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Player ratings: Ireland

OPINION: No Irish side has ever gone to Twickenham as such heavy favourites.


However, this contest played out more like an England-Ireland game of old, with Ireland desperately trying to keep their head above water against a tidal wave of white jersey in west London.

Ian Cameron rates the Ireland players after their 22-23 loss to England!

1. Andrew Porter – 6
Porter put in a commendable shift, especially noticeable in the sheer volume of work he completed off the ball. England put Ireland’s scrum under considerable pressure, but Porter generally held up his side of the bargain.

2. Dan Sheehan – 5
Sheehan faced a relatively tough day at the office with the ball in hand, with England’s frenzied defence effectively containing his usually dynamic impact around the park. Despite this, his lineout work remained solid. Looked decidedly more human here.

3. Tadhg Furlong – 5
Didn’t get it all his own way against a pumped-up Ellis Genge and failed to dominate the Bristolian battler as many might have expected. His ball-carrying runs, a source of momentum for Ireland in the past, were non-existent here.

4. Joe McCarthy – 4
Despite his best efforts, McCarthy found himself in the considerable shadows cast by the performances of Maro Itoje and George Martin, whose dominance around the park – in the first half especially – set a benchmark that McCarthy struggled to match.

5. Tadhg Beirne – 8
Saved Ireland’s bacon so many times. Beirne was omnipresent, making key lineout steals and proving to be a nuisance at the breakdown. His ability to read the game and make pivotal plays, whether in defence or linking up in attack, underscored his value to this Irish outfit.


6. Peter O’Mahony – 3
O’Mahony – so often a figure of leadership and intensity on the field – had a surprisingly quiet game, blending into the background more than making his mark. Getting sin-binned for a 57th-minute professional foul didn’t help matters.

7. Josh van der Flier – 7.5
Van der Flier was a bundle of energy, covering every blade of grass with his tireless running and defensive work. His speed to the breakdown and accuracy in the tackle area was crucial in slowing down England’s ball. Not at fault here.

8. Caelan Doris – 6.5
Showed bursts of the form that have made him such a crucial player for Ireland. Despite his efforts and moments of brilliance, he couldn’t single-handedly shift the momentum in Ireland’s favour and was roundly outshone by Ben Earl.

9. Jamison Gibson-Park – 7.5
Gibson-Park’s service was reliable, but the spark he often provides was dimmed against a vigilant English defence. His tactical kicking game varied in effectiveness, struggling to consistently relieve pressure or pin the opposition back. Did brilliantly when asked to cover on the wing.


10. Jack Crowley – 5
It started ignominiously for the Munsterman with a missed tackle on Ollie Lawrence, but he grew into the battle as the game wore on. The 24-year-old managed the game to the best of his ability, yet he struggled to unlock the English defence with his decision-making put under considerable pressure. It might sound harsh on Crowley, but it’s perhaps on days like this one that Johnny Sexton’s absence is most keenly felt.

11. James Lowe – 8.5
Lowe showcased his exceptional kicking game, finding space and placing his kicks with precision, a silver lining in an otherwise challenging match. In attack he found opportunities hard to come by, living off scraps, but scored in the corner on 44 minutes with Ireland’s first meaningful attack. He was called on again to finish in very similar circumstances in the 72nd minute and didn’t disappoint.

12. Bundee Aki – 8
Aki was a powerful presence in the midfield, breaking tackles and making hard yards with every carry – nearly ending Ollie Chessum’s afternoon with one thunderous run. His defensive efforts were equally impactful. One or two errors aside, a really strong showing.

13. Robbie Henshaw – 7.5
Some immense defensive moments in the midfield stood out – his experience and calmness under pressure were vital in managing the game’s flow and stymying England’s rabid attack. It wasn’t enough but there was no lack of effort.

14. Calvin Nash – NA
Nash got speed-bumped in the 5-minute mark and looked to have sustained a stinger injury to his shoulder. He was taken off for a HIA and didn’t return.

15. Hugo Keenan – 6.5
Keenan was subjected to immense pressure by England from the outset, a challenge he faced head-on. His shift to the wing didn’t aid his cause, placing him in less familiar territory under already difficult conditions.


16. Ronan Kelleher – 6
Kelleher brought fresh energy when he came on, yet his impact at the lineout and in open play didn’t significantly alter Ireland’s fortunes.

17. Cian Healy – 5
Healy’s introduction aimed to bolster the scrum and bring experience to the forward pack. While he battled hard in the trenches, any expected shift in scrummaging dynamics didn’t materialize.

18. Finlay Bealham – 5
Despite his best efforts, he struggled to make a noticeable difference against a determined opposition.

19. Iain Henderson – 7
Henderson’s entry into the game marked a significant improvement in the lineout, an area where Ireland had previously struggled. Against that, his 74th-minute not rolling away penalty could have cost Ireland dearly.

20. Ryan Baird – 5
Despite his efforts he was unable to significantly influence the overall direction of the game.

21. Jack Conan – 7
Conan’s impact was immediate, with powerful carries that continued to challenge the tiring England defence.

22. Conor Murray – 4
Murray’s game management was off the mark in this outing, with a tendency to slow down the play at times when Ireland desperately needed to inject pace. Additionally, his usually reliable box-kicking game was less effective, with some kicks failing to find their intended targets

23. Ciaran Frawley – 6
Caught cold after coming on with just five minutes on the clock but took to the challenge after some shaky moments. Forced off with a HIA and didn’t return.


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