Player ratings: Green machine

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 20:07
Large ireland players huddle 800

OPINION: Ireland proved just how far they have progressed with a machine-like effort, despite going down 9-21 to New Zealand in Dublin on Saturday.

Despite the result, Ireland showed just what is needed to defeat the might All Blacks as they become the first team in quite a while to rattle the No.1 team in world and place them under an immense amount pressure.

It was certainly not the same performance as what we saw in Chicago a few weeks ago but Ireland can continue to hold their heads high after grinding out yet another highly impressive performance.

Tauriq Ebrahim rates the Ireland players!

15 Rob Kearney
Looked for work when he felt he was out of it but performed his primary role with ease.

14 Andrew Trimble
Had a massive task to control Julian Savea but he rose to the occasion with excellent work under the high ball and spot on decision-making on defence.

13 Jared Payne
Very quiet on the night when attacking opportunities were rare, although, he did slip a few tackles.

12 Robbie Henshaw
Took a heavy shot to the jaw in the 10th minute and was forced to leave the field.

11 Simon Zebo
Chances were few but when he got the ball, he made sure he got over the advantage line with some nifty footwork.

10 Johnny Sexton
Lasted just 18 minutes but in that brief time, he showed good control of leading the attacking line. Pity about the Barrett try as that would have been the tackle of the year.

9 Conor Murray
Quick to the breakdowns, kept the tempo going with sharp passing

8 Jamie Heaslip
His match awareness ensured he was always in the right place and in the thick of things, which is what you need from you No.8.

7 Sean O'Brien
He got stuck in at the breakdowns before taking over with some strong carries in the second half as well.

6 Christian Stander
Really unfortunate that he was forced off the field after 22 minutes with concussion but his carries and work at the breakdowns was absolutely massive.

5 Devin Toner
Had to contend with a lot of pressure at line-out time which he handled and his work rate is fantastic to see.

4 Donnacha Ryan
It seemed as though he never quite got into the game as his presence was not really felt.

3 Tadhg Furlong
Not only is he a good scrummager but he lands his tackles and makes metres with carries.

2 Rory Best (captain)
A true leader who puts his hand up in every facet and sets the tone for his side.

1 Jack McGrath
A strong all-round performance that got the players behind him going.


16 Sean Cronin (on for Best, 68th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Cian Healy (on for McGrath, 58th min)
Kept the pressure on the All Blacks' pack as he threw his frame into the thick of it all.

18 Finlay Bealham (on for Furlong, 68th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Iain Henderson (on for Ryan, 58th min)
Had to make sure he stepped up to the task but it seemed as though he was happy to do clean up duty, instead of getting his hands on the ball.

20 Josh van der Flier (on for Stander, 22nd min)
Needed to maintain the high standards that were set and he did just that with strong carries and spot on defence.

21 Kieran Marmion (on for Zebo, 73rd min)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Paddy Jackson (on for Sexton, 18th min)
He never held anything back as he took the game to the opposition by running it at any chance he got.

23 Garry Ringrose (on for Henshaw, 11th min)
Showed just how slippery he can be with ball in hand as he kept himself in the thick of things on attack.

By Tauriq Ebrahim