It hasn’t been a great year for Irish rugby but a much-improved second-half performance has insured the team finish 2020 on a positive note.
Ireland started the game poorly enough but grew into proceedings to beat Scotland comfortably at the Aviva Stadium.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) December 5, 2020
Check out the player ratings for Ireland’s last game of the year below.
15. Jacob Stockdale: 6
Dropped a couple of balls in the air but overall it was a decent day out for Stockdale. He hasn’t exactly locked down the 15 jersey but is certainly a viable option there moving forwards.
14. Hugo Keenan: 7
Solid again from the Leinster winger who has proved he is up to international standard. Didn’t do anything remarkable but rarely puts a foot wrong and is always reliable in the air.
13. Robbie Henshaw: 7
Did extremely well to knock the ball back under huge pressure for Keith Earls’ first try and made plenty of strong carries in midfield. Didn’t look rusty at all despite just coming back from injury.
12. Bundee Aki: 6
The Connacht stalwart was a bit quiet by his standards but did play a big part in Ireland’s improved attacking shape. Still, it was surprising not to see Aki make more big carries.
11. Keith Earls: 8
He may be coming to the end of his career but the Munster flyer certainly still knows how to score tries. Earls was well worth his two tries in another illustrious performance from the Moyross man.
10. Johnny Sexton: 7
Added some much needed shape to the Irish back-line in attack, although he was a little inaccurate from the kicking tee. The captain was forced off just after the hour mark with what looked to be the same injury he picked up against Wales.
9. Conor Murray: 7
While he can take too long to get the ball out, Murray brings a real sense of calm to the team every time he plays. His box-kicks were well placed and he made very few wrong decisions from the base of the ruck.
8. Caelan Doris: 8
Caused trouble for Scotland all day in defense, rarely if ever taking a backwards step with ball in hand. Doris is quickly becoming one of the first names on the team sheet for Andy Farrell.
7. Peter O’Mahony: 8
Showed his power when he absolutely flattened Ali Price and showed some soft hands for Keith Earls’ second try. Was a inch away from scoring a try on the wing in the dying minutes of the game.
6. CJ Stander: 6
Was busy as always but doesn’t seem to be making the same amount of ground as he used to. It was by no means a bad performance but Stander is certainly being outshone by Doris in the back row.
5. James Ryan: 7
Another tireless performance from the towering lock in the loose and was largely responsible for Ireland securing better ball from the ruck in the second half.
4. Iain Henderson: 6
The big Ulsterman made some good carries around the breakdown and was tackling well before coming off injured just before half time. Worrying signs for Henderson after his recent injury struggles.
3. Andrew Porter: 7
Another busy day for Porter in his sixth successive start for Ireland in this autumn campaign. For such a big man the Leinster prop has extraordinary levels of fitness.
2. Rob Herring: 5
Not a great day for the Ulster hooker. Made a couple of poor throws at the lineout and he let van der Merwe through far too easily for Scotland’s try.
1. Cian Healy: 7
Took his try well early in the second half and kept the scrum ticking over. He’s been around a long time but there’s no doubt that Healy still deserves his starting spot in the Ireland 15.
Ireland were well in control by the time most replacements were made but the bench successfully kept things ticking over in the second half. Josh van der Flier was particularly impressive, showing Farrell he deserves his place in the squad for the upcoming Six Nations.