Player ratings: History makers

Sat, 05 Nov 2016 23:15
Large rory best with children 800

OPINION: It almost seems silly to rank the players according to their individual performances. They are all heroes, all history makers.

Ireland's 40-29 win over New Zealand is historic for more than just being their first-ever victory over the All Blacks.

They showed that passion, commitment, skill and fitness - all by the bucketloads - are required to stop the mighty black machine.,

Jan de Koning rates the Irish players!

15 Rob Kearney:
Found holes in the All Black defence that don't normally exist and also beat Ben Smith in the high-ball stakes.

14 Andrew Trimble:
He missed the odd tackle - as most people do that have to deal with Julian Savea - but threw his body into the game with reckless abandon and made some massive hits.

13 Jared Payne:
Was perhaps the quietest of the Irish backs, but that doesn't mean he had a bad game - just did the basics well - except for a couple of slipped tackles.

12 Robbie Henshaw:
Put his body on the line, literally - which helped him won a couple of crucial turnovers - and scored the game's most crucial try.

11 Simon Zebo:
Look very well after the powerful Waisake Naholo, brilliant in the air and showed his finishing class.

10 Johnny Sexton:
Clinical and masterful. Sometimes you don't need to be flash to be brilliant.

9 Conor Murray:
His great energy and quick-silver service - not to mention opportunism - were invaluable. Then you can throw in a penalty kick and massive chase for a turnover inside the All Blacks in-goal area for good measure.

8 Jamie Heaslip:
Worked his magic on defence, although he was not always as prominent in the other aspects of the game. Still invaluable, though.

7 Jordi Murphy:
Lasted only 25 minutes, but was busy and productive in his stint.

6 Christiaan Stander:
His work at the breakdown, winning crucial turnovers, and on defence was up to his usual brilliant standards. Did miss a couple of tackles.

5 Devin Toner:
Got his big frame around the park like a loose forward, but did miss a crucial tackle on Scott Barrett.

4 Donnacha Ryan:
Not the most productive game he has had. Could have been pulled from the field earlier.

3 Tadhg Furlong:
His work in the collisions - helping to create turnovers - were immense. Showed great fitness and was rock solid in the scrums.

2 Rory Best:
The workhorse of the team that often does the dirty work in the dark places that few people sees.

1 Jack McGrath:
Some strong carries and rock solid on defence. Maybe his workrate was a tad, just a little tad, below the rest of his teammates.


16 Sean Cronin (on for Best, 71st min):
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Cian Healy (on for McGrath, 61st min):
The veteran prop still adds plenty of value off the bench.

18 Finlay Bealham (on for Furlong, 57th min):
Was rock solid in the scrums, where the Irish had the All Blacks under pressure.

19 Ultan Dillane (on for Ryan, 65th min):
Some powerful carries and made all his tackles.

20 Josh van der Flier (on for Murphy, 25th min):
He would not have expected to have come on so early, but ended up with the highest tackle count in the match - on the back of a massive workrate.

21 Kieran Marmion:
Not used.

22 Joey Carbery (in for Sexton, 59th min):
Not bad for a debut - against the All Blacks of all teams. Missed just one tackle. 6/10

23 Garry Ringrose:
Not used.