PLAYER RATINGS: Too classy

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 21:30
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OPINION: Jacob Stockdale will get the accolades, but it was clear Ireland had too much class for Argentina in the 28-19 win in their one-off Test at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

The 21-year-old wing - who scored a try in the opening November Test victory over South Africa - scored a try in each half to leave Argentina still seeking a first win in Ireland in eight visits.

The Pumas, though, could look back on a stirring second-half performance, having trailed 20-0 after 42 minutes, in which they scored three tries.

Andrew Nolan rates the Irish players!

15 Rob Kearney
Played like the Kearney of old. Made a number of good line breaks beating several defenders. As always imperious under the highball, looking sharp and clinical while his tackling was of a high standard. Superb tracking back and tackle in the final moments.
8/10

14 Adam Byrne
First international cap for the young Leinster man and proved a steady hand. May not have received enough ball to show his true skill but was exciting when he got the chance. Made a couple of tackles showing a better quality of defence, which has been questioned lately.
6/10

13 Chris Farrell
A superb performance from the Munster man. Defensively was solid while doing a lot of hard work off the ball. Passed with sublime hands throughout and looked as comfortable as a veteran in his position.
8/10

12 Bundee Aki
While he may not have produced the exciting game breaking display most expect from him, Aki was strong in his defence with some powerful forward momentum. Kept quiet on attack but his tackle on Santiago González Iglesias a standout moment.
6/10

11 Jacob Stockdale
Man of the match on the day and really there was no question. Two tries and a wonderful defensive display when called upon. His size and pace was on full display especially for his second try as he powered past the Argentinian defence to go over the line.
9/10

10 Johnny Sexton
Kicked well from the tee despite one missed conversion and once again put his body on the line numerous times in defence.
7/10

9 Conor Murray
Not his best day at the office. His box kicking was in good form but the lack of chasers time and again made it look worse. Passed well throughout but was slow to the breakdown and looked off the pace.
6/10

8 Christiaan Stander
Once again showed his power with strong carries in the first half with a number of clinical defensive tackles. Was a clear leader throughout continuing his vocal push of the Irish team.
7/10

7 Sean O'Brien
Another who showed his sheer strength around the pitch. Made a number of metres with ball in hand while defensively was kept busy while being one of the busiest at the breakdowns. Ultimately not his finest performance but solid.
6/10

6 Peter O'Mahony
Much like O'Brien was busy at the breakdown and went looking for the work. Came off his feet a number of times and was lucky not to give away some silly penalties. Contributed hugely to a dominant scrum in the first 60 but not his best night.
6/10

5 Iain Henderson
Showed why he must be Ireland's first choice in the second row right now. Wether he plays at 4 or 5 his work rate off the ball is phenomenal with his line-out and maul presence is invaluable. Went about his work with sheer class and determination.
8/10

4 James Ryan
Produced a fairly impressive defensive display for his first international start, linking well with Henderson. Added to a dominant forward Irish pack at scrum time. Could have been higher with more time on the pitch but was replaced on 48 minutes with a shoulder injury.
6/10

3 Tadhg Furlong
Was part of a forward pack that for the majority dominated a very strong Argentinian pack. Spent much of his time working defensively and put some important and powerful hits in, none more so than the hit on Tomas Lezana which the referee thought might have been illegal but was just so powerful.
7/10

2 Rory Best (captain)
As always Best went about his duties in a very commanding if not quiet way. His line-out and scrummaging was sturdy while over the ball he was very strong.
6/10

1 Cian Healy
Only a few weeks ago many would have laughed at allowing Healy to be on the bench for Ireland let alone starting, well he has proven those wrong. His level of scrummaging has come on massively where he almost looks like he is holding the entire scrum on one arm. His work rate was through the roof.
8/10
 
Replacements:

16 James Tracy
Not enough time for rating

17 Dave Kilcoyne
Came on for Healy before picking up an injury and being replaced shortly after. Not enough time for rating.

18 John Ryan
Solid for the last 15, kept the forwards strong.
5/10

19 Devin Toner
Came on just after the half, filled in nicely but never fully got going
5/10

20 Rhys Ruddock  
Limited time on the field replacing O'Brien but was sturdy and looked to try and up his sides tempo.
5/10

21 Luke McGrath
Not enough time for rating

22 Ian Keatley
Not enough time for rating

23 Andrew Conway
Came on at the hour mark and continued his impressive form from the last number of test. Good footwork and speed shown in his limited time.
6/10

By Andrew Nolan, RugbyPass