Ireland 29 Wales 7: Ireland player ratings

Johnny Watterson hands out the marks after Andy Farrell’s side win Six Nations opener

Hugo Keenan

As ever, always looking for go forward ball. Sound defensive tackling and lovely one handed release to van der Flier. Rating: 7

Andrew Conway

Always doing the right thing when involved. Got a few early runs and didn't disappoint. Then scored two tries, the first at a stretch. Rating: 9

Garry Ringrose

The Irish outside centre has again realised what a good player he is. Back to the confident ripping offensive runs and great to see it. Rating: 9

Bundee Aki

Well taken high ball above his head from Hansen for the first try. A constant destructive presence defending and going forward. Rating: 8


Mack Hansen

Ambitious almost every time on the ball. Has a great cut back and his skip pass to Bundee showed presence of mind on debut. Rating: 8

Johnny Sexton

On a windy day missed a few first half kicks. Otherwise throughout he was hugely influential at almost every touch of the ball. Rating: 8

Jamison Gibson-Park

Got steadily better as the match went on having hit Aki on the shin with an early pass. Good vision for Conway's second try. Rating: 7

Andrew Porter

Porter never stops. No trouble in the scrum although the referee had an early word. Around the pitch was at his bullocking best. Rating: 9

Ronan Kelleher

Didn't get the space he may have wanted but made up for that in tackling around the park and a great turnover on the half hour. Rating: 7

Tadhg Furlong

Sometimes wrecking ball, sometimes play maker in the backline and ball carrier. Another big workload from the Irish prop. Rating: 8

Tadhg Beirne

Like Ryan was good in the lineouts and his drive in the second half sucked enough players in for Conway's easy stroll in try. Rating: 7

James Ryan

Great work rate in defensive tacking and also some tough carries in traffic. Was also an excellent disrupter in the Wales throw in. Rating: 8

Caelan Doris

Maybe like Conan played a tough hard game with a high work rate. He did all the unglamorous work very effectively. Rating: 7

Josh van der Flier

Looking dangerous punching through carrying ball. Peerless in his work rate, ball-poaching and hunger all over the park. Rating: 8

Jack Conan

A few big carries and as always doesn't shirk a full work load. Maybe not as central as he would have wanted on the day. Rating: 7


The match was over when most came on. A few slips allowed Wales in for a try. No real trailblazing to suggest radical changes for next week. Rating: 7


Andy Farrell lives and dies by results. He put on the team to give Ireland an early lead and they extended that throughout for 29-7. Nine wins in a row. Rating: 9

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times