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Ireland v New Zealand, head-to-head: How the players rate ahead of crunch World Cup quarter-final

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15. ROB KEARNEY 7 v BEAUDEN BARRETT 10

Ireland's most decorated full-back has made an enduring career out of the mastery of the more traditional aspects, but his opposite number is a two-time World Player of the Year who, at 15, has the freedom to dabble in his greatest of many strengths: seeing space and eating it up like an Olympic sprinter.  

14. KEITH EARLS 7 v SEVU REECE 8

The Moyross man hasn't produced the fizz that was expected in this tournament. Reece could be playing for Connacht rather than at the World Cup were it not for a court case, but instead has four tries in five caps to date.  

13. GARRY RINGROSE 7 v JACK GOODHUE 7

The missed tackles have become a reason to be cautious about where Ringrose's game stands. Goodhue has been trusted as Conrad Smith's long-term successor even though he is not there yet as a defensive mastermind.  

12. ROBBIE HENSHAW 7 v ANTON LIENERT-BROWN 7

Henshaw looked razor-sharp against Wales before the tournament but was not at all himself in an error-ridden run-out against Samoa last week. Lienert-Brown has been picked ahead of Sonny Bill Williams and his main role will be to supplement the All Blacks' defensive strategy.

11. JACOB STOCKDALE 8 v GEORGE BRIDGE 7

The Ulster winger has 16 tries for Ireland already, including famously against the All Blacks last year. Bridge is regarded as the fastest man in the New Zealand squad and has registered eight tries in seven appearances

10. JONATHAN SEXTON 10 v RICHIE MO'UNGA 7

Ireland's talisman has already spoken of New Zealand's illegal hits at the Aviva in 2016. If he is neutralised, Ireland are going nowhere. Expect him to be targeted. Mo'unga is a fine goal-kicker and playmaking facilitator but not in Sexton's class.

9. CONOR MURRAY 8 v AARON SMITH 9

The Munster man has never looked the same since a neck/shoulder injury interrupted last season. At his best, Smith is all about tempo, speeding the game up to give those outside the vital extra second or step to make things happen.

1. CIAN HEALY 8 v JOE MOODY 7

While the years have seen Healy's barnstorming moments diminish, he has never forgotten his primary role as a wrecker of scrums. Even the All Blacks need their piano-carriers and the grunt and grind is where Moody excels.

2. RORY BEST 6 v CODIE TAYLOR 7

Best has been exemplary in his leadership role but his lineout throwing is likely to be targeted. His opposite number is the more traditional option rather than the dynamic Dane Coles.  

3. TADHG FURLONG 9 v NEPO LAULALA 7

There were signs of the try-scoring Wexford man getting back to his best against Samoa last week and Ireland need him in full flow. Laulala has been employed to lock down a scrum that was blasted backwards by South Africa. He is open to attack by Cian Healy. 

4. IAIN HENDERSON 7 v BRODIE RETALLICK 10

Henderson, a relatively inexperienced lineout caller, has God-given physical strength that will have to be called on to give Ireland a realistic chance but he is facing one of the game's greats. However, it will be Retallick's first real test since a shoulder injury threatened to destroy his World Cup.

5. JAMES RYAN 9 v SAM WHITELOCK 8

The future Ireland captain is a double-double machine, almost always hitting double figures for carries and tackles. Whitelock is an old hand at knowing what it takes to secure lineout possession and is a lot more than just a ball winner.

6. PETER O'MAHONY 6 v ARDIE SAVEA 8

The Munster man is beginning to show the wear and tear of a storied career but rarely disappoints on the big days. Savea, younger brother to Julian, is about as explosive as any player in the game.

7. JOSH VAN DER FLIER 7 v SAM CANE 8

The Irish flanker is all about accuracy whether leading the line-speed or driving carriers back. Cane has been able to cause Ireland trouble in the past. There are few more fearless in the game.

8. CJ STANDER 7 v KIERAN READ 8

The Munster No 8 is all about getting over the gain-line but has been negated when double-tackled. Read can't dominate like he once did but remains a thoroughbred.

BENCH: IRELAND 7 v NEW ZEALAND 7

The Irish replacement forwards have been in fine fettle. Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour can provide X-factor. For the All Blacks, the Barrett brothers, Scott and Jordie, and Dane Coles are capable game-changers.

COACH: JOE SCHMIDT 9 v STEVE HANSEN 9

Has Schmidt become a slave to his system and structure to Ireland's detriment? Or has he been keeping something up his sleeve all along? The All Blacks coach knows what it is like to live with the pressure of winning for every week of his eight-year tenure but will be wary.

TOTAL: IRELAND 129 NEW ZEALAND 134

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