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South Africa 8 Ireland 13: How the Irish players rated at the Stade de France

Bravery, commitment and poise at the heart of Ireland’s win over the Springboks

15 Hugo Keenan

Some great running with ball in hand. Scattered them a few times and finished just short of the try line in the first half. Brave tackling. Rating: 9

14 Mack Hansen

He’s there to score tries and took a simple pass from James Lowe to get Ireland on the scoreboard. Took high balls too in the first half. Rating: 9


13 Garry Ringrose

Great tackle back on Cheslin Kolbe early in the game as he broke forward. Good defensive work and thrilling pass to Keenan for a 50-metre gallop. Rating: 8

12 Bundee Aki

Again buzzing with ball in hand. Was a real threat when Ireland didn’t have much room. Footwork and power shook up the Springboks. Rating: 9

11 James Lowe

Didn’t get the ball in space as much as he likes but put in a fine shift. His physical input to the match and some excellent clearing kicks relieved pressure. Rating: 8

10 Johnny Sexton

A driver of the team but not allowed control like he normally does with the Springbok line speed and took some physical hits along the way. Rating: 8

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

Had two box kicks blocked, one by Eben Etzebeth early on but vitally kept the Irish ruck speed up and moving until Conor Murray came in. Rating: 8

1 Andrew Porter

Took on a heavy workload in a super intense match. Was used for trucking up the hard yards and never stopped hitting bodies. Rating: 9

2 Ronan Kelleher

Problem solved during play to get a broken lineout functional and emptied Damian Willemse in the opening phase of play. Rating: 8

3 Tadhg Furlong

Led with the tackling and fronting up to a powerful pack. Relentless battling in the mix of bodies until replaced in the second half. Rating: 9

4 Tadhg Beirne

Has an ability to play at the same level as the Boks and met them in what was a hyperphysical challenge. Another who emptied on the pitch. Rating: 9

5 James Ryan

In thick of everything but gave South Africa as intense a time as they gave Ireland. And he kept it going to the end against a refreshed pack. Rating: 9

6 Peter O’Mahony

Again a lot of unseen dogged work from the blindside. Didn’t take a step back against a tough bunch and helped to fix the broken lineout. Rating: 9

7 Josh van der Flier

Back to the form that we know he has. Tackled, took up the ball for hard yards and turned over the ball and always made a nuisance of himself. Rating: 9

8 Caelan Doris

Athletic and impactful carried the ball, tackled relentlessly and matched Springbok number eight Jasper Wiese in all of the areas. Rating: 9


Ireland won this game with the bench coming on against the ‘Bomb Squad.’ They didn’t wilt in the face of huge South African pressure especially at the end when a team effort kept out the final throw of the dice with a driving lineout maul. Excellent commitment all round. Rating: 9

Andy Farrell

Stayed true to the way Ireland play and had confidence in his players to raise their level from the previous two matches. Taking off Sexton for Jack Crowley was a brave move and the right one with Crowley getting valuable points and time. Rating: 9

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times