Ireland 23 Fiji 20: Ireland player ratings

John O’Sullivan runs the rule over Joe Schmidt’s side after a narrow win in Dublin

Cian Healy had a big impact off the bench against Fiji. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Cian Healy had a big impact off the bench against Fiji. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

 

15 Andrew Conway

Awarded man-of-the-match and certainly on the balance of his contribution he was a strong contender, sharp and decisive on the ball, great feet and good vision especially for Dave Kearney’s try. One or two missed tackles but a positive ledger. Rating: 7

14 Darren Sweetnam

Held his width very well for the try and had one brilliant run down the touchline, his tackling and covering were good and he was brave in the air. He was penalised for sealing off at one point but in his first start he can be proud. Rating: 6

13 Chris Farrell

He showed good peripheral vision and nice hands at times and for the most part respected the ball even when there was a temptation of offload. Conceded one penalty but did reasonably well against a very physical Fijian midfield. Rating: 6

12 Stuart McCloskey

He was one of the Irish players who consistently demonstrated a physical aptitude to match the Fijians in the collisions and got his team excellent gain-lines time and again. He put in some big hits and was centrally involved in Ireland’s better moments: one ill-advised offload but overall very good. Rating: 7

11 Dave Kearney

His defence was excellent, making some important tackles and covering intelligently and like Sweetnam kept his width well for his try. His intercepted pass that enabled Timoci Nagusa will grate a little. In keeping with most Irish players some excellent play speckled with a mistake or two. Rating: 6

10 Joey Carbery

Wonderful break, vision and execution for Sweetnam try, and several times he lit up the stadium with his brilliant footwork. Incredibly brave on several occasions and that ultimately proved his undoing: a couple of missed place-kicks and tackles but given limited game-time at 10 this season a fine effort. Rating: 7

9 Kieran Marmion

His box-kicking improved as the game wore on, his pace to the breakdown was important for Irish continuity and he worked hard to cover in defence, including one standout moment in the second half. Rating: 6

Ireland’s Andrew Conway tackles Fiji’s Leone Nakarawa at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Ireland’s Andrew Conway tackles Fiji’s Leone Nakarawa at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

1 Jack McGrath

No one could question his worth ethic and he carried strongly into multiple defenders often off static ball to win the millimetres for his team. One intercept and then intercepted but conspicuous in his tackle count. Rating: 6

2 Rob Herring

He worked hard around the pitch and Ireland only lost one lineout so in his set piece basics he can be satisfied there and also his clear-outs at the breakdown were very effective. Rating: 7

3 Andrew Porter

Winning his third cap and his first start in a position that he is still learning was always going to be a difficult task but he stuck to it doggedly, acquitting himself reasonably well. Rating: Rating: 6

4 Ultan Dillane

Aggressive in his carrying he got his team over the gain-line on several occasions, often in heavy traffic and should be very happy with his overall contribution including in defence. Rating: 7

5 Devin Toner

Took responsibility for lineouts and re-starts when he was on the pitch and it was noticeable that Ireland’s organisation in this area wasn’t quite as good after his departure. Rating: 6

6 Rhys Ruddock (capt)

Huge performance from the captain, whose workload was monumental; just before being replaced he had racked up 17 carries and two turnovers. Rating: 7

7 Jordi Murphy

Like many of his teammates it was a mixed bag, won a penalty and nicked a couple of lineouts, one hugely important one, but that weighed against some ineffective clearing out at the breakdown, a problem area for Ireland and conceding a penalty. Rating: 6

8 Jack Conan

Sharp for his try, superb pick-up and showed great pace to take it home from 48 metres, carried frequently but at times was indecisive at the base of the scrum. Rating: 6

Replacements: Frontrow replaced en masse after 55 minutes and they immediately won a scrum penalty and then Cian Healy, who had a massive impact, demonstrated his footwork and power on a couple of occasions. Ian Keatley kicked two important penalties, while the rest of the bench provided energy and in fairness a positive impact for the most part. Rating: 7

Coach: Joe Schmidt will be unhappy with several aspects of the Irish performance, some loose offloading, passing and sloppy work at the breakdown but he’ll be grateful that a young, scratch side kept the winning run going just about and learned some valuable lessons along the way; or at least that’s the hope. Rating: 6

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.