Monday 10 December 2018

Ireland player ratings: Drop goal hero Johnny Sexton and the immense James Ryan the best performers

Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (R) celebrates with Ireland's centre Bundee Aki after scoring a drop goal to win the Six Nations rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France
Ireland's fly-half Jonathan Sexton (R) celebrates with Ireland's centre Bundee Aki after scoring a drop goal to win the Six Nations rugby union match between France and Ireland at the Stade de France
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Johnny Sexton's monster drop-goal gave Ireland a last-gasp 15-13 NatWest 6 Nations victory over France in Paris. Here's how the Irish players rated.

ROB KEARNEY: Two errors detracted from an otherwise solid showing - 6/10

KEITH EARLS: Always dangerous with the ball in hand but unable to cut loose. That last minute catch was incredible - 7

ROBBIE HENSHAW: The workhorse of the Ireland backline put in another big shift - 7

BUNDEE AKI: A huge physical pivot around the playmaking qualities of Sexton and Murray - 7

JACOB STOCKDALE: Another man who kept plugging away all night long - 7

JOHNNY SEXTON: The star fly-half kept his nerve at the death to steal Ireland a victory that had already appeared lost - 9

CONOR MURRAY: Another stellar showing from one of the world's best scrum-halves - 8

CIAN HEALY: Bullish effort especially in the scrum from a hugely dependable performer - 8

RORY BEST (CAPT): Put himself about and stayed tidy in his set-piece work - 7

TADHG FURLONG: Unable to cut loose with bullocking runs, but fine in everything else - 7

IAIN HENDERSON: Another big showing from the increasingly important Ulster man - 7

JAMES RYAN: Some Six Nations debut from the Leinster youngster, who bossed almost every aspect - 9

PETER O'MAHONY: Worked tirelessly all night and will have breathed a sigh of relief to gain the reward - 7

JOSH VAN DER FLIER: The Leinster star's night was cut short by injury, but it was a solid start - 7

CJ STANDER: The Munster battler produced another gritty effort high on industry and application - 7

REPLACEMENTS: Flanker Dan Leavy looked lively stepping in before half-time for Van der Flier and everyone else did their bit - 7

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