Wednesday 15 August 2018

Ireland Player Ratings: Chris Farrell stands tall as young guns do Ireland proud

24 February 2018; Jacob Stockdale, right, of Ireland is congratulated by team mates Conor Murray, behind, and Chris Farrell after scoring his side's fifth try during the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
24 February 2018; Jacob Stockdale, right, of Ireland is congratulated by team mates Conor Murray, behind, and Chris Farrell after scoring his side's fifth try during the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Here is how the Irish and Welsh players rated in today's exciting 37-27 thriller:

IRELAND

ROB KEARNEY: A fine effort from the vastly-experienced campaigner: 7/10

KEITH EARLS: In the form of his life and loving every minute: 8

CHRIS FARRELL: Stood up strongly to produce a vital showing in Ireland's midfield problem area: 9

BUNDEE AKI: Took his try well and kept his shape in defence: 8

JACOB STOCKDALE: The arch finisher did what he does best for a vital try brace: 8

JOHNNY SEXTON: Off-kilter with the boot but still ran Ireland's backline in fine fashion: 7

CONOR MURRAY: The runaway best player on the park, the scrum-half remains in irresistible form: 9

CIAN HEALY: Powerful effort from the ball-carrying loosehead: 8

RORY BEST: Solid shift from the ultra-reliable skipper: 7

ANDREW PORTER: Stayed calm, scrummaged well and produced a very tidy showing: 7

JAMES RYAN: Put in a big shift for such a young, inexperienced man. Living up to the hype: 8

DEVIN TONER: Glued the pack together with unfussy hard work: 7

PETER O'MAHONY: Always in the thick of the niggle and the dark arts, a class act: 8

DAN LEAVY: One of the best performers in a fine Ireland triumph: 8

CJ STANDER: Just keeps on carrying and carrying, grinding down opponents: 7

Replacements: Ireland used their bench to good effect late on, but could have perhaps replaced Sexton earlier: 7

WALES

LEIGH HALFPENNY: Once again he underlined his immense value to Wales through a superb goalkicking performance after missing the England defeat two weeks ago due to a foot infection. 8

LIAM WILLIAMS: Played his first Test since November after recovering from injury, and he was keen for work, even when Wales went through lean spells. 7

SCOTT WILLIAMS: Had his hands full in defence on occasions, especially either side of half-time as Ireland made their dominance count. 6

HADLEIGH PARKES: Drifted in and out of the contest, and continues to be a work in progress as Wales move towards the 2019 World Cup. 6

STEFF EVANS: Remains a livewire performer for Wales, scoring a late try, but he was also up against it at times opposite in-form Ireland wing Keith Earls. 7

DAN BIGGAR: Seemed preoccupied with conversing to referee Glen Jackson. His first game for five weeks after injury, and he appeared rusty. 5

GARETH DAVIES: Scored Wales' opening try and snapped away at the heels of his forwards throughout the contest. Strong contribution. 7

ROB EVANS: Delivered a trademark performance of honest toil and endeavour in the front-row. 7

KEN OWENS: Had a fierce battle with his 2017 British and Irish Lions colleague Rory Best, with no quarter asked or given.7

SAMSON LEE: Enjoying an injury-free run of form, he offers a solidity to the Wales scrum. 7

CORY HILL: Continues to grow game by game, confirming the faith that Wales head coach Warren Gatland has in him. 7

ALUN WYN JONES: The Wales captain cut a frustrated figure at times as his team fell short in their quest for a Dublin victory. 6

AARON SHINGLER: A try-scoring contribution by the Scarlets flanker, who has been arguably Wales' most consistent player this season. 8

JOSH NAVIDI: Provided try-scoring assists for Shingler and Evans in the second-half, and never stopped working. 7

ROSS MORIARTY: At the heart of a combative back-row battle, although his Irish rivals shaded the contest. 6

Replacements: Wales' reinforcements made a collective impact during the second-half, pulling the team back into contention after Ireland built a 27-13 lead, but ultimately it was to no avail. 7

Press Association

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