South Africa 19 Ireland 13: Irish player ratings

Ireland fought South Africa all the way to the end of three-Test series

15 Tiernan O’Halloran

Risked life and limb to make that wonderful high catch in the game's most controversial moment and although he returned briefly had to be replaced. Rating: 5

14 Andrew Trimble

Not his fault for the JP Pietersen try as Ireland were numbers down and he was right to come in; just undone by a great cross-kick. Typically combative. Rating: 6


13 Luke Marshall

There were several errors but they don't detract from a fine performance particularly going forward until he tired towards the end. Rating: 7

12 Stuart Olding

Sublime footwork and great strength to ride tackles and get his team over the gainline time and again. He also possesses great vision as evidence by chip and chase. Rating: 7

11 Keith Earls

He didn't get many opportunities in an orthodox way but he worked hard and ran strongly both from wing and fullback. Rating: 6

10 Paddy Jackson

Another who didn't let mistakes force him into a playing shell; kept trying to do the right thing both in attack and defence and did for the most part. Rating: 6

9 Conor Murray

He has a marvellous game defensively, including forcing the concession of a penalty at a ruck. His passing challenged the recipient periodically. Rating: 7

1 Jack McGrath

A remarkable effort over the three Tests and again a joint team-leading tackle count. No diminution here in his contribution, phenomenal work-rate and was lucky with one scrum penalty. Rating: 7

2 Rory Best

Industrious in all aspects of the game, he led his team by deed, and no one tried harder over the ball and in showing up to carry. Rating: 7

3 Mike Ross

The Beast has the Indian sign on him in terms of the way that officials interpreted the scrum transgressions. Rating: 5

4 Iain Henderson

Another monumental performance from a gifted athlete. He carried over the advantage line and made his tackles count. Rating: 8

5 Devin Toner

Typically assured out of touch, he got through a mountain of work in attack and defence before understandably running out of steam. Rating: 7

6 CJ Stander

Coruscating power in his carrying, he made what were literally hard yards and got his team over the gainline, while hitting hard in defence. Rating: 7

7 Jordi Murphy

If there were times when he was outmuscled in the straight-up collisions, he more than atoned with his athleticism, work-rate, support play and lineout contribution. Rating: 7

8 Jamie Heaslip

He was forced into doing more defensive work but when Ireland were chasing the game at the death he was there making multiple carries. Rating: 6

The Bench

Seán Cronin made the desired impact with one great run, Ultan Dillane added huge value with his contribution, while Matt Healy can be pleased with his contribution on his debut. The replacements gave Ireland the energy to chase the game at the end. Rating: 8


Joe Schmidt will rue Ireland's failure to be more clinical in the Springboks 22, and great defence from Faf de Klerk that denied the visitors two tries. The coach came up with a gameplan that could have won the series but for some officiating decisions and a little bit of good fortune. Rating: 7