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Player ratings: Oh so close

However, as was the case last week, they just could not overcome the Springboks – losing 13-19 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and losing the series one-two.


The winning margin in all three Tests was just six points and the Irish will take heart from the fact that they were just one score away from adding a series win to their historic first-ever win on SA soil in Cape Town in the opening match o the series.

Jan de Koning rates the Irish players:

15 Tiernan O'Halloran:

Took and early knock, went off for a concussion test and returned till half-time, when he was replaced.


14 Andrew Trimble:

He was a constant threat with ball in hand and looked for work. Missed just one tackle.


13 Luke Marshall:

Apart from one penalty, he had a very good game – especially on attack, where he tested the Bok defence.


12 Stuart Olding:

Some real talent coming through in the Irish midfield. Not flawless, but showed a determination that could make him an institution in the national team.



11 Keith Earls:

Had one really good run, from a clean break, but was otherwise subdued by his standards.


10 Paddy Jackson:

Not his best game of the season, but was till better than his direct opponent and again managed to pin the Boks in their own half.


9 Conor Murray:

Was not as effective this week and while he did the basics well, but was well marked around the fringes.


8 Jamie Heaslip:

Was Ireland's most effective forward throughout the series – as he was in this match – on defence, in the line-outs and with his support play.



7 Jordi Murphy:

Had plenty of carries, for little reward, made all his tackles and won a handful of line-outs.


6 Christian Stander:

Won some crucial turnovers at the breakdown and made life rather unpleasant for the Boks. Outplayed his direct opponent, Francois Louw, although there was a penalty in the second half.


5 Devin Toner:

He may not be the most effective ball carrier, but on defence and in the line-outs he is invaluable.


4 Iain Henderson:

His carries went into double figures, but his metres gained did not. Made all his tackles.


3 Mike Ross:

A game he would much rather forget – especially the scrums.


2 Rory Best (captain):

Worked exceptionally hard, especially on defence.


1 Jack McGrath.

Also struggled in the scrums, but was a rock on defence.



16 Sean Cronin (on for Best, 72nd min):

Not enough time to be rated.

17 Finlay Bealham:

Not used.

18 Tadhg Furlong (on for Ross, 50th min):

Had no impact on the game and got monstered in the scrums.


19 Ultan Dillane (on for Henderson, 68th min):

Not enough time to be rated.

20 Rhys Ruddock (on for Stander, 68th min)

Not enough time to be rated.:

21 Eoin Reddan (on for Murray, 68th min):

Not enough time to be rated.

22 Ian Madigan (on got Earls, 72nd min):

Not enough time to be rated.

23 Matt Healy (on for O'Halloran, 10 min to 18 min & then 41st min):

Made no real impact, with only one decent run.



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