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Ireland 31 Wales 7: How the Irish players rated in the Six Nations match

Bundee Aki the standout as sloppy Ireland do enough to secure a bonus point victory at the Aviva

15 Ciarán Frawley

Few early touches, passing more than carrying. He slotted into the first receiver position on a couple of occasions and made one nice half-break. He got to celebrate his first Ireland start with a second half try. Rating: 7

14 Calvin Nash

He came off his wing in search of work but ended up receiving poor quality ball in a cluttered midfield with no space to attack. Typically, strong in riding tackles. Rating: 6


13 Robbie Henshaw

Might have looked inside to the supporting Jamison Gibson-Park rather than chipped on a foot of an early scamper down the touchline. A little bit scrappy, missed a few tackles and some handling errors but applied himself with typical diligence. Rating: 6

12 Bundee Aki

A force of nature on the gain-line, robust in giving his team positive targets to play off and put in a couple of thumping tackles with a penalty turnover too. Ireland’s best player and not affected one iota by the general malaise that affected Ireland’s display. Rating: 8

11 James Lowe

He is a great example to young players in terms of carrying the ball to best effect a combination of power and footwork. He had an easy run-in for Test try number 14. Overall, he was one of his team’s standout performers. Rating: 7

10 Jack Crowley

He kicked beautifully out of hand and from the placed ball, where he had a 100 percent record. The odd errant pass. Ireland played a little flat at times, but he continued to manage the game with intelligent vision, while using his footwork on occasions. Rating: 7

9 Jamison Gibson-Park

One penalty concession aside, played at pace, trying to get his teammates to run onto the ball but the general attacking shape was way too flat and static at times. Quick to the breakdown but others failed to take advantage of his service. Rating: 7

1 Andrew Porter

Brilliant first half performance and there wasn’t much of a drop off after the interval even when Ireland’s performance disintegrated for a team. Won penalties at rucks and scrums, superb carrying, power and footwork in taking out multiple tacklers. Rating: 8

2 Dan Sheehan

Good carries, a lovely trick lineout play, ran over Rio Dyer and Sam Costelow, gave his team go-forward ball, scored a fourth try in the Six Nations Championship. The lineout issues appeared more to do with the lifting than throwing. Rating: 7

3 Tadhg Furlong

A poignant occasion in his first home game after his dad, James’ death, he honoured that memory with a fine display. Gave away an early penalty for offside but thereafter worked assiduously for his team in carrying, clearing out and winning scrum penalties. Rating: 7

4 Joe McCarthy

Gave away three penalties, one for not releasing, another for playing the scrumhalf and then taking a man out of the lineout, His physicality at the breakdown and power and footwork in the build-up to Lowe’s try were positive moments. Rating: 6.

5 Tadhg Beirne

He was very harshly penalised on the advice of assistant referee Karl Dickson for breaking his bind and received a yellow card as the team conceded a penalty try. First thing he did back on the park was win a lineout turnover, which looked the exact same as the offence for which he was penalised. Bonus point try scorer. Rating: 7

6 Peter O’Mahony (capt)

He certainly did his fair share of the work when Ireland were utterly dominant, making the right decision to kick penalties to the corner even if it didn’t always lead to the points. The man who replaced him, Ryan Baird had a huge impact. Rating: 6

7 Josh van der Flier

Hugely industrious in the nitty gritty of basic chores, carried with purpose, cleared out, tackled, harried, and supported his teammates in attack. He left the pitch for what appeared to be a Head Injury Assessment (HIA). Rating: 7

8 Caelan Doris

Like his backrow buddies, got through a mountain of work and was the best of the backrow in terms of winning some of the collisions on the gain-line but the team’s lack of precision in handling and space preservation in attack limited him slightly. Rating: 7

Replacements: A significant contribution from the bench especially Ryan Baird and Rónan Kelleher. Cian Healy and Stuart McCloskey had a couple of big moments. Oli Jager made his debut while most managed to rescue a flagging Ireland in the third quarter. Rating: 7

Coach: Andy Farrell won’t be happy with aspects of the performance, principally control, accuracy, decision making and ball protection in what was an at times sloppy display, pockmarked by carelessness. There’s plenty to work-on from the lineout through attacking shape for the trip to Twickenham. Rating: 7

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer