Sunday 20 October 2019

James Ryan doing James Ryan things - Ireland's star second row among the pick of the bunch in Wales win

James Ryan of Ireland wins a lineout from Justin Tipuric of Wales during the Guinness Summer Series match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
James Ryan of Ireland wins a lineout from Justin Tipuric of Wales during the Guinness Summer Series match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Here is how the Ireland players rated in the 19-10 win over Wales at the Aviva Stadium.

15. ROB KEARNEY: He saved Ireland from North with his positioning in the early going and devoured the first tester before carefully tucking the ball for the try. Ready to go right now – 8.

14. JORDAN LARMOUR: There was a shoulder into Adams, an outside break, a pop-up appearance at second receiver, a crucial take-down of Tipuric, a penalty out of Williams and better defensive decisions – 7.  

13. ROBBIE HENSHAW: He swept the legs from under Parkes, offered a sympathetic offload for Aki and completed a remarkable chase-down of Biggar. Caught out for Parkes try, but made Furlong’s – 8.

12. BUNDEE AKI: The front-foot tackling was a priority in an explosive performance. The chemistry with his old sidekick Henshaw was clear and present from his angles onto the ball and into space - 9. 

11. KEITH EARLS: The discipline to hold your width only really works when you get ball in space, not where your only option is to grubber, cut back inside or recycle. An injury concern – 7.

10. JONATHAN SEXTON: The out-half has turned hitting the ground running, passing and kicking into something of a habit. That wasn’t quite the case here. Good enough to be getting on with – 6.

9. CONOR MURRAY: The return to form had to start with a better service. It came along without the dominant moments or sky-high kicking that have been his hallmarks - 6.

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1. CIAN HEALY: The loose-head was immovable at the scrum and restricted to giving as good as he took on the fringes. He was replaced at half-time for a Head Injury Assessment – 6.

2. RORY BEST: The swooping turnover on Moriarty showed an ability to move on from the lineout malfunctions that are becoming a bugbear. He left the Aviva for the last time to deserved acclaim – 6.

3. TADHG FURLONG: The trend is gradually upward from the anchoring of the scrum to the other set-piece foundations, those beefy clear-outs and the ultimate reward of a master-blaster try – 7.

4. JAMES RYAN: Schmidt’s desire to make the most of his athleticism saw him relish a more wide-ranging role. Twice made it over the line, grounding the ball the second time – 8.

5. JEAN KLEYN: Indiscipline almost handed Wales the opening points and another attacking position, making up for it by snatching an intercept from North and snaring Adams for a maul turnover – 6. 

6. CJ STANDER: The movement of the big carrier further out into midfield enabled him to break the gain line by running over smaller men, like he did Patchell for Kearney’s try – 7.

7. JOSH VAN DER FLIER: The valuable selfless work in filling holes faster than a cement mixer can lull the opposition into sleeping on his pace, which he showed in one burst of acceleration – 7. 

8. JACK CONAN: The standout moment was a hit and chase of the feet to force Wainwright backwards before buckling down to the more unglamorous chores. Not quite at his best yet – 6. 


SEAN CRONIN (52 mins): He fired his darts with authority and there was no let-up in the scrum – 6.

DAVID KILCOYNE (40 mins): Those barrelling carries are worth his weight in gold – 7.

ANDREW PORTER (56 mins): It has been a tremendous month for the maturing dual-purpose prop - 6.

IAIN HENDERSON (52 mins): There was thumping impact at close quarters – 5.

RHYS RUDDOCK (59 mins): He was the destroyer-in-chief of a dangerous maul – 5.

LUKE McGRATH (71 mins): The competitive spirit shone through in limited minutes – 5.

JACK CARTY (63 mins): There is an element of the mercurial in his choices - 5.

GARRY RINGROSE (52 mins): Got into the game with a stunning timing of the tackle – 5.


JOE SCHMIDT - It couldn’t have gone much better for the coach, Ireland leaving these shores as the number one ranked nation in the world, the cherry on top of all his accomplishments – 9.

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