Sport Rugby

Monday 5 December 2016

man for man marking

Published 07/11/2016 | 02:30

Ruaidhri O'Connor

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rob kearney9 He admitted his performance wasn't perfect, but Ireland's full-back silenced his doubters at Soldier Field with a colossal display.

Andrew Trimble8

Defensively outstanding from the Ulster man who made some crucial interventions at pivotal moments, in particular with his marshalling of Julian Savea.

Jared Payne 8

Made the pass that won the game, finding Simon Zebo wide with a delicious effort that opened things up and led to Henshaw's try. Did himself proud.

Robbie Henshaw 9

Only scores important tries. Got over a defensive misread for the first try to lay his body on the line time and time again.

Johnny Sexton 7

Operating below full fitness and his hamstring was at him from early in the second half. Missed two conversions and a kick out on the full was costly.

Simon Zebo 8

Not always seen as a Joe Schmidt player but he delivered in a big way at Soldier Field. That catch will go down as a career highlight,

Conor Murray10

Even kicked a penalty. When his story is written, this performance will be at the centre of it all. A few kicks went awry, but otherwise exceptional.

Jack McGrath 8

In front of Warren Gatland, he could have earned his place on the Lions plane. So solid at scrum-time, made his tackles and carried hard.

Rory Best 8

The captain led brilliantly from minute one, contributing 10 tackles and rucking well. One pivotal throw went astray as the tide turned, but by and large excellent.

Tadhg Furlong 8

Scrummaged well and made a few pivotal tackles in just his second start at this level. Looks ready to hold on to the jersey a la John Hayes and Mike Ross.

Devin toner 8

A leader in arguably his best performance in a green jersey as he dominated physically. Ireland needed to exploit their opponents' weakeness at lock and did.

Bench Impact 8

Josh van der Flier topped Irish tackle count despite coming on after 25 minutes, while Ultan Dillane led the vanguard off the bench. Finlay Bealham and Cian Healy did well, while Joey Carbery coped admirably.

Donnacha Ryan 8 Physically imposing and aggressive performance from the Munster man who was a fulcrum of a dominant maul and worked his socks off.

CJ Stander 8

Showed remarkable power to get through the granite Jerome Kaino to score and kept making hard yards throughout with a high-energy effort.

Jordi Murphy 8

Is facing a long spell on the sidelines after his knee gave in on him during the first half, but justified Schmidt's faith with a strong display.

Jamie Heaslip 9

All that experience came out as he expertly executed the switch with Henshaw. Took over the captaincy and steered the ship home.

Joe Schmidt 10

For his team to deliver that performance with such limited preparation time was remarkable. Whatever the IRFU are paying him, he's worth every cent.

Irish Independent

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