Sunday 22 April 2018

Player ratings: Seven Irish players earn 8/10 rating after pivotal win over the Scots

James Ryan of Ireland during the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
James Ryan of Ireland during the NatWest Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Nick Purewal and Andy Newport

This is how the players involved in Ireland's 28-8 victory over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium rated.

IRELAND

ROB KEARNEY: A vintage performance from one of just two 2009 Grand Slam winners in the XV, rock-solid and a constant attacking threat too: 8/10

KEITH EARLS: Tidy as ever but had scant chance to cut loose. Create some openings for him, and Earls will rack up the tries: 7

GARRY RINGROSE: A stellar return from the fleet-footed Leinster centre, a key performer in both attack and defence: 8

BUNDEE AKI: A real midfield totem for an Ireland side struggling at times to keep its defensive shape: 7

JACOB STOCKDALE: His peerless scoring record now stretches to 10 tries in just eight Test matches, stunning: 8

JOHNNY SEXTON: Kept the team ticking over as ever but did not enjoy the kind of comfy platform of weeks past: 7

CONOR MURRAY: Only Aaron Smith in world rugby stands up as a genuine rival to Murray's claim as the best nine on the planet: 8

CIAN HEALY: Could have picked up an injury but gritted his teeth well again: 7

RORY BEST: Tidy effort from the ever-reliable skipper: 7

TADHG FURLONG: A fine shift on his return from hamstring trouble shored up Ireland's scrum: 7

JAMES RYAN: Plugged away all day without being able to rampage, but another smart showing nonetheless: 8

DEVIN TONER: Put himself about and showed his growing dynamism once more: 7

PETER O'MAHONY: The most crucial element of Ireland's win. Forget the fact he was replaced before the hour. His breakdown mastery snuffed out Scotland's top threat: 8

DAN LEAVY: Several vital turnovers and a busy overall showing: 7

CJ STANDER: Not cutting loose on the ball these days, but still grafting away without let-up: 8

Replacements: Ireland emptied their bench between 50 and 60 minutes, and the move proved useful in securing victory, Sean Cronin bagging the potentially-vital bonus-point score.

SCOTLAND

STUART HOGG: Used his gun boot to dig Scotland out of a few tricky situations but was guilty of a sloppy pass which could have put Kinghorn in: 6

BLAIR KINGHORN: The Edinburgh man produced a great finish to mark his first international start with a try but should have got to grips with Stockdale as he scored his second on the stroke of half-time: 6

HUW JONES: Wasted a golden chance just after Ireland had taken lead to put Hogg clean through under the posts with a horribly mistimed pass: 5

PETE HORNE: A day to forget for the centre. Left Gifted Stockdale the opener with a needless intercepted pass and then failed to slot in Kinghorn as Ireland opened up: 4

SEAN MAITLAND: Produced a brave tackle on Murray just before half-time to prevent what seemed a certain score. Showed the calmness lacked by some of his team-mates to tee up Kinghorn's touchdown: 6

FINN RUSSELL: Unable to pull the strings in the same flamboyant manner as he did in last month's Calcutta Cup triumph: 5

GREIG LAIDLAW: Looked to shift the Irish about with his box kicking but too often failed to give his team-mates a chance to compete: 5

GORDON REID: Held his corner of the scrum up well but his work on the loose did not give the Irish too much to worry about: 6

STUART McINALLY: Won an important turnover to alleviate early Irish pressure but his line-out throws halted some promising moments: 5

SIMON BERGHAN: Just about got the upper hand on Healy at scrum time but blotted his copy book with some breakdown penalties: 5

GRANT GILCHRIST: A decent display from the Edinburgh lock as he got through a decent shift in defence but outplayed by Ireland's second-row menaces: 6

JONNY GRAY: A typical hard-working performance from the Glasgow man as he did the dirty work he enjoys so much: 6

JOHN BARCLAY: Found the breakdown battle far harder going than he did against the Auld Enemy as he failed to get referee Wayne Barnes on side: 6

HAMISH WATSON: Also struggled to make his mark on the ground as Ireland piled in mob-handed to snuff out his smuggling efforts: 6

RYAN WILSON: Barely got started before he was forced off after just 17 minutes with a head knock: 5

Replacements: David Denton tried to inject some power when he replaced Wilson early but the introduction of a fresh front row in the shape of WP Nel, Fraser Brown and Jamie Bhatti did not produce the spark Scotland were hoping for.

Online Editors

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