Ireland 27 Scotland 3: Ireland player ratings

Gavin Cummiskey runs the rule over Joe Schmidt’s side after their victory over Scotland

Ireland put aside their stuttering 2019 form with a clinical 27-3 victory over their main Pool A rivals Scotland to open their World Cup campaign in convincing style. Video: Reuters

 

15 Jordan Larmour

This can be his World Cup. Despite ignoring the percentage play with a needless offload and chip, both putting Ireland under serious heat, he ended any debate about fullback being his best position with some special moments. Rating: 8

14 Andrew Conway

Super try but the real lesson is always track your man. Even if it’s Stuart Hogg and he’s sprinting 10 metres clear. You never know. Planted the Scottish fullback to earn a Irish five metre scrum that led to Furlong’s try. Rating: 8

13 Garry Ringrose

Makes those around him shine with sacrificial missed tackles that force the carrier into cul de sacs. Hunter gatherer performance; viciously hunting Scots coming through midfield while gathering scraps behind searing breaks by Larmour and Conway. Rating: 8

Garry Ringrose is tackled during the match. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images
Garry Ringrose is tackled during the match. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

12 Bundee Aki

Started with aggressive defence but a bloody clash with Finn Russell saw him disappear, and not return from the Head Injury Assessment room. Chris Farrell is the inside centre now. Rating: 5

11 Jacob Stockdale

Planted Hogg into the turf with a brilliant read and hit. Recovered from an early fumble to produce a smooth display with one burst, chip and catch that almost led to another stunning try for his collection. Rating: 7

10 Johnny Sexton

Hurt, again. The clock is ticking after this shaky start to his third World Cup as he abdicated place kicking duties, and Conor Murray fluffed a three-pointer that would matter on another day. Joey Carbery must feature in some shape or form against Japan. Rating: 5

9 Conor Murray

Super assist for Conway’s try when seeing space on the short side. Controlling, calming, energising display, he’s not a top class place kicker and the old Murray break is still hidden but this was an essential return to form. Rating: 7

Conor Murray prepares to take a conversion. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images
Conor Murray prepares to take a conversion. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

1 Cian Healy

“How long can you keep Kilcoyne at bay?” Healy was asked this week. “Not for much longer,” he humbly replied. The greatest professional loosehead Ireland have produced is going no where. This World Cup needs him, Ireland still need him. Rating: 7

2 Rory Best

The 37-year-old captain played 80 minutes which is unusual for a hooker in the modern international game but perhaps he will be rested against Japan. Did you see the line break? Solid lineout as the Twickenham debacle is proving of enormous benefit. Rating: 7

3 Tadhg Furlong

Menacing return to the force of nature that was rising into the premier tighthead prop in Europe and beyond. Unstoppable for his try when taking an angled gallop off third phase. Rating: 8

4 Iain Henderson

Colossus. Set the standard with a thunderous break to create Ryan’s sixth minute try. Phenomenal turnover on 41 minutes sent Conway scampering down field. Vital strong man in the Ireland pack. Rating: 8

5 James Ryan

Statistics only tell part of a great player’s performance but they consistently show Ryan to be Ireland’s alpha male. Topped the carry (15 for 10 metres) and tackle count (14) yet again. Rating: 8

6 Peter O’Mahony

Following his carry leading up to Furlong’s try the Munster captain was forced off for a subsequently failed HIA that means he will almost certainly run out of time to face Japan. Rating: 5

Rory Best scores the second try of the game. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images
Rory Best scores the second try of the game. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

7 Josh van der Flier

On 64 minutes Hogg was in the middle of the field facing a rag tag line of tiring green bodies but the line break was denied by the Irish openside clawing the Scottish flyer to ground. Must stay fit. Rating: 7

8 CJ Stander

Classic backrow performance with bullocking runs, punishing tackles and control at the base of the scrum, until happily leading the defence when moved to blindside to accommodate Jack Conan. Rating: 8

Bench

Chris Farrell’s early arrival for Aki once again highlighted how well stocked Ireland are in midfield (not that they can afford to lose another body). “Clear ruck” call by Wayne Barnes to sin bin Tadhg Beirne looked harsh. Rating: 7

Coach (Joe Schmidt)

Tougher mental battles ahead – almost certainly pitting his coaching wits against Rassie Erasmus on October 20th – but the Scots attacking threats were identified and ruthlessly snuffed out. Rating: 7

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