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Player Ratings: 14-Man Ireland Fall To Wales In Cardiff

Player Ratings: 14-Man Ireland Fall To Wales In Cardiff
By Balls Team
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Ireland lost their opening game of the Six Nations on Sunday, falling 21-16 to Wales in Cardiff.

Here's how we rated the Irish performances.

Ireland starting XV vs Wales

Hugo Keenan - 7

Looked dangerous counter-attacking, constantly eluding the first defender. Broke more tackles than any other Irish player. Carried 14 times and made six tackles.

Keith Earls - 4.5

A disappointing performance from a player usually so reliable.

Didn't really see enough of the ball in the first half. Carried just three times, and five in all.


Knocked on under a high ball early in the game. Gave away a penalty in the 56th minute for taking out a Wales player in the air. Kick straight into touch eventually led to Wales' second try.

Garry Ringrose - 7

Looked like Ireland's most dangerous and creative player for most of the first half while they had 15 players on the pitch. Carried 15 times for 137m and made five tackles.


Robbie Henshaw - 8

Ireland's best player apart from Tadhg Beirne.

Key to Ireland's try at the end of the first half. Took the restart after Sexton's penalty made it 6-6. Moments later, he was making a break in the Wales 22 and offloading to Josh van der Flier just before Tadhg Beirne cross the line.


Left the game for a HIA in the 54th minute but did come back on. He had given away a penalty just moments earlier with Ireland in a good attacking position.

Carried 18 times for 116m and made six tackles.

James Lowe - 6.5


Launched several bombs down the Wales line with his left boot. Looked safe under the high ball. Did brilliantly early on to prevent a Dan Biggar penalty kick going into touch.

Perhaps should have stepped inside to tackle George North for Wales' try at the start of the second half.

Carried 17 times for 175m.


Johnny Sexton - 6

Left the game with 10 minutes to play after taking an accidental hit to the head from Justin Tipuric's knee.

Had been taking the ball standing still far too much before Ireland went to a more conservative gameplan. Game management was good after O'Mahony was sent-off.

Missed an important kick to touch with a penalty in the 68th minute but did kick well from the tee.

Conor Murray - 6

Neither the best nor worst day in an Ireland jersey for Murray. Box kicks were mixed in their effectiveness.

Cian Healy - 6

Made a superb clearout which helped create Tadhg Beirne's try. Carried three times for 18m and made four tackles during 50 minutes on the pitch. Replaced by Dave Kilcoyne.

Rob Herring - 5.5

Though Ireland looked defensively sound at the lineout, they were still far from solid on their own throw. Lost an important lineout in the Wales 22 in the 26th minute. Though, there are more components to the lineout than the throw.

Gave away a penalty for a high tackle in 46th minute. Carried six times for 23m and made nine tackles.

Andrew Porter - 6

Carried well - seven times for 40m - during 54 minutes on the pitch.

Tadhg Beirne - 8.5

Ireland's best player


Crashed over for Ireland's try at the end of the first half. Won some brilliant turnovers as well. Unlucky to have a penalty given against him which led to Wales taking a 21-13 lead.

Carried an incredible 21 times for 98m and made 10 tackles.

James Ryan - 6

Only on the pitch for 24 minutes before he left the game after undergoing a HIA.

Made two lineout steals and six tackles during his brief time in the game.

Peter O'Mahony - 1

O'Mahony was only on the pitch for 13 minutes. He was sent off for a hit to the head of Wales prop Tomas Francis with his shoulder. A definite red card. The right decision by Wayne Barnes.

Also gave away penalty for first Wales score 4th minute for entering ruck from the side. He did make four tackles.

Josh van der Flier - 6.5

Played a key part in Tadhg Beirne's try at the end of the first half. He was on Robbie Henshaw's shoulder for an offload after the centre made a superb break.

Carried seven times for 46m and made seven tackles.

Replaced by Will Connors with 20 minutes to play.

CJ Stander - 7

Reliable as ever carrying the ball - 17 times for 89m. Bumping off Toby Faletau like he was a slightly ajar door was a particular highlight. Also made a lineout steal


Ronan Kelleher - N/A

Replaced Rob Herring after 73 minutes.

Dave Kilcoyne - 6

Made a solid contribution off the bench.

Replaced Cian Healy with 30 minutes to play and carried five times for 27m. Also made two tackles.

Tadhg Furlong - 6

Replaced Andrew Porter after 55 minutes. Did his best to stop Louis Rees-Zammit for Wales' second try. Carried six times for 22m and made five tackles.

Iain Henderson - 7

Entered game as HIA replacement for James Ryan in the 24th minute.

Made a brilliant steal at the end of the first half and forced Toby Faletau to knock on early in the second half with Wales in a dangerous position. Carried 10 times for 47m and made four tackles.

Will Connors - 5.5

Replaced Josh van der Flier with 20 minutes to play. Carried three times for 12m and made four tackles.

Jamison Gibson-Park - N/A

Played four minutes after replacing Conor Murray.

Billy Burns - 5

Entered the game as a HIA replacement for Robbie Henshaw in the 54th minute and for Johnny Sexton with 10 minutes to play.

Missed kick the touch at the end of the game with Ireland in a good attacking position. It's a moment he won't forget easily.

Jordan Larmour - 5

Carried twice for 8m and made one tackle.

Featured image by Chris Fairweather/Sportsfile

See Also: Did Saracens' Relegation Help Scotland To Shock England Victory?

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