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Player ratings: Irish eyes are smiling

OPINION: Ireland continued their resurgence in New Zealand by avenging their loss to the New Zealand Maori team with a 30-24 win in Wellington on Tuesday.

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After an ill-disciplined loss to the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton, Ireland learned from all their mistakes and produced a dominant display, with plenty of players putting their hands up for selection.

Josh Raisey rates the Irish players!

15. Michael Lowry- 6
Was caught in an undesirable position for the Maori All Blacks’ opening try of the match, but on the whole, put in a solid display. Was full of attacking intent from the backfield or when in space and always looked a threat.

14. Jordan Larmour- 7.5 
A performance bookended with two tries, including a brilliantly taken opener, where his quick thinking combined with his quick feet. Came off his wing often in attack and defence to great effect, but his performance was marred by the yellow card/ penalty try he conceded.

13. Keith Earls- 6
Not the start any player wants, unable to control a skidding kick-off, but bounced back quickly when assisting Larmour’s try with a quick lineout.

12. Stuart McCloskey- 7
Maybe not the performance with ball in hand he would have wanted, but was a rock in defence, holding up players on a couple of occasions to win turnovers. With that said, he did miss a tackle in the final play for the Brad Weber try. Has to be commended for the sublime miss pass for Larmour’s second try.

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11. Jimmy O’Brien- 5.5
A quiet game compared to the first match against the Maori and saw far less action than his back three companions.

10. Ciaran Frawley- 7.5
Learned his lesson from the match two weeks ago to produce a commanding display with the boot, as Ireland comprehensively won the kicking battle. In tough conditions, he was solid from the tee, but was pinpoint accurate with his kicks from hand to keep the hosts pinned back. Even contributed with a turnover in the second half.

9. Craig Casey- 6.5
Brought his forwards into the game well around the ruck, as he did in Hamilton. Complemented Frawley well with the boot, producing a number of probing box kicks.

1. Jeremy Loughman- 6
Solid in all aspects of the game during the hour he was on the field. Few standout moments, but equally never put a foot wrong during the hour he was on the field.

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2. Niall Scannell- 6.5
Typified Ireland’s rebound from the first encounter with a rucking masterclass in the first half, winning turnovers and even pouncing with an interception. Lineout throwing was slightly loose in the second half but overall a solid display.

3. Tom O’Toole- 6
Like his loosehead partner Loughman, dependable and busy all game, although he was penalised for collapsing a scrum midway through the second half.

4. Joe McCarthy- 5.5
Gave away a string of penalties in the first half which was redolent of the team’s display two weeks ago, but shored up in the second half.

5. Kieran Treadwell- 8.5
A huge performance from the Ulster lock. A frequent target in the lineout, and produced one crucial steal five metres from his line in the first half. Got through a huge amount of work, and seemed all over the pitch. Wasn’t just a case of a high workrate though, as he often exhibited how strong he is in contact. Taken off before the hour mark, which bodes well for the weekend.

6. Cian Prendergast- 6.5
Another industrious display in defence, winning a crucial breakdown penalty early on. Did receive a first-half yellow card for not retreating 10 metres, but does not deter him from another promising performance. 

7. Nick Timoney- 8
Another player that righted the wrongs of the first encounter with a physical and menacing performance that was topped off with a try. A thorn in the side of the Maori All Blacks at the breakdown all match, and had won over referee Karl Dickson. Showed great strength when he wrestled the ball over the line for his try.

8. Gavin Coombes- 8
Yet another strong display around the fringes on both sides of the ball and proved again how hard he is to stop from close range. Coombes’ carrying got stronger and stronger as the match progressed and was able to make some piercing runs late on.

Replacements- 6
Few replacements were called upon in this match, but the ones that did play managed to maintain Ireland’s control. Ryan Baird was the pick of the substitutes.

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