Ireland are back to winning ways after recording a 22-17 victory over Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff this afternoon.
In what was a much-improved performance from Joe Schmidt’s charges, Ireland claimed a confidence-boosting victory which boasted a number of outstanding individual performances.
Here are our player ratings from this afternoon’s action.
Dave Kilcoyne – 9
Despite only lasting 45 minutes because of a HIA, Dave Kilcoyne was our man-of-the-match. The Munster loosehead brought an incredible level of physicality and aggression to Ireland’s play in both attack and defence.
He stuck nine powerful tackles without missing any while his superb line and break through the Welsh defence set up Jacob Stockdale for Ireland’s first try of the game.
Dave Kilcoyne ?
2 clean breaks
5 defenders beaten
8 tackles (0 missed) #WALvIRE pic.twitter.com/X3257yFZiV
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) August 31, 2019
Nailed on to go to Japan as back-up to Cian Healy and his impact from the bench could be crucial at the World Cup.
Niall Scannell – 7
A lot of focus was on Niall Scannell after the lineout malfunction which occurred in Twickenham last weekend. Starting ahead of Rory Best, Scannell was solid at the lineout and contributed to a very strong scrum platform in what was a good performance.
John Ryan – 7
Wasn’t that involved in open play on either side of the ball but Ryan will be happy with his performance at scrum time. With Andrew Porter looking like he will also cover loosehead at the World Cup, this performance should be enough to see him travel as Ireland’s third tighthead.
Iain Henderson – 7.5
A disappointing day in London last weekend, Iain Henderson produced a vastly improved performance. His physicality was evident as he and Jack Conan combined to hold up Aled Davies for a first-half turnover. He will be happy that the lineout performed much better on this outing.
Topped the Ireland tackle count with 14.
James Ryan – 8
In his first outing of the season, James Ryan showed why he is truly a world-class player. He and Kilcoyne led the Ireland defensive charge with some superb line speed but also dominating the tackle to slow down Welsh ball.
Tadhg Beirne – 7
His tackle count hit double figures while he proved a nuisance at the ruck without winning that elusive turnover. A good outing from the Munster lock/flanker and he may have just edged his way onto the plane to Japan.
Peter O’Mahony – 7.5
O’Mahony’s ability came into question from some quarters after last weekend’s performance at Twickenham but it’s rare that the Munster captains follows up a poor performance with another.
He slowed Welsh ball down at the ruck on numerous occasions while also winning a crucial turnover in the second half.
Flourished in the openside role.
Jack Conan – 7
A solid outing from Jack Conan without shooting out the lights but it was his first outing of the season. Combined brilliantly with Henderson in the first half to win a turnover. Kept himself busy on both sides of the ball.
Kieran Marmion – 7
A solid outing from Marmion and he performed well in the all-Connacht 9-10-12 axis which included Jack Carty and Bundee Aki.
Secured a superb turnover on his own on the near touchline which showed his strength and this may see him pip Luke McGrath to the post for the back-up spot to Conor Murray.
Jack Carty – 8
Was awarded man-of-the-match by Channel 4 and it’s not hard to see why as Carty controlled Ireland’s attack superbly. Produced a lovely offload to Andrew Conway in the build-up to Stockdale’s first try and he kicked very well out of hand.
Would have been disappointed with his two missed kicks at goal but that’s the only blight on an otherwise excellent performance.
Jacob Stockdale – 8.5
Stockdale came in for some criticism with his defending at Twickenham but he responded by showing why he is one of the most lethal finishers in world rugby. For his second, he showed brilliant awareness to get to a bouncing ball first before hacking it upfield to collect and score.
Not a lot of traffic came down his channel but his attacking performance was excellent.
Bundee Aki – 8
Another one who made some poor defensive reads last weekend, Aki seemed to channel all that frustration in the right way for what was a brilliant all-round performance. Made 52 metres for just 11 carries which showed his aggressiveness with ball in hand.
Chris Farrell – 7
Probably wasn’t involved as much as he would have liked to be after a very good first outing against Italy. Would have been disappointed with spilling the ball just metres from the Welsh line but performed well in defence.
His inclusion in the final 31-man squad will be a tight call.
Andrew Conway – 8
Another very good performance from Andrew Conway who competed well in the air and showed his attacking class with his mazy run in the build-up to Stockdale’s first try.
He’s likely secured his seat on the plane.
Will Addison – 8.5
Was excellent in the air while always showing good footwork in attack with his elusive carries. There’s a reason why Joe Schmidt has kept him in the squad despite not playing a competitive game since January before today.
Produced a brilliant tap-tackle early in the second half to prevent a certain try.
Would be a shock if he was left out of the final 31-man squad.
Dave Kearney – 5
Garry Ringrose – 5
Andrew Porter – 7
Rory Best – 6
Tadhg Furlong – 5
Devin Toner – 6
Jordi Murphy – 6
Luke McGrath – 6
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