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Player ratings: Ireland too strong

Sat, 24 Nov 2012 16:24
Jonathan-sexton-ireland-loo
Murray and Sexton had an armchair ride
Quote-end

A dominant Ireland side racked up an impressive 46-24 win over Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday - an emphatic result for the Men from the Emerald Isle.

Ireland took the fight to the Pumas - who had such an impressive debut season in the Rugby Championship, against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa - and dominated them up front; something of a surprise in itself.

As a result, halfbacks Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, had an armchair ride and the home side scored seven very good tries on the day.

We rate the Irish players:

15 Simon Zebo:

Scored his team's third try - and his first at this level - but could perhaps have done better earlier in the selfsame move when he sold Gilroy with a poorly-timed pass.
6/10

14 Tommy Bowe:
There was that one beautiful take from a Sexton kick - in the lead-up to Zebo's five-pointer - but he deserved to see more ball than he got initially. A quality Test winger, he showed rapid pace for his second-half try from a Sexton kick-ahead and likewise for his second five-pointer from an Earls chip.
7/10

13 Keith Earls:

Had his moments, with a few darts and ran some dummy lines on attack. There was, however, one particularly disappointing pass into touch in the 35th minute but he finished strongly and set up Bowe's second try with a clever stab-ahead.
6/10

12 Gordon D'Arcy:

Nice pass in the lead-up to Sexton's try. He stood up well in a physical game but his halfbacks gave him an easy ride and some good, clean ball.
6/10

11 Craig Gilroy:

Took his try well, showing great footwork and determination to score. He ran well off Johnny Sexton's shoulder all day and his confidence gave him the guts to have a go throughout. There was one kick out on the full, but he had a superb match overall.
8/10

10 Jonathan Sexton:

Showed good skill and strength in scoring his first try and took his second try well too. He mixed up his passing game well, bringing the confident Gilroy into play at key moments, and his kick-ahead for Bowe's try was a beauty too. Missed some tricky conversions but it mattered little as he pulled the playmaking strings perfectly for the Irish.
9/10

9 Conor Murray:

He must be a dream to play alongside, with his slick passing and sharp option-taking from the crucial scrumhalf position. He gave Sexton time and space and read things well throughout.
8/10

8 Jamie Heaslip (captain):

Carried strongly and led from the front in his third successive match as Ireland skipper. A crucial member of this Irish side as he offers value in every facet of play.
7/10

7 Chris Henry:

Part of this new-look Irish loose forward combination, he has filled in admirably in recent weeks to provide support for his skipper and this Irish unit overshadowed their highly-rated Argentine opponents on the day.
6/10

6 Peter O'Mahony:

Gave away a silly penalty - for blocking - right after Gilroy's try. It didn't matter in the final analysis, in an otherwise powerful performance, but those little things do normally count against the likes of New Zealand, South Africa and France.
6/10

5 Mike McCarthy:

He did not show up as well as his second row partner, but McCarthy still played his role as Ireland dominated at set-piece time.
7/10

4 Donnacha Ryan:

A colossal at line-out time, as Ireland dominated this aspect of play, he strode the field like a giant - even making a try-saving tackle on a winger under his own uprights.
8/10

3 Mike Ross:

Stood up strongly against Leicester's Ayerza, as the home side more than held their own at scrum time and won two scrum penalties.
7/10

2 Richardt Strauss:

Threw in well and showed great power to rumble over in the corner for his first Test try. At the centre of a powerful Irish scrum and a superb forward effort on the day.
8/10

1 Cian Healy:
Carried superbly and got through his fair-share of tackles too - a feature of his play. He made his presence felt at scrum-time too.
7/10

Replacements:

16 Sean Cronin
(on for Richardt Strauss, 75th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Dave Kilcoyne (on for Cian Healy, 75th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Michael Bent (on for Mike Ross, 68th min):
Came on and immediately won a scrum penalty for his team but not enough time on the field for a fair rating.

19 Donncha O'Callaghan (on for Mike McCarthy, 62nd min):
Not enough time and opportunities for a fair rating on the occasion of his 90th cap.

20 Iain Henderson (on for Peter O'Mahony, 70th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Eoin Reddan (on for Conor Murray, 72nd min):
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Ronan O'Gara (on for Jonathan Sexton, 72nd min):
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Fergus McFadden (on for Tommy Bowe, 75th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

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