Ireland 50 Italy 17
Below you will find our Ireland player ratings as Andy Farrell’s side claimed a 50-17 bonus-point victory over Italy at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon.
Ireland secured the bonus-point and put up a huge score to give themselves the best opportunity of winning the title on the final day against France next weekend.
A brace of tries from Hugo Keenan in the first half and one from CJ Stander got Andy Farrell’s on their way before they let rip in the second half with another four tries.
Ireland Player Ratings v Italy
Jacob Stockdale – 6.5
He had an early mistake as he caught an Italian clearance with his foot in touch. He then produced a knock-on from a poor pass from Garry Ringrose. However, he recovered well and showed superb running ability to set up what turned out to be a disallowed try for Hugo Keenan.
Produced a knock-on from a high ball in the second half but as the game broke up he really came into his own with his carries from deep.
Will definitely improve in this relatively new role as full-back.
Andrew Conway – 6
Quiet enough afternoon for Andrew Conway. All of the action seemed to be happening on the other side of the pitch in terms of Ireland’s attacking. Didn’t put a foot wrong throughout his performance, however.
Garry Ringrose – N/A
Unfortunately, Garry Ringrose went off after just 27 minutes after he took a knock to the chin when attempting to make a tackle. Before that though, Ringrose produced some excellent aggressive carries, particularly in the build-up to CJ Stander’s try.
Bundee Aki – 7
Was harshly penalised for a ‘high tackle’ in the first-half and he soon had the ball taken from him from Carlo Canna which would have undoubtedly frustrated him.
Was typically aggressive in the carry and did well in defence too. He produced a good break up the far touchline in the first-half after an inside pass from Sexton.
He then got a late try in the second half after an outrageous offload from Peter O’Mahony.
Hugo Keenan – 9
Before his try-scoring heroics, Keenan eased himself into international rugby with a brilliant one-on-one tackle which he needed to make. He then showed brilliant speed and composure to score two of his first-half tries in the corner.
Excellent performance and he didn’t put a foot wrong. He always looked dangerous with the ball in his hands.
Johnny Sexton – 8
A very good outing from Johnny Sexton who missed just one from the tee and he also showed flashes of snappy passing which caused the Italians plenty of trouble.
Himself and Stander were caught out for an early Italy linebreak but that was one of the only negatives of his performance.
He had a good kick from hand in the second half to give Ireland some good territory. However, his pass to Robbie Henshaw off a scrum was intercepted by Padovani which was the Italians’ first try of the match.
Showed great strength for his second-half try.
Conor Murray – 7
Murray received an early yellow card, perhaps harshly after Italy made that early aforementioned linebreak. Once he returned to the field, his passing was very accurate and there was an increased speed to his play at the ruck which we haven’t seen for some time.
Produced a great kick through to set up Hugo Keenan’s second try.
Cian Healy – 6.5
A relatively quiet outing for Cian Healy but he played his part in a very strong scrummaging effort from Ireland. Made his tackles and carried into heavy traffic when asked.
Rob Herring – 7
A very strong start from Rob Herring as he held up Carlo Canna in the tackle to win Ireland an early scrum in a promising position. He also latched onto ball carriers and provided that extra punch in contact throughout the opening 40 minutes.
He also got in on the turnover stakes when he produced a brilliant effort after 11 minutes to win his side a penalty.
Wasn’t as impactful as the game wore on but a solid performance. Replace by Dave Heffernan after 50 minutes.
Andrew Porter – 7
A very strong performance on both sides of the ball. Porter produced a great turnover on 15 minutes and he also showed his skills in maul defence as he was able to grab the ball from Italy during a maul in a promising position from the visitors.
A good day out.
Tadhg Beirne – 8
Tadhg Beirne had a huge work-rate in the first half with 12 tackles to his name, the highest out of any Irish player in the opening 40 minutes.
Produced a superb combined effort alongside Hugo Keenan and Will Connors in the first half to put huge pressure on the Italians.
Monster turnover in the build-up to Bundee Aki’s second-half try. Staking a claim for that jersey with Iain Henderson out through suspension.
James Ryan – 7
A quiet enough game by Ryan’s standards but he contributed to a strong lineout from Ireland. A 100% tackle completion rate and carried well when called upon.
Caelan Doris – 7.5
Caelan Doris was excellent with his carrying as his deft footwork saw him get over the gainline in situations where you would expect him to make little ground. Defended well throughout and was often called upon as Ireland’s lineout jumper. Good work from him in the lineout contributed to Connors’ second-half try.
Superb line and carry in the build-up to Sexton’s second-half try capped off an impressive performance.
Will Connors – 9
Produced excellent line speed and a good jackal turnover on 20 minutes. Brilliant combined tackle with Tadhg Beirne and Hugo Keenan on 28 minutes which led to a turnover was one of many highlights for Connors. Produced a great tackle from an early scrum in second half to get the second 40 off to a good start.
His second-half try secured a bonus point for Ireland and based on his performance in the 60 minutes prior, it was deserved.
He was everywhere for Ireland and expect him to start against the French next week.
CJ Stander – 8
Showed brilliant strength to score Ireland’s first try of the match as he got over a pile of Italian bodies to ground the ball. Was often Ireland’s man to reclaim restarts and his strong carrying in this area led to straight-forward exits from his side.
Will be disappointed alongside Sexton for his role in that early Italian linebreak which almost led to a try.
Carried relentlessly throughout and popped up on the touchline to gain a lot of ground in the build-up to Sexton’s try.
Dave Heffernan (50′) – 6
Ed Byrne (55′) – 6
Finlay Bealham (63′) – N/A
Not on long enough to rate
Ultan Dillane (63′) – N/A
Not on long enough to rate
Peter O’Mahony (67′) – N/A
Not on long enough to rate but a lovely offload from Peter O’Mahony for Bundee Aki’s try.
Jamison Gibson-Park (67′) – N/A
Ross Byrne (71′) – N/A
Robbie Henshaw (27′) – 7
Came on after 27 minutes for Garry Ringrose HIA. Produced a good pass for Keenan’s first try. He was very busy in defence and won a great turnover later in the second-half.