Your Player Ratings From Ireland’s Demolition Of South Africa At The Aviva
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Some big performances.
Ireland got their season off to a perfect start this evening with a impressive 38-3 record win against the Springboks at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Tries from Andrew Conway, Rhys Ruddock, Rob Herring and Jacob Stockdale ensured a famous win against a poor South Africa side, with Johnny Sexton putting in a man of the match performance from ten.
There were debuts for Connacht centre Bundee Aki, who put on an excellent performance especially in defence, and Munster winger Darren Sweetnam, who was instrumental in Stockdale’s try with a sensational pick-up.
Here are your player ratings.
Rob Kearney 6/10
Solid in defence, but never looked dangerous in attack. Expect to see Carbery given a chance next week.
Andrew Conway 9/10
Cracking game from the Munster winger. Some excellent clean breaks and took his try incredibly well. Always a threat under the high ball.
Robbie Henshaw 8/10
Some nice offloads and a rock in defence. Bailed out Kearney on one occasion and looked comfortable back alongside Bundee Aki.
Bundee Aki 8/10
A beast in defence, made his mark in the opening minute with a crunching tackle and floated some lovely passes out wide. Didn’t really put a foot wrong in his Test debut. Plenty more to come from him
Jacob Stockdale 8/10
Didn’t probably get as much ball as he would probably have hoped, but everything that was asked of him. Some big hits, comfortable under the high ball and never caught out of position. Took his try well and probably deserved it in the end.
Johnny Sexton 9/10
A masterclass by the experience playmaker. Controlled the game beautifully, his kicking out of hand was especially good. When he plays like this, he’s near untouchable.
Conor Murray 8/10
Quiet by his usual high standards but didn’t put a foot wrong. Some excellent cover tackling and his box-kicking brilliant as usual.
Cian Healy 8/10
Lost a few extra pounds over the summer and it’s been hugely beneficial to him. Looks more nimble, and carried well today. Solid effort.
Rory Best 7.5/10
No lineout issues, a solid scrum and some textbook steals at the breakdown. Excellent shift for the captain.
Tadhg Furlong 8.5/10
Does’t get enough plaudits for his defensive work. Put in some important tackles, and also carried well. Excellent work-rate too. Furlong seems to just be getting better and better.
Iain Henderson 8.5/10
Very physical performance from the Ulster lock, with some big carries. Worked really hard today and reaped the rewards.
Devin Toner 7.5/10
Looked really energised out there today, carrying much better than usual. Solid game for the giant second-row.
Peter O’Mahony 7/10
Replaced early in the second-half, but put in his usual shift. Took an excellent kick-off in the air, resulting in a nasty cut. Carried well too.
Sean O’Brien 7.5/10
Couple of good carries and a good work-rate. Didn’t get his usual forward momentum going, but is short on fitness after only recently returning from injury.
CJ Stander 8.5/10
Stander’s best performance of the season. Has looked tired in recent weeks after a racking up a ridiculous amount of minutes over the last 12 months. Looked back to his best today, and revitalised from the break. Big carries, big tackles, and some huge turnovers.
Rob Herring for Best (67) 7/10
Scrum continues it’s dominance when he came on and took his try well.
Dave Kilcoyne for Healy (67) 7/10
Didn’t get much of a chance to show off his ball-carrying skills, but put in a good shift, with some solid scrummaging and work at the breakdown.
John Ryan for Furlong (71) 7/10
Another solid cameo for the big man.
James Ryan for Henderson (71) 6/10
Quiet when he came on, but will have no complaints.
Rhys Ruddock on for O’Mahony (51) 8.5/10
Massive turnover just minutes after he came on and took his try incredibly well. Should start next week.
Kieran Marmion for Murray (71) 7/10
Didn’t put a foot wrong.
Joey Carbery for Sexton (75) 7.5/10
Two sweetly taken conversions.
Darren Sweetnam for Kearney (75) 7.5/10
Incredible hands set-up Stockdale’s try. A day to remember for the Corkman.