Wednesday 27 March 2019

Here is how the Ireland players rated in their heroic win against Scotland

Six Nations finale: Sean O'Brien the pick of the top performers

There were many heroes on the Murrayfield pitch for Ireland today as Joe Schmidt's men ran in four tries to win by 30 points to put one hand on the Six nations title. Here is how the Ireland players rated.

IRELAND

ROB KEARNEY: Another shaky effort by his standards. 6

TOMMY BOWE: Powerful on the front foot. 7

JARED PAYNE: Came of age at Test level in midfield. 8

ROBBIE HENSHAW: Another gutsy effort in the centres. 7

LUKE FITZGERALD: Unable to force a breakthrough. 7

JOHNNY SEXTON: Two sloppy missed penalties aside a far better day than last week. 7

CONOR MURRAY: Solid effort to drive Ireland's pace. 7

CIAN HEALY: Bullish effort from the all-action prop. 7

RORY BEST: Back to his usual set-piece poise after a tricky day in Cardiff last weekend. 7

MIKE ROSS: Dominated Ryan Grant at the scrum, solid effort. 7

DEVIN TONER: Led the lineout for the visitors. 7

PAUL O'CONNELL: Captain's try set the right tone in Scotland. 8

PETER O'MAHONY: Ever the unseen grafter, the glue in that pack. 8

SEAN O'BRIEN: Two-try turn that cemented his restoration to world potency. 9

JAMIE HEASLIP: Kept Ireland on the front foot at all the right times. 7

REPLACEMENTS:

Sean Cronin (for Best, 63): Kept the momentum rolling. 7

Jack McGrath (for Healy, 53): Powerful scrummaging off the bench. 7

Marty Moore (for Ross, 46): Made a big scrum impact. 8

Iain Henderson (for Toner, 63): Struggled to keep the level. 6

Jordi Murphy (for O'Brien 72): Put himself about. 6

Ian Madigan (for Sexton, 70): Should have nailed that last-gasp penalty. 6

SCOTLAND

STUART HOGG: Played a vital role lead up to in Finn Russell's try but fumbled when he had chance to score late on. Effort never in doubt. 6/10

DOUGIE FIFE: Clearly picked out as Scotland's weak link by the Irish, the Edinburgh man was never in it as an attacking threat. 4

MARK BENNETT: Fooled by Tommy Bowe in the build-up to Ireland's opener. Had a couple of decent carries but found himself out-muscled at times. 6

MATT SCOTT: Another who was targeted by Ireland, but was fairly decent with the ball in hand. 5

TOMMY SEYMOUR: One of the few Scots who looked dangerous at the odd moment. Took a couple of high balls but the best thing to be said was that he made no major mistakes. 6

FINN RUSSELL: Got his reward for another inventive display with his first Scotland try. 6

GREIG LAIDLAW: Slow away from the base. The fact the skipper was subbed with 25 minutes to go says it all. 5

RYAN GRANT: Limped off in the first half. Did well at the scrum during his half-hour run-out. 6

ROSS FORD: Looks demoralised and worn down following a bruising campaign. Lucky his missed tackle on Sean O'Brien just after the first try was not more costly. 5

EUAN MURRAY: Lasted just 12 minutes before a broken nose forced him off. 4

JIM HAMILTON: The veteran lock is just not dynamic enough for a game of this magnitude. Commitment to the cause, however, is never in question. 5

JONNY GRAY: Lots of carries, lots of industry but still had his poorest game of the championship. A decent display though. 6

ADAM ASHE: Looked short of fitness and despite what Vern Cotter says, number six does not look his best position. 5

BLAIR COWAN: The displays of the London Irish back-rower have been among the few bright spots for Scotland this year. 6

DAVID DENTON: The Edinburgh man showed lots of go-forward attitude but all too often fumbled the ball under pressure. 5

Replacements:

GEOFF CROSS (12, for MURRAY): On early and competed well. Sin-binned for playing the ball while off his feet. 6

AL DICKINSON (30, for GRANT): Found himself under pressure from Martin Moore. 5

FRASER BROWN (52, for FORD): Busy at the breakdown. 5

TIM SWINSON (52, for HAMILTON): Always gives you graft but not enough quality. 4

ROB HARLEY (56, for ASHE): Should have started. 5

SAM HIDALGO-CLYNE (56, for LAIDLAW): Bright with a couple of offloads. 6

GREIG TONKS (69, for SCOTT): No time make an impact. 6

TIM VISSER (71, for Bennett): Couple of decent carries while on as first-half blood replacement. 6

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