Player Ratings: How did Ireland's stars do against New Zealand?

The World Champions won 21-9 in Dublin

BY Daniel Kelly 20:17 Saturday 19 November 2016, 20:17 19 Nov 2016

The Ireland team face the haka before the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

After the historic win in Chicago a fortnight ago, Ireland lost 21-9 to New Zealand in Dublin.

Two tries from Malakai Fekitoa and another from World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett were enough for the win in front of over 50,000 in Dublin.

Despite the loss, Ireland performed admirably against the World Champions.

15. Rob Kearney (6)

Struggling to live up to the performance in Soldier Field, the Leinster full back could not break down the New Zealand defence. He has once again cemented his spot in Joe Schmidt's plans though.

14. Andrew Trimble (8)

Outstanding in defence, the Ulster winger was influential around the field in attack and defence. On at least two occasions, he was perfectly placed to intercepted the All Blacks' ball.

13.Jared Payne (6)

A quiet day for the centre, after Rob Henshaw’s early withdrawal. Payne grew into the game in the second half, after Garry Ringrose became more crucial in attack.

12. Rob Henshaw (N/A)

Henshaw’s day ended after ten minutes, after a clash with Sam Cane. The Leinster star was replaced by Garry Ringrose.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

11. Simon Zebo (7)

The Munster winger was not given as much space as he got a fortnight ago in Chicago. Once more, he showed in defence why Schmidt values his work rate.

10. Johnny Sexton (6)

The fly-half could only score a single penalty as injury cut his day short. On his time on the field, he kept the backline ticking over.

9. Conor Murray (7)

After his best performance in a green jersey a fortnight ago, Murray broke through the defence regularly, but could not match his Chicago heroics. Could be lined up to meet New Zealand in red next summer. 

1. Jack McGrath (6)

The prop did excellently in the scrum, but was outshone by both Best and Furlong in the loose. Replaced after an hour.

2. Rory Best (7)

The Ireland captain struggled in the first half from the lineout. Apart from two poor throws, the Ulster hooker was brilliant in open play. Led from the front and was always in the referee’s ear.

3. Tadhg Furlong (7)

One of the fasted props in World rugby. Furlong was everywhere in the open. Not many props can offload a ball like the Wexford native. Has made the number three jersey his own.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

4. Donnacha Ryan (6)

Ryan coped well against the New Zealand lineout, and was busy in open play. Has become crucial to Ireland’s pack.

5. Devin Toner (7)

An exhausting 80 minutes for the Leinster star, he was ever-present in the lineout against Retallick and Whitelock. Close to scoring in the second half.

6. CJ Stander (7)

Stander was replaced by Josh van der Flier midway through the first half. The flanker was excellent in the loose, in his short time on the field.

7. Sean O’Brien (8)

The Sean O'Brien of old returned with a bang. Excellent in the loose, 'The Tullow Tank' lasted 80 minutes, when he may not have expected to.

8. Jamie Heaslip (8)

Heaslip showed why he was a World Player of the Year nominee. Broke through the All Blacks defence for fun, the Leinster star was one of Ireland's top players.


23. Garry Ringrose (7)

Having failed to come of the bench in Chicago, the Leinster star replaced Henshaw after ten minutes. He was excellent in the second half, after a quiet opening 30 minutes. Showed flashes of why he will be key to Ireland's future.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

22. Paddy Jackson (7)

After missing out in Chicago, Jackson played more than an hour. Chasing the game, Jackson helped the backline look quicker in Sexton’s absence. Scored six points from two penalties.

20. Josh van der Flier (8)

Having replaced Stander, van der Flier was one of Ireland’s best on the day. Brilliant at the breakdown, he worked excellently with Heaslip and O'Brien in an all-Leinster back-row.

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week