All Blacks 22 Ireland 32 - Player ratings

How the Ireland squad fared during their series-clinching victory in Wellington

15 Hugo Keenan

He covered the backfield and dealt with the aerial bombardment with impressive composure while adding value every time he carried the ball. He held his width nicely for his seventh international try. Rating: 8

14 Mack Hansen

His aerial work was first class while his skip pass for Hugo Keenan’s try highlighted the excellent vision and decision making that he brings, especially in evading tacklers. A couple of turnovers but overall high quality. Rating: 8


13 Robbie Henshaw

The try he scored was a moment of collective aesthetic rugby beauty and it capped an outstanding performance in all facets of the game having moved to outside centre, particularly in defence where he gave a masterclass in shutting New Zealand down. Rating: 10

12 Bundee Aki

He was unerring in his kick-off work, was very strong through the contact with and without the ball, managed one crucial turnover. And while he missed a few tackles the value of his work and selflessness was crucial to the team success. Rating: 8

11 James Lowe

He sprinkled his performance with real touches of class, a high point his perfectly timed inside pass for Keenan’s try. He kicked brilliantly for the most part, was strong and nimble in his carries and came up with some big moments for his team. There are still little bits and pieces to work on in defence. Rating: 8

10 Johnny Sexton

His game management, leadership and the fire and the ice in his performance, shone like a beacon and a rallying point for his team-mates in the maelstrom. He showcased these qualities, and he also landed some big place-kicks, momentum-wise. One or two defensive glitches. Rating 8

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

His box-kicking was precise for the most part, giving the chasers every chance, while his clearances were also excellent. One or two decisions he would like again, so too some tackles, but his speed to the breakdown, awareness and link play in attack are cherished attributes. Rating: 7

1 Andrew Porter

He was very fortunate that the colour of the card was yellow and not red, an incident that once again highlights the arbitrary nature of those decisions. He was harshly penalised at a ruck but his work at the breakdown, in defence and in the set-piece of scrum and lineout was very good. Rating: 7

2 Dan Sheehan

His lineout throwing was superb, his footwork in sitting down tacklers and stepping around or past them a joy to watch, while the power with which he takes contact on both sides of the ball was more than a match for his opponents. Rating: 9

3 Tadhg Furlong

Another selfless performance on behalf of the team, diligent in his work in scrum, lineout and breakdown and could also be seen to lead vocally too. Another sizable tackle count (14) with several of the dominant variety thrown in. Rating: 8

4 Tadhg Beirne

Like Henshaw, this was a performance of rare brilliance and largely without blemish. Two trademark penalty turnovers at the breakdown, another turnover forced with a beautifully timed counter-ruck, 18 tackles and huge work-rate on both sides of the ball. Outstanding and a display for the ages. Rating: 10

5 James Ryan

This was a return to the ridiculously high quality of display when he first broke into the Irish team. His lineout work/steals/calling was superb, his athleticism allowed him to shut down All Blacks in the backfield while he carried very effectively. Rating: 9

6 Peter O’Mahony

Warrior mindset and that was very much in evidence, he fought until injury eventually forced him from the field, but not before his brought his typical aggression sprinkled with rugby acumen. A few missed tackles will grate. Rating: 7

7 Josh van der Flier

An astonishing performance physically in which he played the New Zealand captain Sam Cane off the park. He missed ONE of 23 tackles attempted, scored his eighth try for Ireland, and topped it over with a brilliant turnover at a crucial time. Rating: 9

8 Caelan Doris

Set the tone for a brilliant performance with an early line-break and subsequently maintained that level of input. It was his carry that was arguably the defining contribution in the build-up to the Henshaw try. Carried (10), tackled (18), linked play with intelligence and authority. Rating: 9

Replacements: Every single member of the bench contributed to the overall pool of excellence with pride of place going to replacement hooker Rob Herring, who scored his team’s crucial fourth try that gave them space on the scoreboard. Joey Carbery showed some neat touches, Keith Earls made one crucial tackle, while a player like Kieran Treadwell has come of age in Test rugby on this tour. Rating: 8

Coach: Andy Farrell’s name will forever command a prominent place in Irish rugby folklore after the historic series win. The good news is that this might not be the pinnacle based on the way he and his coaching team have carefully managed the continued growth in both performance and results. Ireland’s brilliant attacking rugby is the cherry on top; they are so good to watch. Farrell and his coaches have been integral to that success and deserve every kudos. Rating: 10

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer