Sunday 22 September 2019

High scores all round as Rob Kearney stars in Grand Slam win: Here is how the Ireland players rated against England

Ireland’s Bundee Aki celebrates with Rob Kearney at the end of the match
Ireland’s Bundee Aki celebrates with Rob Kearney at the end of the match

Duncan Bech

There were heroes all over the pitch at Twickenham. Here is how the players rated in Ireland's Grand Slam win.


ANTHONY WATSON: Departed on the medical cart shortly after half-time, missing the drudgery that followed. 5 (out of 10)

JONNY MAY: Ran over for a customary late try but could make little impression on a cold afternoon. 6

JONATHAN JOSEPH: Anonymous for most of the match as his team-mates faltered around him. 5

BEN TE'O: The jury is still out on whether he is a starter at Test level. Should have gone alone on one occasion. 6

ELLIOT DALY: Two tries for the Wasps wing who is a superb finisher and one of the few bright sparks. 7

OWEN FARRELL: Switched to fly-half but unable to influence a game controlled by Ireland throughout. 6

RICHARD WIGGLESWORTH: The logic behind his recall was sound, but was peripheral. 6

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MAKO VUNIPOLA: Tackled and gave everything, but among the players with nothing in the tank. 6

DYLAN HARTLEY: Conspicuous early on but faded a Ireland took a grip on the match. 6

KYLE SINCKLER: Ill-disciplined early on but must continue at tighthead due to his energy. 7

MARO ITOJE: Possibly his worst performance for England, offers nothing as a carrier. 5

GEORGE KRUIS: Dropped early pass brought back memories of the Lions tour. 5

CHRIS ROBSHAW: Dipped below his usual level but did not stop running. Looked tired. 6

JAMES HASKELL: Proved he still has an international future, made a nuisance of himself. 7

SAM SIMMONDS: Concerns over his lack of size will only grow after this outing. 6

Replacements - Mike Brown was tidy, producing a fiery display to remind Eddie Jones he should still be considered, but otherwise the bench made no impact. 5


ROB KEARNEY: A vintage performance from one of the 2009 Grand Slam winners. Safe as houses and so dangerous in attack. 9

KEITH EARLS: Stayed sharp throughout the clash to ensure Ireland sealed that third clean sweep. 7

GARRY RINGROSE: Every inch the successor to Brian O'Driscoll that the Irish so craved; so dangerous on the ball. 8

BUNDEE AKI: A bullish performance typified by his line break that led to CJ Stander's try. 8

JACOB STOCKDALE: The record-breaking Ulster wing just cannot stop scoring. Inked his name into history in style. 8

JOHNNY SEXTON: Still perhaps struggling with injury, but that only increases the strength of his character. 8

CONOR MURRAY: Surely the world's best scrum-half after another sumptuous performance in totally running the game. 9

CIAN HEALY: Dominated England at the scrum and put himself about in some style. 8

RORY BEST: Accurate under pressure at the lineout and bested Dylan Hartley in the scrum. 8

TADHG FURLONG: Another stellar showing from a tighthead prop who has it all, his pass teeing up Stander's try. 9

JAMES RYAN: A 21-year-old lock who does not know the feeling of a Test match defeat. 8

IAIN HENDERSON: Led Ireland's lineout in style on his return to the starting line-up. 8

PETER O'MAHONY: Another gritty performance that will have annoyed England all day. 8

DAN LEAVY: So accurate in the vital breakdown exchanges, has a fine career ahead. 8

CJ STANDER: Impossible to overstate the importance of his aggressive, destructive ball-carrying. 8

Replacements - To a man Ireland's bench held firm under pressure, Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour especially given their inexperience. 8

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