireland are not agonising over injuries to Sean O'Brien and Josh Van Der Flier. He was terrific again today, a turnover in the seventeenth minute was critical in stemming Scotland's momentum as Ireland absorbed a few punches.

Peter O'Mahony - 8

Played just 55 minutes, replaced by Jordi Murphy suffering from the after-effects of a knock garnered in a crucial turnover early in the second-half. Before that, he had been superb: steadying the Irish lineout after a very rocky start. He out-worked most of his teammates, and made more tackles (ten) than any other Irish player, despite not even making it to the hour mark.

Devin Toner - 7.5

Decent afternoon's work for Toner. Carried frequently if not far, and thieved a Scottish line out in the first half. Replaced by Henderson.

James Ryan - 7.5

Ryan initially struggled to make an impact with the ball in hand, and threw in an ugly knock-on in the first-half to boot. But he grew into the game, and his work in the lineout was the cornerstone of Murray's try.

Tadhg Furlong - 7.5

Furlong slotted back in seamlessly having missed the Welsh game through injury, once again holding his own in the scrum.

Rory Best - 7

A couple of errant darts aside, a decent game for Best. Won a huge turnover in his own 22 minutes before Ireland's second try.

Cian Healy - 7

Grim moment in the first-half when a groggy Healy was allowed to rejoin the play without respite after on-field treatment. He had an industrious afternoon. however, and with ten carries and 5 tackles was Ireland's most effective front row in the loose. Made way for McGrath ten minutes in the second half.


Replacements - 9 

Ireland had some terrific impact off the bench, most notably with Sean Cronin's bonus-point securing try. Jordi Murphy and Jack McGrath were both hugely impressive off the bench prior to the hour mark, with Iain Henderson kept relatively quiet as Toner's replacement. Andrew Porter struggled slightly against the Scottish scrum, while Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour made little impact. Larmour, interestingly, spent the final few minutes of the game at full-back.


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