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Player Ratings As Ireland Dominate Samoa To Clinch Quarter-Final Spot

Ireland player ratings

Ireland 47 Samoa 5

Despite being reduced to 14 men for the majority of the game, Ireland produced an excellent performance to secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup thanks to a bonus-point 47-5 victory over Samoa.

Ireland were completely dominant throughout and even though they were reduced to 14 men midway through the first half after Bundee Aki’s red card, they managed the game superbly to produce a dominant victory.

Ireland player ratings

Ireland Player Ratings

Cian Healy – 7

Often had to carry into heavy traffic and on the other side of the ball, he missed two tackles out of three attempts.

Not as good as we’ve seen him in the past but contributed to a very strong scrum.

Rory Best – 7

Scored an early try off the back of a powerful rolling maul to get Ireland up and running. Contributed to a solid setpiece in both the lineout and scrum.

Not as effective as he can be around the pitch.

Replaced by Scannell after 50 minutes.

Tadhg Furlong – 8 

Showed superb strength to get over for Ireland’s second try as four Samoans couldn’t bring him down. He followed that up with another barn-storming carry on the far touchline soon after.

Made two clean line breaks and beat five defenders in the first half off the back of only five carries.

Unlucky to be held up at the beginning of the second half when it looked like he scored Ireland’s fifth try.

Went off for Andrew Porter after 45 minutes.

Iain Henderson – 6

Had a good take in the lineout and transferred the ball well mid-maul to Best for Ireland’s opening try. Solid lineout option but wasn’t that involved around the pitch.

James Ryan – 7 

Had an early error when he knocked on from a Conor Murray pass which to be fair was difficult to collect.

Produced an excellent lineout steal from a dangerous Samoa attacking lineout.

A typically hard-working outing.

Tadhg Beirne – 7

Put in a huge shift with ball in hand as he ended his game as one of Ireland’s top carriers.

Produced a nice offload out of the tackle to Keith Earls at the beginning of the second half to set up an Ireland attack which ultimately led to a penalty which was kicked to the corner.

Replaced by O’Mahony after 60 minutes.

Josh van der Flier – 7

Was Ireland’s top tackler throughout the game and was quite busy in the carrying stakes too. A classic energetic performance from the Leinster flanker and the seven shirt should be his for the quarter-final next weekend.

CJ Stander – 8

Powerful drive as he led the maul for Best’s opening try.

Was Ireland’s top ball-carrier throughout the game. He often had the unenviable task of carrying into traffic but he did get over the gain-line at times and he produced a lovely carry and offload in the build-up to Sexton’s try.

Great steal in the second half and then got his reward for an excellent display by getting over for sixth try at the midway point of the second half.

Conor Murray – 8

Besides a poor pass to James Ryan in the first half, Conor Murray’s performance looked close to his best.

Executed a beautiful box-kick to Keith Earls and then another quick kick from the base of ruck into the corner.

Had a lot of tempo to his game as he zipped around the pitch. Produced a ballsy skip pass to Jordan Larmour as the winger went over for Ireland’s first try.

Was replaced by Luke McGrath after 52 minutes and is building nicely ahead of next weekend.

Johnny Sexton – 8

Ireland just look so much better when this man is on the field. Dictated the play brilliantly while the only blight on his performance was kicking the ball dead on 14 minutes.

Only missed one kick from the tee and he showed great strength and identification of space to get over for Ireland’s second try and he followed that up with another 18 minutes later.

Was replaced by Joey Carbery after 50 minutes.

Jacob Stockdale – 6

Not his most prolific display as he found himself on the outside looking in for large portions of this game. The ball didn’t come his way which is the harsh reality of being a winger sometimes but he is definitely capable of more.

Bundee Aki – 2

Carried well in the time he was on the field but he was red-carded for a dangerous high tackle in the first half.

His World Cup could be over.

Robbie Henshaw – 5

Looked very rusty which is understandable considering this was his first appearance of this year’s World Cup. Knocked the ball on under little pressure after 17 minutes and then gave away a penalty which led directly to Samoa’s only try of the match.

In the build-up to Aki’s red card, he threw an inaccurate pass which led to Ulupano Seuteni collecting the ball before he tackled high by Aki.

Was replaced by Andrew Conway on the hour mark.

Keith Earls – 7

Like Stockdale, we didn’t see Keith Earls at his best but he did produce a brilliant take in the air from a Conor Murray box-kick. Only got his hands on the ball five times in the game but nearly produced a linebreak from a Stander offload.

Jordan Larmour – 9 

A brilliant all-round display from Jordan Larmour. Showed his confidence when kicking from hand as Ireland and Samoa engaged in a bout of kick-tennis in the opening minutes of the game.

Produced a great linebreak and offload for Sexton’s first try and he was brilliant with ball-in-hand throughout as he terrorised the Samoan defence.

Produced great footwork for his try after he received an excellent pass from Conor Murray.

He beat 12 defenders throughout the 80 minutes and had made a serious claim to start in the quarter-final.

Replacements 

Niall Scannell (50′) – 6 

Has had a very good World Cup and he showed that again with another positive contribution from the bench.

Dave Kilcoyne (56′) – 6 

Typical energy from Kilcoyne as he entered the fray as he thundered into tackles.

Andrew Porter (45′) – 7

Like the other front-row replacements, Porter contributed to Ireland obliterating the Samoan scrum in the second half.

Jean Kleyn (56′) – 6 

Produced a good tackle to set up O’Mahony’s turnover. Unlucky not to score his first try for Ireland as the camera couldn’t pick up any grounding.

Peter O’Mahony (60′) – 6 

Produced a great turnover in the second-half as he reminded everyone what he can bring to the breakdown.

Luke McGrath (52′) – 5

Two poor passes in the opening 10 minutes after he entered the fray but did add some pace and energy to proceedings.

Joey Carbery (50′) – 6

Great grubber kick for Andrew Conway’s try which was almost a carbon copy of what Munster produced against Gloucester at Kingsholm in the Heineken Champions Cup last season.

Andrew Conway (61′) – 6

Great run to collect Carbery’s grubber kick for Ireland’s seventh try.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter