Player ratings: Ireland v Australia

Ireland 27-24 Australia

BY Simon Maguire 20:55 Saturday 26 November 2016, 20:55 26 Nov 2016

Ireland beat Australia earlier today to end an exceptional November series with three wins from four. 

We evaluate how the players got on:

Player Ratings:

Rob Kearney - 7

Difficult to rate as he was taken off early but did little wrong when on the pitch.

 

Andrew Trimble - 7

Like Kearney, he had to leave the fray early. In fairness to him, he tried to play through the pain as Ireland didn't have a like-for-like replacement on the bench but his foot gave way shortly after receiving medical attention. 

 

Jared Payne - 7

Marshaled the midfield brilliantly again. Nearly scored early on after jinking through a few tackles but was eventually caught. Won a crucial turnover in tandem with CJ Stander when Australia threatened. Taken off at half-time.  

 

Garry Ringrose - 8

Maturing into a seasoned international centre at a rapid pace. Scored his first test try after salvaging a poor pass as he gathered the ball behind him and twisted through the wallaby defence to dot down. Was a menacing presence for the visiting defence every time he got on the ball.

 

Keith Earls - 8

Remains one of the best finishers out there. Gathered Zebo's grubber to offload to Henderson to get the ball rolling. Ran in the match winning score just as it looked like the game was getting away from the men in green. Adapted well to his role in the centre after the half-time reshuffle.

 

Ireland's Keith Earls scores a try
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Paddy Jackson - 8

Stepped up to the plate with Sexton ruled out. Kicked, ran and directed his team efficiently throughout. One careless kick at the start of the second half aside, a solid display from the Ulsterman. 

 

Conor Murray - 8

The silent leader of the team. Cleared his lines effortlessly and bar one bizarre pass when Pocock was standing in the Irish out-half position, had another commanding game. The best scrum-half in the northern hemisphere and in the conversation for the best in the world. 

 

Jack McGrath - 7

Put himself about the field and solid in the Irish scrum. Played his part in defence and had emptied the tank by the time he was replaced. 

 

Rory Best - 8

Captain fantastic himself. Led by example and made a crucial tackle when Australia broke late in the first half. Emerges from the giant shadow cast by previous captain Paul O'Connell by leading his team to wins over South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in the space of 6 months.

 

Tadgh Furlong - 7

Another impressive display from the rampaging tight-head. Upended recklessly by Dean Mumm at a ruck but kept his composure and carried on as he had begun. Pivotal cog in a successful green scrum. 

 

Iain Henderson - 7

Another committed display from the engine room of the Irish scrum. Scored a try after taking a brilliant line off Earls. Threw his body about in defence. 

 

Ireland's Iain Henderson scores the first try of the game
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Devin Toner - 7 

Ran his line-out in efficient fashion and played his part in a dominant scrum.  

 

CJ Stander - 7 

Carried, tackled and led by example. Stander has been a revelation since joining the squad. 

 

Van der Flier - 9

At times it felt like there were two of him on the field. Kept pace with two seasoned operators in Hooper and Pocock and gives Schmidt a proper headache when trying to pick a back-row in the future. 

 

Ireland's Josh van der Flier presented with the man of the match ward by Mark Sands of Guinness
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Jamie Heaslip - 7

Did his part around the field and commanded from the back of the scrum. 

 

Replacements:

Sean Cronin - 7 

Slipped into the captain's shoes effortlessly and boosted the Irish defence as they held off the Australian onslaught.  

 

Cian Healy - 7 

Like O'Mahony, was crucial in the build-up to the winning try and was part of the match-winning scrum.

 

Finlay Bealham - 7

Played his part in the crucial penalty-winning scrum and put himself about when he came on.

 

Ultan Dillane - 7

Emptied the tank when he came on and picked up from where Henderson left off.

 

Peter O'Mahony - 7

Came on and made his presence felt. Played a pivotal role in the winning try and added to the green defensive wall.  

 

Kieran Marmion - 8

Considering he played a whole half of rugby completely out of position, he was excellent. Went looking for tackles and didn't let the wallabies know he was uncomfortable in his new role. 

 

Joey Carbery - 8

Came on for Trimble after half an hour and slotted seamlessly onto the wing. Made a couple of breaks and doesn't look fazed by the transition to the international scene

Ireland's Joey Carbery with David Pocock, Michael Hooper and Will Genia of Australia
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

 

Simon Zebo - 8 

Came on early for Kearney and made an immediate impact. Beautiful grubber through to set up the opening try and was a threat all over the field. One sliced kick to touch aside, his game has improved exponentially under Schmidt. 

Ireland's Simon Zebo with Bernard Foley and Henry Speight of Australia
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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