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Ireland player ratings vs Italy | 2024 Guinness Six Nations

By Ian Cameron
Craig Casey of Ireland is tackled by Monty Ioene of Italy during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland player ratings: Although Andy Farrell made plenty of changes, it didn’t stop Ireland making light work of a decent Italian side.

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Here’s how we rated the players.

1. Andrew Porter – 7
Conceded a couple of penalties early, one against Italy’s no-nonsense scrum and the other for not rolling away. Started to really get into the Italian tighthead as the game wore on.

2. Dan Sheehan – 7.5
Business as usual for Sheehan and good business at that. Lineouts went well and he took his first obligatory try well, his seventh in national colours and eight came on 49 minutes. He’s not far off Keith Wood’s 15 Test try tally and he’s only 25.

3. Finlay Bealham – 7
Carried a little upright at times and was even stripped of the ball although an advantage saved his blushes.  More importantly, the setpiece went well after a wobbly start for both himself and Porter.

4. Joe McCarthy – 6.5
After last week’s heroics in Marseille, it was hard to imagine ‘Big Joe’ scaling those heights again and in truth he didn’t quite summit here against the Azzurri. Still, a perfectly competent outing.

Ireland player ratings
Dan Sheehan celebrates his 8th try for Ireland – PA

5. James Ryan – 6
A dependable performance from Ryan, who you guess might be feeling a little insecure with the rise of McCarthy and the unstoppability of Tadhg Beirne. Plenty of dominant tackles and unglamorous metres won with ball in hand.

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6. Ryan Baird – 7
A shearing break just before the halftime break demonstrated the X Factor Baird possesses – namely the pace of a winger on a 6’6 backrower’s frame. Would have liked to have seen more of it.

7. Caelan Doris – 6
A fine debut as captain. As with the France game, started relatively quiet but brought his force to bear as the game wore on and Italian shoulders wilted.

8. Jack Conan – 7
A relatively rare start for Ireland’s former first-choice No.8, he made his presence felt with a well-taken five-pointer just before halftime. Missed the odd tackle but otherwise a pretty positive outing.

9. Craig Casey – 8
Excellent service from the Munster man, which established a tempo that the Italians struggled to live when Ireland had possession. Likes a snipe too, keeping the Italian pillar defence on their toes.

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10. Jack Crowley – 8
Much better from Crowley, who put an error-riddle performance in Marseille behind him. Took his try brilliantly to open Ireland’s account with eight minutes on the clock and conducted the backline superbly.

Jack Crowley
Jack Crowley on the way to the try line- PA

11. James Lowe – 8
Lost the ball in contact with the Italian line beckoning and was a times a little loose in terms of his ball possession. Was a threatening presence behind the scrum and was constantly looking for work. His kicking out of hand was first-rate, his booming boot now the Aviva Stadium’s equivalent of ASMR. Was good value for his try.

12. Stuart McCloskey – 6.5
A sound display from the big Ulsterman at 12, selflessly putting try hog Sheehan away in the 25th minute when others may have tucked it under the jumper and gone glory hunting. His kicking was a little hit-and-miss but was generally low-risk and was one of Ireland’s most frequent carriers.

13. Robbie Henshaw – 7.5
The Italians struggled to contain Henshaw, two breaks from the centre leading to Ireland’s opening try and he offloaded superbly for Sheehan’s try. Got a little greedy when having a try correctly disallowed by Luke Pearce for ‘double movement’ aka playing the ball on the ground.

14. Calvin Nash – 7
Had precious few opportunities to make his mark in the first half and like many rookie wingers at Test level, is stuck between not making any errors and actually getting his hands on the ball. Took a smart line to cross for his second Ireland try in two games.

15. Hugo Keenan – 7.5
Set the tone with an early break and didn’t give the Italians too much change in the kicking exchanges. Made a remarkable break when chasing what looked like a lost cause, catching the Italian’s napping and ultimately laying the platform for Henshaw’s 55th-minute no-try effort.

Substitutes
16. Ronan Kelleher – 7
Continued where Sheehan left off, conducting Ireland’s catch-and-drive efforts ably.

17. Jeremy Loughman – 7
Offered plenty around the park and did his job at scrum time.

18. Tom O’Toole – 7
A much-needed run out for O’Toole who came on with 55 minutes on the clock and he was fairly blowing by the 80th.

19. Iain Henderson – 7.5
Got involved straight away after coming on for Ryan, staying busy in what was his 80th appearance for Ireland.

20. Josh van der Flier – 7
Made a break up the middle of the park shortly after coming on and was a nuisance thereafter.

21. Jamison Gibson-Park – 7
Came on at 72 minutes but did well to put Nash away in the 78th minute. Easy money for JGP.

22. Harry Byrne – 6
Back from injury, Byrne kept the show on the road, even if Ireland seemed to take the foot off the peddle during his time on the pitch.

23. Jordan Larmour – 6
It’s been a minute for Larmour who has featured for Ireland in recent seasons. Was busting to make an impression but maybe forced his hand on occasion.

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Comments

6 Comments
J
Jussy 159 days ago

Jack Crowley improved with 50% kick rate? And Casey, who brought nothing to the game?

Did the author watch the same game as me?

j
james 160 days ago

A much better game than the two boring games yesterday A lot more active

T
Turlough 160 days ago

Casey an 8? You having a laugh?

R
Ross 160 days ago

So, do McCloskey and Henderson not qualify for points or something?

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