Saturday 21 September 2019

Ireland player ratings: Garry Ringrose and Andrew Conway provide the magic in routine win

Andrew Conway of Ireland on his way to scoring his third, and Ireland's eighth try during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and USA at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Andrew Conway of Ireland on his way to scoring his third, and Ireland's eighth try during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and USA at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Des Berry

There were some standout performances as Ireland's fringe players got their chance to impress in the 57-14 win over the USA. Here's how the Irish players rated.

Will Addison: Switch from centre to full-back speaks volumes for his versatility. This suited his skills set. The intelligent running and timing of the pass are his bread and butter. The side-door pass for Conway’s second try was controlled. Replaced at half-time - 8.

Andrew Conway: The counter, link and finish for his first try delivered on his promise not to wait for the game to come to him. He stayed wide for his second, made all the difference for Conan’s and claimed a hat-trick - 9.

Garry Ringrose: Time on the ball is a precious commodity. Time in defence is another thing altogether. Makes reads others can only dream of comprehending. Content to ‘support’ those with more on the line. Magical in setting up Conway’s hat-trick. A class above - 9.

Stuart McCloskey: The challenge for the big Ulsterman was to corral the heavier Lasike – it never worked out that way - and link effectively with Ringrose. The Irish centres were not quite on the same wavelength. Snatched first international try - 7.

Darren Sweetnam: There was one raid up the left to settle into the game. It was undone by a poor decision to pass inside where Lasike was waiting. The ball did not come his way too often. Replaced by Ross Byrne after 26 minutes - 5.

Joey Carbery: The tactic adopted by the US was to send 18stones centre Lasike straight at the out-half, who didn’t shirk the challenge. He was withdrawn to full-back where more time on the ball mean more chances for those around him - 7.

John Cooney: The scrum-half had to be good, very good, given how Marmion and McGrath had gone this month. He didn’t overplay his hand, moving the ball away from the base. He did not have many big moments - 7.

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Dave Kilcoyne: There is a lot more to the game than carrying the ball like a bull. Trying to add another dimension. Went off his feet and out of the game for Taufete’e’s try. Took that frustration out in the scrum - 7.

Niall Scannell: The foundations of the position were essential to how Ireland would win the ball and keep it. The Munster hooker stuck to the framework of his job description, making close in carries, battering rucks - less than perfect out of touch - 7.

Finlay Bealham: This has been an uplifting month for the prop. The scrum was solid. Compromised by a failure to put his shoulder into Taufete’e for the first US try and reacted slowly in defence of the maul for second - 6.

Tadhg Beirne: The blue scrum cap would have been difficult to make out were it not for his omni-presence, one exquisite restart, twice whipping the ball from the floor for Conway’s second try and his own effort were highlights for an intuitive athlete - 9.

Iain Henderson: The superior athleticism has been undermined by the crucial component that is calling the lineout. A fine rip in the tackle from Taufete’e set the tone. He was correctly binned for pulling down the maul. Strong in contact - 7.

Rhys Ruddock: The natural leader is as honest as the night is long. He was the instigator for the first try showing fine footwork to leave Magie flat-footed. Stuck to the system in his second win from two as captain - 8.

Jordi Murphy: The next best back row lineout operator to Peter O’Mahony fulfils an under-appreciated part to Schmidt’s game plan. He took the ball away on the floor once. Loves to cut back against the grain off his right foot - 7.

Jack Conan: The number eight was nominated to return the kick-offs either directly or as the second man on the ball. He broke the gain line at will and was usually available for work through good positioning - 7.

Joe Schmidt: The gospel according to Joe preaches the next moment, next minute and next match. The scoreboard reaction of his players after the break to an inconsistent first forty probably reflected a half-time dressing down. Four-from-four - 9.

Replacements

Ross Byrne (27 mins) - 7

Sam Arnold (41 mins) - 6

John Ryan (47 mins) - 8

Rob Herring (58 mins) - 7

Quinn Roux (58 mins) - 7

Luke McGrath (62 mins) - 7

Josh van der Flier (67 mins) - 7

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