Ireland 24 Wales 14: How the Irish players rated

John O’Sullivan hands out the marks out of 10 after Ireland's resounding bonus-point win

CJ Stander was again outstanding for Ireland, winning his second straight man-of-the-match award. Photograph:  Bryan Keane/Inpho

CJ Stander was again outstanding for Ireland, winning his second straight man-of-the-match award. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

15 Jordan Larmour

Took his try superbly, his ability to slide laterally and strength taking him through some brittle Welsh defence. One superb clearance kick, he is maturing quickly into a top quality Test fullback. Rating: 8

14 Andrew Conway

Brilliant from start to finish and his try was a fitting embellishment. His kicking, aerial work, tackling and running threat were first class. Worked well off the blindside wing, a real handful for the Welsh and someone they struggled to contain. Rating: 9

13 Robbie Henshaw

He was a contender for man of the match in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch before failing a HIA, breaking the gainline every time he carried the ball to give his forwards positive gainlines. Rating: 8

Bundee Aki moves to tackle Wales’ Johnny McNicholl during the Six Nations match at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Bundee Aki moves to tackle Wales’ Johnny McNicholl during the Six Nations match at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

12 Bundee Aki

Great performance in all aspects of the game as he carried powerfully and attacked space too when it was there; managed to pinch a couple of turnovers, and tackled with authority. Rating: 8

11 Jacob Stockdale

Might have given the pass rather than chasing a gap early on but it’s a minor quibble as he produced a high-quality performance beginning with a great chip and chase and sustained that concentration and application. Rating: 7

10 Johnny Sexton

Lovely range of kicking and passing, controlled the game intelligently, and was typically brave in the collisions. One aberration aside, his place-kicking was excellent. Rating: 8

9 Conor Murray

A couple of passes went astray or checked the runner, conceded a penalty and the box-kicking, albeit commendably curtailed, wasn’t on point but he generally managed the game well, defended smartly in the backfield and kept his pack going forward. Rating: 7

1 Cian Healy

There is no faulting his work rate but he hasn’t been carrying with the same corrosive power as in the past, a quality he’ll be looking to reinstate going forward as it was a point of difference. He was replaced after 51 minutes. Rating: 6

2 Rob Herring

He worked extremely hard on both sides of the ball most of it to very good effect but a couple of handling errors materialised taking a little of the sheen off. Rating: 6

Tadhg Furlong scores Ireland’s second try. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Tadhg Furlong scores Ireland’s second try. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

3 Tadhg Furlong

He is rediscovering his best form; his carrying taking out multiple defenders or in the case of the try, powering him through with a little help from friends and his aggression in the tackle stopped Welsh players dead. Rating: 8

4 Iain Henderson

A typically industrious performance but if Ireland are going to get the most from him, the way that Ulster do, then they need to allow him to use his footwork and intelligence in the wider channels. The quicker the game, the more he’ll be evident. Rating: 7

5 James Ryan

His voracious appetite for graft is captured is some of the figures, 15 tackles and 14 carries but it doesn’t do justice to all the other qualities he brings in the service of the team. Rating: 8

Peter O’Mahony celebrates during the game. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Peter O’Mahony celebrates during the game. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

6 Peter O’Mahony

If he felt challenged before the game then his response couldn’t have been more eloquent. Once he got to the pace of the game he made himself a nuisance at the breakdown, lineout and tackled like a man possessed. Rating: 8

7 Josh van der Flier

He was relentlessly aggressive in his line speed and the pressure he put on Welsh outhalf Dan Biggar wherever possible. He slowed down Welsh ball while also managing to make metres with intelligent carrying. Rating: 8

8 CJ Stander

A superb all-round performance that demonstrated a slight shift in emphasis from the past. Freed slightly from a role as a primary tackler, he has a licence to go after ball at the breakdown and he was outstanding there. Carried with his usual aggression but also deserves credit for his passing, a nuance that has rounded out his game nicely. Rating: 9

Replacements

The bench gave the team impetus at a time when Ireland needed an infusion of energy to sustain their dominance. Dave Kilcoyne was dynamic, Keith Earls had a couple of good moments in attack and Max Deegan made his international debut. John Cooney deserved an earlier introduction. Rating: 7

Coach

Andy Farrell will be pleased with the incremental improvement in aspects of the performance and the way in which his team maintained the pressure for long periods of the game. Alterations in some of the patterns were more discernible and effective. He challenged the players and most repaid his faith. Rating: 7

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