Ireland 35 – 0 Russia
Ireland have secured a 35-0 victory over Russia in Pool A of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
However, it will be the nature of the victory which will continue to cause concern for Irish supporters and Joe Schmidt.
Ireland were solid in the first half as they ran in three first-half tries but it was their second-half performance which will be a huge worry as they lacked energy, cohesion and suffered from a huge number of unforced errors.
The bonus point was only secured after 62 minutes when Andrew Conway crossed for Ireland’s fourth while it was Ringrose’s try a few minutes from time which put some gloss on the scoreline.
Here are our player ratings from today’s action.
Rob Kearney – 5
Showed good pace for the opening try after two minutes but suffered a poor mix up with Andrew Conway which put Ireland under pressure.
Was caught out of position from a kick from Vasily Artemyev in the second-half. Was replaced by Jordan Larmour after 49 minutes who offered a much-needed injection of pace.
Andrew Conway – 6
Suffered that early mix-up with Kearney but ran a very good support line to collect Keith Earls’ offload and showed excellent pace to score under the posts to secure the bonus-point.
Made some really good yardage but other deficiencies in the team saw Ireland fail to capitalise.
Garry Ringrose – 6
Was completely anonymous in the opening quarter and defensively he was poor with two missed tackles in the first half.
Improved considerably in the second half and got his hands on the ball more. Good support line to score Ireland’s fifth try.
A knock on saw him miss out scoring a sixth try at the death.
Bundee Aki – 4
One of his first involvements was to shoot out of the line and miss a tackle.
Knocked on the ball multiple times under little pressure. Yes, the conditions were difficult but it was a disappointing performance. Was aggressive in contact when he did stick his tackles.
Keith Earls – 6
Competed well in the air for first contestable and was unlucky not to collect Sexton’s quick cross-field kick.
Conceded turnover from kick-off but collected Jack Carty’s chip brilliantly and produced an excellent offload to Conway.
Produced another offload to set up Ringrose’s try in what was a good performance.
Johnny Sexton (captain) – 6
3/3 from the tee in what was a decent performance without producing anything too special. Looked shaky at the start when a no-look pass went to ground but produced a lovely grubber kick and identified space well for Peter O’Mahony to collect and score Ireland’s second try.
Nice idea for cross-field kick to Conway and then again to Earls immediately after.
Tackled well and was replaced at half-time.
Luke McGrath – 6
His box-kick was a mixed bag. Some were on the money while others were over-cooked. Was very lively around the breakdown and produced some good breaks from the base of the ruck.
Did well under a high ball when called upon.
Dave Kilcoyne – 7
Like against Wales in Cardiff during the warm-ups, Kilcoyne set the line-speed and tackled ferociously in the opening moments of the game. This continued throughout the first-half.
Was excellent in the carry and showed great pace and produced a good pass to Ringrose early in the second half.
Really putting pressure on Cian Healy now.
Niall Scannell – 6
Only one slight overthrow at the lineout in what was an overall decent performance. Offered himself up as a ball carrier and stuck all his tackles.
John Ryan – 7
Did well in the scrum as Ireland won an early scrum penalty where he minced his opposite man.
Showed great strength to latch onto Ruddock and get him over the line for Ireland’s third try. Produced some dominant tackles.
Tadhg Beirne – 6
Was Ireland’s go-to man in the lineout and carried very well.
Put in a huge shift in the first half but he tired as the second-half wore on. Poor clearout on Russian player who latched onto the ball to win a penalty but stuck at his job and produced a good tackle late in the second half to win a turnover.
Jean Kleyn – 5
Was strong in setting up Ireland’s maul but he was fairly ineffective around the park. Passed straight to a Russia player as he didn’t look where he was passing when Ireland were in a promising position.
Replaced by Iain Henderson after 60 minutes.
Rhys Ruddock – 8
Carried well throughout and got over the gain line frequently. Unbelievable work-rate in defence as he topped the tackle charts with 14 tackles.
Showed great strength in conjunction with John Ryan to get over for Ireland’s third try and despite the massive output, still had enough energy in the second half to make some line breaks.
Peter O’Mahony – 6.5
Showed intensity from the off by producing a great rip in the tackle to win possession before he was harshly penalised for offside when Garces said it was ok to go after the ball.
Did very well to chase Sexton’s grubber and score Ireland’s second try. Helped Ruddock over the line for Ireland’s third along with John Ryan while was a nuisance at lineout time.
Like most of the team, got tired as the half wore on.
Jordi Murphy – 5
Produced a great inside pass to Kearney for the opening try but went off after 26 minutes with what looks to be a rib injury. Bravely played on but was replaced by CJ Stander.
Sean Cronin (58′) – 6
Was part of a front-row which won a scrum penalty on 67 minutes.
Collected Stander’s offload but cut down just short of the line in the second half.
Concede scrum penalty for not driving straight.
Andrew Porter (58′) – 5
Was part of a front-row which won a scrum penalty on 67 minutes but then was penalised for not driving straight later on in the second-half.
Concede scrum penalty for not driving straight.
Tadhg Furlong (58′) – 6
Win scrum penalty on 67 minutes. Added some energy.
Iain Henderson (60′) – 6
Added some much-needed energy in the second half as Ireland tired.
CJ Stander (26′) – 6
Showed poor control at the base of the scrum when Ireland were in an ideal attacking position. Great inside pass to set up a line break and support line to receive offload and power through contact but another pass looked on as the move broke down.
Conor Murray – N/A
Conor Murray didn’t feature.
Jack Carty (40′) – 6
Knocked on with his first-touch from a high ball. Juggled a pass and had to make an unexpected carry and was found isolated and ended up getting turned over.
Began to bring the ball flatter to the line which caused Russia problems and produced a good chip for Keith Earls to set up Andrew Conway’s try.
Jordan Larmour (49′) – 6
Mis-read a high ball and knocked on but produced a much-needed injection of pace late in the second half as he helped set up Garry Ringrose’s try.