Scotland 24 Ireland 27: Ireland player ratings

John O’Sullivan hands out the marks after a hard-fought Six Nations win at Murrayfield

Robbie Henshaw carries during Ireland’s narrow win over Scotland. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

Robbie Henshaw carries during Ireland’s narrow win over Scotland. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty

 

15 Hugo Keenan

What coaches want from their fullback is to be decisive and dominant under the high ball and that’s exactly what he was supplemented by largely good defence and footwork in contact. Rating: 7

14 Keith Earls

He won a few pivotal duels in the air and the intelligence with which he approached his duties was a striking aspect that marked out a fine display, especially in key moments. Rating: 7

13 Garry Ringrose

An uncharacteristic error strewn performance including handling mistakes, missed tackles, a blocked down kick that led to a try and the concession of a penalty. He did enjoy one or two better moments in attack. Rating: 5

12 Robbie Henshaw

A mighty contribution and arguably Ireland’s best player alongside Iain Henderson. Great pressure to beat Hogg in the build-up to the try he eventually scored. His tackling, aerial work, carrying and game management was first class. Rating: 8

Hugo Keenan and James Lowe try to tackle Sean Maitland. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Hugo Keenan and James Lowe try to tackle Sean Maitland. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

11 James Lowe

A poor performance: culpable in primarily not hustling back for Scotland’s first try and a basic missed tackle for the second. No impact in attack and one or two passing glitches. Rating: 4

10 Johnny Sexton

His first three or four interventions with the boot weren’t well judged including the cross-kick for Ireland’s try but he gradually played his way into the game a little more. His kicking off the tee was excellent including the match defining moment. Rating: 6

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

His box-kicking generally wasn’t well directed and overused the gambit, while his passing looked a little laboured at times. Untypically ponderous at times but did show one or two flashes in attack. Rating: 5

1 Cian Healy

Finished 1-1 in terms of the scrum penalties, although wrongly penalised as WP Nel drops his bind - for the one he conceded. It was nice to see a return to using footwork in his carrying; hard working. Rating: 6

2 Rob Herring

Poor throw for the only Irish lineout turnover in the build-up to the Scottish try but the Irish set-piece functioned well thereafter. One turnover and a decent tackle count but lacked impact on the other side of the ball. Rating: 5

3 Tadhg Furlong

A moment for the career highlights reel with the double sidestep, worked hard, carried and cleared out in an industrious performance having conceded an early ruck penalty. Rating: 6

4 Iain Henderson

A brilliant display and a candidate for man of the match, turnovers, lineout steals and penalties won, including the one that decided the outcome, and an unrelenting energy level on both sides of the ball: 20 tackles too. Rating: 8

Iain Henderson tackles Stuart Hogg during Ireland’s win over Scotland. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA
Iain Henderson tackles Stuart Hogg during Ireland’s win over Scotland. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

5 James Ryan

He pinched two of Scotland’s early lineouts that completely destabilised that platform for the home side while making some important tackles: taken off for a HIA which is a concern. Rating: 6

6 Tadhg Beirne

Another really fine display, one penalty aberration aside at a lineout, in terms of carrying, breakdown, tackling and of the try; industrious and effective in equal measure. The official man of the match. Rating: 7

7 Will Connors

His tackling was authoritative and emphatic not least when saving a certain try with the one of Duhan van der Merwe. One or two powerful surges on the ball especially in the preamble to Beirne’s try. Rating: 8

Will Connors tackles Chris Harris at Murrayfield. Photograph:Tommy Dickson/Inopho
Will Connors tackles Chris Harris at Murrayfield. Photograph:Tommy Dickson/Inopho

8 CJ Stander

One loose pass but showed up religiously in carrying terms when few others had the appetite or the energy particularly in the fraught endgame. Important turnovers and a typically rumbustious carry in the build-up to the Beirne try. A character laden display on his 50th cap. Rating: 7

Bench

Not altogether sure why their arrival was deferred particularly as Ireland needed energy in the last 20 minutes. Rónan Kelleher, one crooked throw aside, made several important tackles, while Ryan Baird came up with a crucial play that pre-empted the winning of the match winning penalty. Conor Murray’s non-arrival was a little perplexing to understand. Rating: 5

Coach

Anything other than an Ireland victory would have been tough to take for Andy Farrell and his coaching team in terms of how the contest played out. He’ll be satisfied with the win but not aspects of the kicking game, a largely blunt attack and a defensive line that was too passive and lateral in letting Scotland back into the match. The gulf to England looks massive based on the team’s performance in Murrayfield. Rating: 5

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