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Ireland 82 Romania 8: How the Irish players rated in their Rugby World Cup opener

Johnny Sexton earns a 7/10 after scoring two tries in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup opener against Romania

15 Hugo Keenan

As ever, good mazy runs from out of defence and always looking to trigger something from deep. A misplaced kick but excellent. Rating: 7

14 Keith Earls

Mix up with Sexton through ball at the beginning leading to Romanian try. Didn’t get clean possession and clean air to really have a go. Rating: 6

13 Garry Ringrose

Some impressive passing from the outside centre in the early stages. Another of the Irish players who looked lively in stifling heat. Rating: 7

12 Bundee Aki

Looked excited and lively from the beginning. Good hand-off leading to Gibson-Park try, had a hand in Sexton’s, and scored himself. Rating: 8

11 James Lowe

A quiet game by his standards. Didn’t get on the ball going forward as often he normally does and not quite as busy as he can be. Rating: 6

10 Johnny Sexton

Gave a bit of everything. A miskicked start and restart, a poor option to kick through for Earls, but drove the team and scored two tries. Rating: 7

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

Scored a useful try and his wispy play triggered several offensive Irish moves. Another good shift from the scrumhalf. Rating: 7

1 Andrew Porter

As always a lot of unseen work, making the hard yards in tough 33 degree playing conditions and tackling around the park. Rating: 7

2 Rob Herring

Worked hard to get ball in hand and made yards when he saw the opportunity. The try was just reward for an active 50 minutes. Rating: 7

3 Tadhg Furlong

Solid start to his World Cup. Did the donkey work when required to do so and was steady against a team that likes to scrum. Rating: 7

4 Joe McCarthy

A sound performance for the young player. Showed some athletic touches and almost muscled over for a first-half try, then did so in the second half. Rating: 7

5 James Ryan

Strong in the lineout and around the park and made typical impact. A good shift until he was replaced midway through the second half. Rating: 7

6 Tadhg Beirne

Line disrupter, try-scorer and general all-round ball player, especially in the first half with a try to show for a lot of hard work. Rating: 8

7 Peter O’Mahony

Nicely taken tries in the second half and worked hard around the park playing at openside instead of his normal six. Rating: 8

8 Caelan Doris

First real raking run came at the end of the first half. His athleticism was only on show in spurts this time out. Rating: 7


Ireland didn’t drop in tempo when the bench appeared in the second half and went on to build the points which could be important later. Rating: 7


Andy Farrell got a lot of players on to the pitch and gave Sexton a decent run where he shook off some rust. Got to be pleased breaking the 80-point mark. Rating: 8

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times