Player Ratings: Ireland far from impressive
OPINION: Ireland just about bagged a bonus-point win against Russia, but it was the performance the under-pressure side needed.
The 35–0 victory won’t keep the wolves quite from the door, but it was the five points in the bank that Joe Schmidt’s side needed.
Here’s how we rated the players.
15 ROB KEARNEY:
Took his try well but made some uncharacteristic errors. Continues to look like a player in the Autumn of his career, which he is.
14 ANDREW CONWAY:
Secured the all-important bonus-point score and grafted all night. Looked busy all night.
13 GARRY RINGROSE:
Took his two tries well and was solid enough. Continues to be a classy lighthouse in an often unremarkable Irish midfield.
12 BUNDEE AKI:
Battled all night long but struggled with the greasy ball. Ultimately keeping a seat warm for Henshaw.
11 KEITH EARLS:
Always offered himself up for work in another tireless performance.
10 JOHNNY SEXTON (captain):
Very tidy night’s work before he was withdrawn, with Ireland hoping his leg problem is nothing serious.
9 LUKE MCGRATH:
A strong night from the Leinster star, who battled to press Ireland’s tempo.
1 DAVE KILCOYNE:
A hugely-impressive first-half powering around the park with ball in hand. As the RPI shows, Kilcoyne continues to be an outstanding front-row option.
2 NIALL SCANNELL:
Very solid at the set-piece and worked hard. A good counterpoint to Best.
3 JOHN RYAN:
Caught out several times at the scrum but solid beyond that.
4 TADHG BEIRNE:
Aggressive and penetrating with ball in hand. Needs to bring his ball-winning abilities to the world stage, a unique selling point.
5 JEAN KLEYN:
Grafted as ever but a few mistakes in the mix too. His handling skills let him down and let’s be honest, he’s yet to justify his selection ahead of Devin Toner.
6 RHYS RUDDOCK:
A very solid effort from a very dependable squad man. The blindside is a workhorse and did all that was asked for him.
7 PETER O’MAHONY:
Got an early rare early try. Another big shift for the team but surely now needs a rest.
8 JORDI MURPHY:
Injury cruelly cut short his night and perhaps his World Cup.
Jack Carty piloted Ireland home but the game was riddled with errors throughout.
By Ian Cameron, @Rugbypass