New Zealand 42 Ireland 19 - Ireland player ratings

John O’Sullivan runs the rule over Ireland’s performance in the first Test defeat at Eden Park

15 Hugo Keenan

Good line and pass for Ireland’s opening try but missed a couple of tackles and was bypassed a little easily on the kick chase. He had one or two excellent touches but was on the periphery for most of the game. Rating: 5

14 Keith Earls

He took his try superbly, showing off his footwork to good effect and did well to get back to thwart Aaron Smith, albeit it ended up subsequently as a try. Stepped in covering for one try but generally sharp. Rating: 5


13 Garry Ringrose

A real mixed bag. Should have put Jamison Gibson-Park in for a try, was slightly unlucky in the circumstances surrounding the Sevu Reece try and missed a tackle on Ardie Savea for another score. He took his try well and made one big hit on Sam Cane before shifting to the wing. Rating: 4

12 Robbie Henshaw

After a reasonably quiet first half he thundered into the game after the restart. One of the few Irish players to win collisions in attack and defence and was a source of front-foot ball. Rating: 6

11 James Lowe

He was used as a kicking option early on which he executed reasonably well. Was able to carry past the gainline and showed good strength and awareness for the Ringrose try. A couple of missed tackles and a turnover on the debit side of the ledger. Rating: 5

10 Johnny Sexton

The Ireland captain mixed up his kicking game to great effect and it was his management and direction in the early part of the game that saw Ireland at their slickest before departing with a head injury. Rating: 5

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

His speed to the breakdown was a significant factor in Ireland’s excellent early attacking tempo and he maintained that influence for most of the game. One rash tap penalty and a misdirected box-kick aside, he had a decent game. Rating: 6

1 Andrew Porter

A phenomenal physical effort given that Ireland could not replace him, but he was penalised four times, three at a scrum that was in trouble. His ability to keep going and his tackle count (14) were staggering given his exertions: a much higher mark but for penalties. Rating: 4

2 Dan Sheehan

Lineouts aside, where Ireland coughed up too much ball, the hooker produced a stunning performance in the loose, getting over the gainline with his power and footwork, looking to offload where possible and stopping All Blacks dead in the tackle. Rating: 7

3 Tadhg Furlong

He looks like he is trying to run on fumes and/or hampered by lingering injury or fitness concerns which has curtailed his influence. One typically barnstorming run but the scrum issues, a couple of missed tackles and a turnover highlighted a tough outing. Rating: 4

4 Tadhg Beirne

His enforced absence from rugby due to injury was very much in evidence as he ran out of gas. One great poach, but he conceded a couple of turnovers and his impact was on the decline soon after the restart. He will be better for the game. Rating: 5

5 James Ryan

He worked tirelessly on both sides of the ball but the lineout was a problem, although he did steal a couple of New Zealand throws – slow in orientation as well as throw-unit errors. Three turnovers and a silly penalty will have annoyed him. Rating: 5

6 Peter O’Mahony

Ireland’s joint best player on the night alongside Josh van der Flier. Sharp at the breakdown, tip-on passes, his decision-making, turnovers and tackling. Rating: 7

7 Josh van der Flier

He might have had a couple of tries with just a tiny bit better care of the ball but, overall, he was excellent, making a staggering 20 tackles, using his footwork to get over the gainline and hunting down All Blacks. He carried and tackled more than any other player. Rating: 7

8 Caelan Doris

One fine turnover but despite good industry in defence he didn’t really have an impact with the ball in hand and was replaced early in the second half. Not up to his usual high standards. Rating: 5

Replacements: Cian Healy can’t have been fit to play so Ireland essentially had a matchday squad of 22. Jack Conan will have been pleased with his contribution in winning collisions and could have capped an impressive cameo with a try. Bundee Aki did exactly that, while Joey Carbery got some much-needed game time. Kieran Treadwell was industrious but while the bench did bring energy the game was well over at that point. Rating: 6

Coach: Andy Farrell will have mixed feelings. There was nothing wrong with the game plan and they did cause New Zealand problems but individual and collective errors in conceding 21 points in the nine minutes before the interval effectively decided the outcome. Four times Ireland were held up over the line so the creativity is there, but accuracy and set-piece issues will need to be addressed ahead of next Saturday. Rating: 6

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer