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Player Ratings as Ireland qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals

The opposition may not have been the strongest but Ireland played well in a much-needed confidenc...

The opposition may not have been the strongest but Ireland played well in a much-needed confidence-boosting performance ahead of the quarter-finals.

It wasn't perfect but it was a big improvement over their last two games and seeing Sexton in flying form will ease the worries of both the team and its supporters.

15. Jordan Larmour: 8
His best performance of the tournament so far. While the opposition was weak enough the youngster looked dangerous every time he had his hands on the ball and scored a well-deserved try himself.

14. Keith Earls: 7
Solid day out from the Moyross man. Didn't find as many gaps in the defence as Larmour put was a constant thorn in the Samoan's side and did well in the air when it was asked of him.

13. Robbie Henshaw: 6
Not a bad performance in his first game of the tournament but did look a little rusty, which was to be expected. He will be even more vital to the team now after Aki's red card which may well rule him out of the quarter-final.

12. Bundee Aki: 4
Was having a decent game up until his sending off but should have gotten down lower in the tackle that saw him ejected from the field. Unlucky to be shown red but by this World Cup's standards it was the correct decision.

11. Jacob Stockdale: 6
Didn't do anything wrong but the Ulsterman was quiet enough today in a game that was dominated by the forwards. He hasn't caught fire yet at the World Cup but will likely start in the quarter-final.

10. Johnny Sexton: 9
Exactly the performance that was needed from Ireland's most vital player. Controlled the game excellently and scored two tries himself. The Leinster man will have given his team plenty of confidence as they face either South Africa or New Zealand in the quarter-final.

9. Conor Murray: 7
Much better from the Munster man after a disappointing display against the Japanese. Made a few small errors but his pass to Larmour for Ireland's fifth try was a thing of beauty.

8. CJ Stander: 7
Felt the full force of the Samoan's power but dealth with it well and will be happy to have scored a try. With Conan gone home Stander is another vital player that will have to be at his best against either the All Blacks or Springboks.

7. Josh van der Flier: 7
It's not always obvious to see his contribution to the team but he excels in the unseen work. Didn't have as much to do in defence as usual but he tackled well regardless and made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown.

6. Tadhg Beirne: 8
One of his best performances in an Ireland shirt to date. Didn't pilfer the ball as much as he usually does but was strong in the carry and tackled well against a physical Samoan pack.

5. James Ryan: 8
Another day another great performance from the increasingly impressive second-rower. Did all that was expected of him and made an excellent steal at the line-out early on to rob the Samoans of a promising attacking platform.

4. Iain Henderson: 7
He wasn't his usual explosive self but made plenty of ground all the same as he used some deft footwork to avoid the inevitably brutal Samoan tackles. Will surely start for Ireland in the quarter-final.

3. Tadhg Furlong: 8
Rampaging performance from the Wexford man in open play and did well in the scrum too. Showed incredible power to muscle through four Samoan defenders to get Ireland's second try of the day.

2. Rory Best: 7
Another man who was much improved compared to the Japan game and led from the front well. He looked energetic and didn't allow his side to panic after Aki was sent-off with over 50 minutes left to play.

1. Cian Healy: 6
Maybe not a barnstorming display but he didn't put a foot wrong and did well against a beefy Samoan scrum. Didn't make the same strong carries as his fellow prop Furlong but ultimately didn't need to and will be vital for Ireland in their next game.

Replacements: 7
There wasn't a huge amount required from Ireland's bench put they did well to keep the pressure on Samoa and safely saw the team through to a comfortable win. Joey Carbery was the standout replacement and will likely be on the bench next time out as Ireland look to make history.


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Ireland Player Ratings RWC Rugby Samoa