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Player ratings as Ireland edge out Australia in forgettable affair

Ireland Australia

Ireland were far from their best for a second consecutive week, although they still managed to win against a fired up Australia.

Most would have predicted a high scoring encounter between two talented attacking sides at the Aviva Stadium, although neither Ireland or Australia managed to break the game open.

Australia had the lion’s share of possession and territory, especially in the first half, although Ireland’s defence kept them in the game and ultimately saw them end the year with a win.

Check out our Ireland player ratings below.

15. Hugo Keenan: 6

He covered Ireland’s back field well as always, although he didn’t have a huge amount to do. Keenan kicked well when called upon to clear Ireland’s lines, although he didn’t make much of an impact in attack.

14. Mack Hansen: 7

The Aussie-born Ireland winger was impressive in the air and looked good with ball in hand. Hansen came close to putting Gibson-Park in for what would have been the opening try but was just about in touch.

Ireland Australia

13. Garry Ringrose: 6

Ringrose wasn’t given much space in attack, although he defended well as he kept Australia’s backs at bay. Even when not at his best he tends to make some key plays.

12. Stuart McCloskey: 7

Ireland were far from their best in attack, although McCloskey was very strong in contact in a scrappy opening 50 minutes. He was good in defence too, as Australia failed to score despite plenty of possession and territory.

11. Jimmy O’Brien: 5

A real mixed back from O’Brien. He looked dangerous out on the wing at times and put Australia under pressure with some good kicks, although he also knocked the ball on a couple of times and ran into trouble on occasion.

10. Jack Crowley: 6

The 22-year-old was thrown into the 10 jersey at late notice, and he gave a decent account of himself. Crowley didn’t get too many chances to impress in attack however, especially in the first half when Australia dominated possession.

9. Jamison Gibson-Park: 5

The snappy scrum-half wasn’t at his best, as he made a few bad decisions, most notably choosing to go down the blindside twice when Australia were reduced to 13 men. Gibson-Park also kicked too much in the opening 20 minutes.

8. Caelan Doris: 9

A superb performance in a scrappy game. Doris made a whopping 23 tackles, was notoriously hard to stop with the ball and won a great turnover in the first half. He obliterated Bernard Foley in one of the few highlights of the game.

7. Josh van der Flier: 9

Marginally beaten by Doris in the hunt for the man of the match award, Van der Flier was tireless in defence as he made 26 tackles. He didn’t make too many metres in attack but Ireland’s defence won the game in the end.

6. Peter O’Mahony: 4

A day to forget for O’Mahony. He made five tackles in the 50 minutes he played, by far the fewest of any Irish forward by the time he came off. The Munster stalwart did make a few carries, although he lost the ball on numerous occasions.

Ireland Australia

5. James Ryan: 7

A solid outing from Ryan, who is looking like the version of himself who first broke onto the scene in recent months. Like many of his fellow forwards he did far more in defence than in attack, as Ireland found themselves without the ball for long periods.

4. Tadhg Beirne: 7

The talented lock kept very busy in defence in a first half where Ireland barely got a sniff of the ball. He also won a great turnover, although he didn’t get much of the ball in attack.

3. Tadhg Furlong: 7

One of several forwards who really stood up in defence, Furlong got through 15 tackles, an impressive tally for a forward. He didn’t make too many carries although he made a rare decent kick downfield.

2. Dan Sheehan: 6

He came close to scoring a try and made some strong carries, although he wasn’t quite as busy as many of his fellow forwards in defence. Sheehan’s line out throwing was a bit wonky at times too.

Ireland Australia

1. Andrew Porter: 7

Like his fellow prop, Porter got through plenty of work in defence as he made 14 tackles. Porter made a couple of powerful carries but didn’t get as much ball as he would have liked.

Replacements: 9

Andy Farrell couldn’t have asked for much more from his bench. Craig Casey passed to Bundee Aki for Ireland’s only try, while Ross Byrne slotted the winning kick from a penalty which the replacement front row won. Numbers 16 to 23 undoubtedly won the game for the home side today.

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