Tuesday 25 July 2017

Ireland player ratings: Half-backs and back row stand out as Ireland overcome France

25 February 2017; John Ryan, left, and Tadhg Furlong of Ireland following the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship game between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
25 February 2017; John Ryan, left, and Tadhg Furlong of Ireland following the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship game between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Nick Purewal

Here is how the Ireland players rated after the 19-9 win over France this evening.

15 Rob Kearney: A very solid effort from the Leinster stalwart that was only cut short by a potential groin injury 7/10

14 Keith Earls: The Munster flyer produced a teak-tough defensive showing and almost cut loose on several occasions 7

13 Garry Ringrose: The young centre's neat footwork so nearly bisected France on a host of occasions - a constant danger 7

12 Robbie Henshaw: His bullocking drive set up Ireland's try, scything over the advantage line to open the door for Murray to snipe in 7

11 Simon Zebo: Continues to threaten when he cuts in off his wing but Ireland are still not playing with a great amount of width 7

10 Johnny Sexton: The talismanic playmaker was back in his match-winning groove with no delay after his month out through calf trouble 9

9 Conor Murray: Another sumptuous display from the inch-perfect Munster scrum-half, who looks nailed-on at present for the British and Irish Lions' nine shirt 9

1 Jack McGrath: Struggled early on in the scrummage but built steadily as Ireland improved through the course of the match. Solid overall 7

2 Rory Best (capt): Rock-solid in the lineout and upped the ante at the scrum after a poor start. The captain delivered again 8

3 Tadhg Furlong: Copped a nasty shoulder to the face but battled on regardless for another impressive turn on the tighthead 8

4 Donnacha Ryan: Slightly below-par by his own lofty standards but still got through a mountain of work in the tight exchanges 7

5 Devin Toner: Bossed the lineout for Ireland in a critical area to deny France plenty of platforms. Tidy day's work overall 7

6 CJ Stander: The Munster battering ram just does not know how to produce a poor showing in a Test shirt for Ireland. Terrorised France all day 8

7 Sean O'Brien: His burgeoning partnership with Stander bore yet more fruit here, with France unsure how to shut the twin ball-carriers down 8

8 Jamie Heaslip: Binding the graft of Stander and O'Brien together with some style at present - the ideal scenario for Joe Schmidt 7

Replacements: Ireland emptied the whole bench barring tighthead John Ryan, with Andrew Trimble offering a solid half-hour shift in replacing Rob Kearney. Niall Scannell kept his calm in a late cameo replacing Rory Best, while Peter O'Mahony also put himself about: 7.

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