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Player Ratings: Ireland

OPINION: The men in green eventually got out of second gear to see off a disjointed if earnest England side, that refused to go away even after going down to 14 men.

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Another win for the green machine as Andy Farrell’s men up the ante ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Here’s how we rated the Irish players.

1. Andrew Porter – 7.5
Gave Will Stuart a torrid time in the scrums. His role as one of Ireland’s most consistent carriers around the ruck has also not diminished.

2. Dan Sheehan – 6
Won nearly every contact he was involved in his short time on the pitch. A couple of errors into the bag for Ireland’s A+ hooker however, not least a line-out overthrow in the 30th minute. Worryingly came off at 37 minutes, suggesting some form of malady had afflicted the young forward.

3. Tadhg Furlong – 5
Fanboys can say what they like but he continues to struggle to find form since returning from injury. Missed a few tackles, most notably on Ellis Genge but just about held his own at set-piece. Got the plaudits for a 47th-minute scrum penalty when he was angling in, even if he was on the back foot, before giving one away minutes later. Ireland will no doubt want to see a return of the ‘Jukebox’ of old sooner rather than later.

4. Tadhg Beirne – 7
Would maybe have liked to put more pressure on the England line-out but it was at the breakdown that he proved a force of nature that the English struggled to quell.

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5. James Ryan – 6.5
Carried solidly and got through plenty of work, but like his engine room partner Beirne, didn’t get into an England line-out that was back on song after recent disasters.

6. Peter O’Mahony – 8
A rare midfield break from the effervescent Munsterman was all he needed to then put Bundee Aki away in the ninth minute. Was everywhere after that, with his energy levels belying his tag as the granddad of the Irish pack.

7. Josh van der Flier – 7
Not his busiest game – in the first half at least – getting outworked here by his apprentice Prendergast at the back of the scrum. Some lively carries in the second half.

8. Cian Prendergast – 6
A huge defensive shift from the man Andy Farrell branded a ‘warrior’ this week, his driving tackles forcing England forwards back. A few too many handling errors here but it was all piss and vinegar by a man that is fast giving Farrell a World Cup selection headache.

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9. Jamison Gibson-Park – 7
A typically mature and snappy performance from Gibson-Park, who is as street-smart as they come, even by halfback standards.

10. Ross Byrne – 7
A brilliant start, sitting down an England defender with his first touch of the ball. England’s obsession with leathering the ball meant it was a busy half who those in green on kicking duties, but Byrne more than held his own. Ran the game well.

11. James Lowe – 7
A huge clearing kick may have settled the Leinsterman’s nerves but a few more impressive kicks aside, he was kept relatively quiet with ball in hand in the first 40. Came into it more in the second half and was well deserving of his try.

12. Bundee Aki – 7
Took Ireland’s opening try well and for the most part out Tuilagi’ed his opposing 12. Impressive.

13. Garry Ringrose – 7
A considerably bulked-up Ringrose was lucky to get away with a late hit on Elliot Daly in the opening exchanges. Nearly fluffed his lines when collecting a perfect crossfield kick from Mack Hansen, but stepping aside was the smart play with Freddie Stewart set to clatter him.

14. Mack Hansen – 8
Saw a lot of ball in the first half and showcased a superb kicking game out of hand. His green hair hidden under a white scrum cap, he was a sure thing under the highball and Ireland’s most threatening attacking weapon throughout.

15. Hugo Keenan – 7
Was kept busy chasing backfield bombs from George Ford and was his usual redoubtable self in that regard. No fireworks in attack this weekend but he’ll be satisfied with his shift.

REPLACEMENTS – 7.5
Rob Herring got plenty of game time and there was no louder roar than when Keith Earls dived over on 73 minutes. Finlay Bealham was an improvement on Furlong, while Jack Crowley also impressed.

By Ian Cameron, @RugbyPass

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