Player ratings as Ireland power past Wales in super start to the Six Nations


Wales came out firing in the first half, but a superb opening quarter saw Ireland claim a comfortable 34-10 win at the Principality Stadium.

Ireland were far too good for Wales in the first half as they took a 24-point lead into the break, and despite a stirring second half performance from the hosts, the result never looked in doubt.

Andy Farrell’s side weren’t as creative as they often are in attack, but the intensity of the forward’s ball carrying proved to be enough to cross the try line on four occasions.

Check out our Ireland player ratings below.

15. Hugo Keenan: 9

Keenan was exceptional in the air, as he dealt with every bomb the Welsh kickers dropped on him. He also stopped a Welsh try scoring opportunity in the first half which could have given the hosts some hope.

14. Mack Hansen: 6

The Connacht winger was quiet in the first half, although he came up with some crucial tackles early on in the second half. Hansen didn’t have too many opportunities to get involved although he didn’t put a foot wrong.

13. Garry Ringrose: 7

Ringrose has been in the form of his life recently, although he wasn’t as involved as he would have liked. Still, he made some clever defensive reads and managed to evade a number of tackles with ball in hand.

12. Stuart McCloskey: 8

The Ulsterman always manages to beat a few defenders in each game he plays as he constantly proved to be notoriously difficult to bring down. McCloskey was also resolute in a good 60-minute display.

11. James Lowe: 8

Lowe was superb in the first half, as a deft kick led to Ireland’s first try before he raced away for a try of his own from an intercept. He wasn’t too involved in the second half but he can be very happy with his performances nonetheless.

10. Johnny Sexton: 8

In his first game in a month Sexton showed no signs of rustiness. He kicked more often than he normally does, although he managed to put the Welsh under plenty of pressure in the back well and scored every effort from the tee.

9. Conor Murray: 8

Murray may not be quite as quick as Jamison Gibson-Park, although he did keep the tempo high, particularly in the first half. His box kicking was solid as always in a good outing for the Limerick man.

8. Caelan Doris: 9

Doris is simply in sensational form at the moment and must have been close to being named as the man of the match. Superb in attack and defence, he is irreplaceable in Ireland’s back row.

7. Josh van der Flier: 7

Van der Flier didn’t see too much of the ball, although he still managed to score a try late on. The 2022 World Rugby player of year did get through plenty in defence however, especially in the second half.

6. Peter O’Mahony: 6

Didn’t get through as much work as his fellow starting forwards although when he did get involved he did well. O’Mahony will be aware that a number of players are breathing down his neck for a starting spot.

5. James Ryan: 8

Ryan looks to be back to his best, as he showed good strength to score a try and made a nuisance of himself at line out time as he scuppered a couple of Welsh attacking opportunities.

4. Tadhg Beirne: 7

The Munster lock was very involved in the 50 minutes or so he was on the pitch, particularly in defence where he made 12 tackles. It wasn’t Beirne’s best day in a green shirt by any means but a solid shift all the same.

3. Finlay Bealham: 8

The Connacht prop had big boots to fill in Tadhg Furlong’s absence and performed admirably. His side of the scrum held up very well while he got through 13 tackles in defence.

2. Dan Sheehan: 8

Sheehan’s rise to prominence continued in Cardiff as he made plenty of metres crashing into the Welsh wall. His lineout throwing was also superb, while he contributed to a solid scrum.

1. Andrew Porter: 6

His highlight moment came when he somehow managed to hold Jac Morgan up over the line and prevent a certain try. He conceded several penalties however, three of which came in very quick succession.

Replacements: 7

Wales came out firing in the second half, and Ireland’s bench helped significantly in quelling the red wave. Bundee Aki in particular made a noticeable impact as he came up with a couple of turnovers.

Read More About: , ,