Ireland 24-14 Wales PLAYER RATINGS

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Ireland 24-14 Wales PLAYER RATINGS: CJ Stander is the star for the hosts while George North falls flat for Wayne Pivac’s visitors in Dublin

  • Ireland produced a bonus-point win over Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday
  • It was a big game for both sides given they had won their opening matches
  • Wayne Pivac’s side never got to grips with the game in Dublin and were beaten
  • Sportsmail assessed both sets of players to see who excelled and who fell flat 

Ireland produced a statement 24-14 win over Wales in Dublin to make it back-to-back wins in the Six Nations. 

Wayne Pivac’s side were hoping to build on their rout over Italy but never found their rhythm and CJ Stander led the Irish charge as they grabbed a try for a bonus point win late on.  

Sportsmail ran the rule over the two sides on matchday two of the Six Nations. 

Ireland became the first team in nine Six Nations matches to go and get the better of Wales

Jordan Larmour – 6.5 

Opened the scoring with deserved Irish try and always looked threatening from the back field. A solid afternoon’s work.

Andrew Conway – 6.5 

Limited involvement on a day not ideal for wingers, but still went the distance and was switched on to the end to cross for Ireland’s crucial bonus-point try.

Robbie Henshaw – 5.5 

Forced off with a head injury in the second half after colliding with Dan Biggar. Hadn’t set the world alight before that. Keith Earls came on in his place.

Robbie Henshaw (middle) did his job but did not set the world alight when he was on the pitch

Bundee Aki – 7 

As physical as ever in the tight exchanges. Got the better of Hadleigh Parkes in the battle of the New Zealand-born centres. Very solid.

Jacob Stockdale – 6 

One early run and chip ahead showed promise, but he was quiet thereafter. Not given much ball to work with in fairness to him.

Jonathan Sexton (capt) – 6.5 

Ireland’s new captain can still be petulant with referees and he was at it again here. He still guided his team to a big win. Suffered a late head injury.

Conor Murray – 6.5 

Saw plenty of early ball but conceded a penalty tackling Josh Adams. Solid enough at the base as his forwards had the upper hand in front of him.

Cian Healy – 6.5 

Still going strong at 32 despite his career being hit by a host of injuries. Good contest with Dillon Lewis before he left the field in the second half.

Rob Herring – 7 

Filling the big shoes of the now absent Rory Best. Very reliable at line-out time and can be very pleased with his performance.

Tadhg Furlong – 8 

There have been doubts over his fitness, but he crashed over for a first-half try and scrummaged very strongly. Still one of the best tightheads in the world.

Tadhg Furlong (middle) remains one of the finest tightheads in world rugby and he showed it

Iain Henderson – 7 

The Ulster lock is a hugely underrated operator and never stops working. A perfect foil for James Ryan alongside him, he is a key man for Ireland.

James Ryan – 7 

Very good again and made a mammoth 15 tackles to limit Wales going forward. Went head-to-head with a player of Alun Wyn Jones’ calibre impressively.

Peter O’Mahony – 7 

Took on Wyn Jones for a skirmish on the half-time whistle. That’s not always the best idea but summed up the Irishman’s never-say-die commitment.

Josh van der Flier – 7.5 

Good early tackle on Biggar and got through a prodigious amount of work. Perhaps lucky to have scored as TV pictures were inconclusive, but it was deserved reward for his impressive display.

CJ Stander – 9 (Man of the match)

Very influential opening quarter with two turnovers and did likewise at start of second half. Physical nature of game suited him down to the ground.

CJ Stander was incredibly influential for Ireland and the physicality of the game suited him

Replacements

K Earls 6 (for Henshaw 45), D Kilcoyne 7 (for Healy 51), R Kelleher 6 (for Herring 67), A Porter 6 (for Furlong 67), D Toner 6 (for Henderson 67), R Byrne 5 (for Sexton 71), M Deegan 5 (for O’Mahony 71), J Cooney 5 (for Murray 73)

WALES 

Leigh Halfpenny – 7 

As solid as ever in defence and dealt with Ireland’s kicking game well despite a stiff wind. Not given much of a chance to attack.

George North – 4 

Back on the wing after previous start at centre. Defended very narrowly early on leaving Ireland with room out wide. Very quiet in attack.

Nick Tompkins – 4 

First Test start. Missed crucial tackle on Larmour for Ireland’s first try as he paid the price for going high. Struggled defensively in the 13 channel.

Hadleigh Parkes – 5 

Kicked out on the full in first five minutes. Looks to have gone backwards since the World Cup after a stellar 18 months or so and failed to ground the ball over the line at a crucial juncture.

Hadleigh Parkes (tackling Jacob Stockdale) looks to have regressed since the 2019 World Cup

Josh Adams – 5 

The World Cup’s top try-scorer started the Six Nations with a hat-trick, but he lasted less than half an hour here before being forced off with a leg injury. Replaced by Johnny McNicholl.

Dan Biggar – 7 

Went well in the first half and played a key role in his team’s opening try. Kicked well enough and looked threatening in attack but suffered yet another head knock which forced him off.

Tomos Williams – 6 

Mixed. Ran a trademark support line for first-half try but then blotted his copybook by dropping the ball on his own line which allowed Furlong to score. Replaced by Gareth Davies.

Wyn Jones – 6 

Good work secured Wales an early breakdown penalty. He was better at the scrum than he was against Italy but in Furlong he was up against a formidable operator.

Ken Owens – 5.5 

A blowing wind made for tricky line-out conditions and Wales struggled there. Went close to the full 80 and still gave everything in the tight.

Dillon Lewis – 5.5 

Won his team a penalty at the first scrum five metres from his own line. Much better set-piece performance than against Italy.

Dillon Lewis provided a much improved set piece performance compared to the Wales game

Jake Ball – 6 

Stole one Irish line-out in another solid display. Remains ahead of Wales lock rivals Cory Hill and Adam Beard.

Alun Wyn Jones (capt) – 8 

Tackled himself silly in the tight but showed he can play too with lovely deft hands for Williams’ try. Will be hugely disappointed to have lost.

Aaron Wainwright – 5 

Still a young player of huge promise, but he has not been as influential in this Six Nations as he was at the World Cup. Did win line-out ball but struggled and was replaced by Ross Moriarty.

Justin Tipuric – 8 

Never shirks from the highest of standards. Whether it’s in defence or attack the Ospreys captain always leads the way.

Taulupe Faletau – 7 

Quietly effective as he continues international return following two years of injury hell. Showed up well in final quarter even if Wales couldn’t turn the tables.

REPLACEMENTS

J McNicholl 5 (for Adams 25), J Evans 6 (for Biggar 45), G Davies 6 (for Williams 49) R Moriarty 6 (for Wainwright 49), R Carre 5 (for W Jones 64), L Brown 5 (for Lewis 67), A Beard 5 (for Ball 71), R Elias 5 (for Owens 74)

Referee: Romain Poite (France) Star man: CJ Stander (Ireland)




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