Tuesday 11 December 2018

Here is how the Ireland players rated in the dominant 37-point win over Italy

10 February 2018; Jacob Stockdale of Ireland celebrates scoring his sides 6th try with team-mates Keith Earls, left, and Rob Kearney, centre during the Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
10 February 2018; Jacob Stockdale of Ireland celebrates scoring his sides 6th try with team-mates Keith Earls, left, and Rob Kearney, centre during the Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Nick Purewal

He may have left the field with an injury but Robbie Henshaw was still the star man in Ireland's 56-19 win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.

Here is how the Irish players rated:

ROB KEARNEY: Solid shift from the veteran full-back, who held his shape well: 7/10

KEITH EARLS: A fine effort from a man bang in form and cutting some seriously dangerous lines: 8

ROBBIE HENSHAW: Caused Italy untold problems until injury cut short his day in a fine showing: 9

BUNDEE AKI: Physical as ever and a big handful in midfield, but his hand speed must improve for Ireland to stretch the best defences: 7

JACOB STOCKDALE: Bagged two tries late on but was quiet before that overall: 7

JOHNNY SEXTON: Another masterful steering by Ireland's linchpin fly-half: 8

CONOR MURRAY: Makes the side tick, and makes it look so easy, simply churns out top-drawer showings: 8

JACK McGRATH: Powerful scrummaging and some big turnovers: 8

RORY BEST: Another hard-nosed shift from Ireland's gritty skipper: 7

TADHG FURLONG: Injury robbed the Lions prop of any meaningful impact: 6

IAIN HENDERSON: Withdrawn at half-time and had been unable to get hands on the ball and carry hard: 6

DEVIN TONER: Ran the lineout well enough but spilled the ball a few times in contact: 6

PETER O'MAHONY: Always gets his hands dirty with the unseen dog-work that sets him apart from the rest: 7

DAN LEAVY: Put himself about well enough without quite reaching the heights of his showing in Paris last weekend: 7

8 JACK CONAN: Sumptuous step off the touchline and soft hands for Murray's try, a good shift: 7

REPLACEMENTS: Ireland emptied their bench early on to ease the burden on frontline playmakers, but had to pitch in Andrew Porter after just three minutes. He coped admirably: 7/10

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