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Highlights on Off The Ball


Player Ratings: Ireland impress in bonus-point win over the Welsh

Ireland put in their best performance in over a year as they secured a 24-14 bonus-point win over...

Ireland put in their best performance in over a year as they secured a 24-14 bonus-point win over Wales.

There wasn't exactly any stand-out performers but overall the team were much-improved since their win over Scotland in the opening round of the Six Nations.

As ever, we have taken the thankless task of giving each player's nuanced performance a science-based numerical rating. Have a look.

15. Jordan Larmour: 8

Did absolutely brilliant to score Ireland's opening try, showing great strength to beat four Welsh defenders to crash over the line. Saw plenty of the ball and didn't make any errors at fullback in the face of Welsh bombardment.

14. Andrew Conway: 8

Great performance all round from the Munster winger. Made some important tackles in defence and scored a well-deserved try to deliver the bonus-point for Ireland. Keith Earls was impressive off the bench but Conway looks to have done enough to retain his place on the wing.

13. Robbie Henshaw: 7

Maybe didn't get as much game time as he would have like after coming off with a head injury in the 45th minute but played well when he was on. Ran some great lines and also made a couple of lovely offloads in a more expansive attacking display from the home side.

12. Bundee Aki: 8

Made plenty of metres in attack and did well to defend a midfield which had to deal with some lovely Welsh offloading. Has been one of Ireland's most consistent performers since breaking into the team.

11. Jacob Stockdale: 8

The Ulsterman looks close to his best again, with his trademark kick and chases causing plenty of havoc in the Welsh defence. Didn't score a try but looked dangerous with ball in hand.

10. Johnny Sexton: 8

Led by example all day. His first conversion attempt was uncharacteristically poor but he was perfect from the tee afterwards. Stayed mostly cool-headed in the face of a couple of controversial calls from referee Romain Poite.

9. Conor Murray: 7

Better from Murray after a mediocre performance against Scotland. He was much quicker passing from the base of the ruck and while he isn't quite as accurate as he used to be it was certainly an improvement on his form of late.

8. CJ Stander: 9

The official player of the match for the second week in a row. Not as much of a stand out performer in this game but that's largely up to the improved performance of his teammates. Was unlucky to be penalised in the ruck a few times after what looked to be nice steals.

7. Josh van der Flier: 7

Aways happy to do the unseen work in defence. Maybe not as busy as usual but he played a crucial role in and around the rucks as always.

6. Peter O'Mahony: 8

While he may revert back to a bench role when Caelan Doris returns from injury, he was impressive in all facets of the game today. Made 13 tackles, second to only James Ryan, and was imperious as always in the lineout.

5. James Ryan: 9

Another day another vintage James Ryan performance. Beaten to the man of the match award by CJ Stander but could have easily gotten the gong himself. Didn't make a huge amount of metres but he almost always has to make the hard carries into the opposition's tight five.

4. Iain Henderson: 7

Not as busy as his second-row partner but it was a solid day out for the Ulster captain nonetheless. Made some powerful carries in midfield and made plenty of crucial clear outs against a raft of potential Welsh poachers.

3. Tadhg Furlong: 8

Certainly made up for a somewhat average performance in last week's win over Scotland. The scrum struggled at the start but improved as the game wore on and he took his try very well.

2. Rob Herring: 7

A better day out for Herring who looks to be growing into his role as Ireland's starting hooker. While maybe not as impressive as Ronan Kelleher or Sean Cronin in the loose, his lineout throws are extremely consistent.

1. Cian Healy: 6

Quiet enough day at the office for the veteran. Dave Kilcoyne is getting close to starting for Ireland after a slow start to the Six Nations for the Leinster man.

Replacements: 8

Keith Earls and Dave Kilcoyne were the standout replacements but each of them put in a solid performance for their country. Ronan Kelleher was impressive in his brief cameo while Max Deegan will be happy to have gotten his first cap for Ireland.

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Ireland Player Ratings Six Nations Wales