October 20, 2019, 22:56

Player ratings as Ireland overcome Scotland in World Cup opener

Player ratings as Ireland overcome Scotland in World Cup opener

Here are the player ratings after Ireland’s opening Pool A victory over Scotland in Yokohama.


JORDAN LARMOUR: So much concern beforehand, so much confidence afterward. Some big catches early to settle in, a big jackal, and almost 70m with ball in hand. His finest display in green: 8/10

ANDREW CONWAY: Another player who’d likely have been in the stands – or bench – if Joe had his full pack, but he didn’t let anyone down. Rewarded with a try but did so much right before that: 8

GARRY RINGROSE: Some huge tackles – eight in all – in a solid day for the midfielder, who might have missed out were Henshaw fit. A reassuring display, a chance to grow into this tournament now: 7

BUNDEE AKI: Two big turnovers early on – but a short day after the office with the Connacht man removed from play after failing a HIA-1. Unlikely to make Japan, but Chris Farrell was brilliant from the bench: 6

JACOB STOCKDALE: Another trademark chip, chase and catch almost got him away for try to maintain his stunning ratio but it wasn’t to be. A solid show on front and back foot: 7

JOHNNY SEXTON: A quiet enough day for the out half, who will need more game time to get him up to speed. Took a few hits and relinquished kicking duties to Murray: 6

CONOR MURRAY: A much improved display from the scrum-half, who is also working his way to peak performance. Box kick was back in force, and passed well: 7

CIAN HEALY: Delivered lineout call to hooker in a noisy Yokohama Stadium, and delivered everywhere else too. Scrum was 100% and Leinster man was powerful at breakdown: 8

RORY BEST: A rare 80 minute performance from the “55-year-old” as Furlong called his captain. Stuck mostly with the front of the lineout, but 12/12 is never bad news, especially with such pre-match concern. Rare try a bonus: 8

TADHG FURLONG: Another forward getting in on the try scoring fun – and didn’t he enjoy it, with his Henrik Larsson-type celebration. Huge in Ireland’s bullying of the Scots in the opening half: 8

IAIN HENDERSON: A big game was asked for and a big game was delivered. A huge burst through the middle led to Ireland’s first try of the game, and he kept motoring thereafter: 7

JAMES RYAN: Just the typical double-double from the Leinster lock – with 14 tackles (0 missed) and 15 carries. Burrowed home for a rare try, and a solid cog in the lineout machine: 8

PETER O’MAHONY: Didn’t last half an hour, removed with a HIA, but was key to settling early lineout nerves. Helped Best over the line for his try too, before being forced off: 7

JOSH VAN DER FLIER: You don’t know who’d have worn 7 if every player was fit and available to Schmidt, but boy this lad never lets him down. 10 tackles, 0 missed, and another day where that red skull cap was seen on every square inch of grass: 7

CJ STANDER: Now that’s more like it from the Munster man. A huge 15 carries, but more encouraging was the 43m he ate up with them. Moved around successfully when Conan came on – back to form: 8

Replacements: Conan might have felt unlucky to be left out, but showed what he has when sent on early, same too, for Farrell, who excelled in attack, defence and in the air. What about that offload, too? McGrath and Carty right at home closing out the game.


STUART HOGG: Scotland’s genuinely world class player – but kept quiet by the Irish and not given any chance to show his ability. Needed his forwards on front foot to get anything out of the day: 5

TOMMY SEYMOUR: Lions winger is another class act but he was overshadowed by Conway and the Ireland backs on a day to forget for the former Ireland U19 flyer: 6

DUNCAN TAYLOR: Saracens midfielder just couldn’t get into the game, with Aki and Ringrose, and then Farrell, dominating the centre clashes: 5

SAM JOHNSON: Aussie import struggled to impose himself and failed to link well with Finn Russell. If anything was to go well for Scotland, they needed that pair to connect: 5

SEAN MAITLAND: Another big name talent in the Scottish backline, another player licking his wounds after a try-less display. Replaced early in second half by Darcy Graham: 4

FINN RUSSELL: The out half was the man most Ireland fans anxious about this game feared – but he didn’t turn up. Irish linespeed had desired effect on his play, with passes and kicks below standard: 5

GREIG LAIDLAW: Chosen ahead of the snipier Ali Price for these big games, but it didn’t come off in Tokyo, with his kicking failing to do the damage the Scots would have hoped for, especially in the conditions: 5

ALLAN DELL: Kept Scotland solid at scrum time, apart from one against the head loss, and the Irish scrum looks like one of the best in the tournament. 12 tackles in a tough day: 6

STUART McINALLY: Big tackle on the half hour to deny Ireland another try that could have really broken the Scots, but not a lot else to cheer. Darts were spot on, but rarely had the opportunity in a good position: 5

WP NEL: Not a nice day to be a Scotland forward – 16 tackles in 50 odd minutes reflects just how difficult it was. Setpiece went well, but that wasn’t enough: 5

GRANT GILCHRIST: Lineout went well, but not much else. The Scottish pack were demolished by Ireland in the first half and Gilchrist did little until late on – when he knocked on close to Irish line: 4

JONNY GRAY: Put in the shade by Ryan in the green shirt, the Glasgow man is not the player he once was and forced on to the back foot, he couldn’t give his side the forward ball he once did so well: 5

JOHN BARCLAY: Has a love-hate relationship with the World Cup as it is, and this game won’t help. Most of his day was on the back foot, and knocked on with try line in sight: 5

HAMISH WATSON: A huge tackle count in the opening half but shipped a serious knee injury at a messy ruck that could end his tournament. A big loss for the Scots: 5

RYAN WILSON: A tough day for any No 8 going up against an in-form, aggressive Ireland backrow. CJ Stander was man of the match – Wilson did not even stand out in blue: 6

Replacements: Ali Price, Blade Thomson and Darcy Graham put themselves about and may be in the mix to start next week, but no one thrived when sent on to help clean up in a monsoon.

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Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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