Ireland Player Ratings

We rate Joe Schmidt's side after they lost to Scotland on Saturday

BY Simon Maguire 18:06 Saturday 4 February 2017, 18:06 4 Feb 2017

Ireland's Paddy Jackson scores their third try despite Josh Strauss of Scotland. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland and Scotland played out an entertaining opening chapter to this season's Six Nations championship. We rate the Irish players after their loss to Scotland on Saturday:  

Rob Kearney - 8

Played like the Kearney of old as he marshalled the back field, ran good lines and cleared any danger that came his way. Almost set up a try for Earls but was just in touch. Choose not to tackle Hogg for his second try but was facing an overlap regardless.


Keith Earls - 8 

Opened Ireland's account as he crept in in the corner but had previously sliced a clearance kick into touch and missed a last-ditch tackle on Hogg for his second try. Was dangerous with ball-in-hand throughout. 


Ireland’s Keith Earls scores their first try despite Scotland’s Finn Russell
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Garry Ringrose - 7

Came out of the line early but slipped for Hogg's first try although he was facing an overlap regardless. Grew into the match as it progressed.


Robbie Henshaw - 8

Was the pick of Ireland's backs in attack and consistently made ground every time he got the ball. Emptied the tank and couldn't have done much more.


Simon Zebo - 8

Was brilliant in the air all game and cleared his lines when required. Super assist for Earl's try. Intercepted late in the first half when the home side were camped on the Irish line. Jinked out of tackles all match long.


Paddy Jackson - 7

Directed the team around as best he could in the first half despite being on the back foot for the majority. Took his try expertly to give Ireland the lead for the first time in the match. Gave away a decisive penalty late on though.

Ireland's Paddy Jackson scores their third try despite Josh Strauss of Scotland
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Conor Murray - 6

Well below his usual standard and struggled when playing on the back foot. 


Jack McGrath - 7

Played his part in a dominant scrum and had emptied the tank by the time he was replaced.


Rory Best (c) - 7 

Brave call to go for a scrum when an easy three points were on offer early in the second half. Ireland's line-out misfired and will need to improve going forward. Played his part in a huge scrum effort though.


Tadhg Furlong - 8

Dominant scrum performance and put himself about the field well. Should have noticed the two backs in the Scottish line-out for Dunbar's try. 

Ireland's Tadhg Furlong with Ross Ford of Scotland. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Iain Henderson - 7

Industrious performance from the Ulsterman. Took his try well and put himself about throughout. 


Devin Toner - 6

Mixed performance in his area of expertise - lost a couple of line-outs but was under pressure from the Gray brothers. Made a good steal as well though. 


CJ Stander - 7

Was a marked man from the off but battled on until the end. A coupling of handling errors aside, he ran with the ball whenever he could. Won a huge turnover in the 35th minute to end a period of Scottish pressure. 


Sean O'Brien - 7

Like Stander, it looked like he was marked by three players every time he got the ball. Made a couple of trademark breaks and won a valuable turnover at the start of the second half as Ireland went chasing scores.


Jamie Heaslip - 7

Made his presence felt throughout and also received the same extra attention as his back row colleagues. Gave away a penalty at the end which sealed Ireland's fate.  

 Ireland's Jamie Heaslip tackled by Jonny Gray and Zander Ferguson of Scotland
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Bench - 5

Failed to make the impact required as Ireland needed one last push to get over the line and win the match.


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