Ireland player ratings

Ireland lose to Wales which ends their Six Nations Championship hopes for 2017

Wales humbled Ireland at the Principality Stadium and ended their championship hopes for 2017. 

We rate Joe Schmidt's team after Friday's game:

Rob Kearney - 6

Relatively solid display at the back but dominated in the air especially claiming a restart in the 21st minute. Appeared to go in high every time he ran the ball and made little ground in attack.   

Keith Earls - 7

Some good grubber kicking kept the Welsh pinned back in the first half. Looked to attack whenever he got the ball and made some decent half breaks throughout. Slipped off a few tackles unlike his previous outing against the French.

 Ireland's Keith Earls with Jonathan Davies of Wales. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Garry Ringrose - 6

Sharp in defence and worked in tandem with Henshaw to marshal the midfield but offered little going forward bar the odd break.

Robbie Henshaw - 6

Aggressive in defence from the off and made yards whenever he got the ball but made a crucial error when joining at the maul ahead of the ball when Best was about to touch down. His contribution will be remembered for this huge error unfortunately. 

Ireland's Robbie Henshaw dejected after the game. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Simon Zebo - 8

An early break and grubber in behind set him up for an exciting contribution to the match and was probably Ireland's best player on the field. Good in the air and kept the defence guessing throughout. 

Jonathan Sexton - 7

Generally kicked well both on and off the tee bar one errant effort which went dead. Aggressive defensive line saw him make two intercepts in the first half. Yellow carded for a professional foul but kept Wales down to three points when a try was about to be scored. However another try was scored when he was off and gambled at the end which led to Wales' last try.  

Conor Murray - 6

Was everywhere from the off and ran the Irish team efficiently until his injury. Battled on when a lesser player might have gone off but ultimately succumbed when his passing suffered because of it and was taken off. 

Ireland's Conor Murray down injured. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Jack McGrath - 7

Good early rip on Wyn Jones set his standard. Solid in the scrum and around the park. 

Rory Best (c) - 5

Lost a crucial line-out camped on the Welsh line but it was a brilliant challenge from the Welsh captain. Line-out misfired at other crucial times. Denied a try by Henshaw's moment of madness.  

Tadhg Furlong - 5

Powerful in the scrum. Knocked a ball on late in the first half that he shouldn't have and put his team under unnecessary pressure. Didn't seem to make the usual ground when running with ball in hand but still made tackles around the park.

Donnacha Ryan - 7

Industrious performance and battled until the end. 

Devin Toner - 6

Far more active and effective around the field than against France but that doesn't say much. Part of a faltering line-out throughout and was replaced midway through the second half. 

CJ Stander - 8

Up to his usual tricks, took three players to take him down a number of times. Replaced for O'Mahony when maybe the Munsterman should have taken Heaslip's place with Stander moving to eight.

Ireland's CJ Stander. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Sean O'Brien - 7

Not up to his usual level but not far off it either. Absolutely smashed Biggar in the first half. Sloppy pass at the start of the second half led to a calamity of errors which ended with North's second try. Still got through work everywhere.  

Jamie Heaslip - 5

Poor first half by his own standards which culminated with a knock-on to end the opening half. Lucky to stay on when O'Mahony came on for Stander. 

Bench - 7

Decent efforts from those who came on but they couldn't turn the Welsh tide.