Those calculators that were in use on Super Saturday five years ago in the 2015 Six Nations finale will be out in force against next weekend as points difference could be the determining factor in deciding who lifts the trophy in 2020 following the 33-point Ireland win over Italy in Dublin

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Fifty points was a decent Six Nations score for seven-try Ireland to rattle up, that figure being in and around what they usually manage against Italy.

However, they will the concession of 17 soft points which included an intercept try and another with the clock in the red where the safest thing to do was get the ball off the park and not risk a concession.

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A bonus point win away to France would ensure points difference is immaterial but from this remove it appears it will have a major say in who is crowned champions.

Looking beyond Ireland’s few defensive mishaps, though, there was still plenty for Andy Farrell to feel pleased about, namely the form of some of the rookies he introduced to wash away the bad smell that lingered from last February’s comprehensive defeat to England at Twickenham.

Six changes were made to the starting XV on this occasion and here is how they rated:

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15. JACOB STOCKDALE – 6

A novel out for him at this level, switching to full-back from the wing. Made what looked to be one brilliant try-creating break from his own half but he score for Hugo Keenan was ruled out for an illegal block. Had struggled in defence on the wing in 2019 and missed a few tackles here.

14. ANDREW CONWAY – 5

Quiet afternoon. With Ireland’s box kick largely redundant, Conway had to find other ways to get into the game but the ball was rare enough in coming his way.

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13. GARRY RINGROSE – 4

Punched the first defensive hole in the creation of Ireland’s first try, but his day was done after 27 minutes as he didn’t return from a head injury assessment that was later disgnosed as a broken jaw. His replacement Robbie Henshaw started well, quickly giving Keenan a try assist, but just don’t mention that intercept try he was caught out for.

12. BUNDEE AKI – 7

Started with some errors but came into his own and he capped an industrious display with a 69th minute try.

11. HUGO KEENAN – 8

Dream debut for the youngster, scoring two first-half tries and coming within a TMO decision of getting a third. He was helped by so much play coming his way unlike Conway on the other wing.

10. JOHNNY SEXTON – 7

Gave good guidance in getting Ireland into a promising position by the break but his intercepted, try-conceding pass was to the fore in the stodgy period after half-time that pegged momentum and left Ireland waiting until the 61st minute for their bonus. Went on to score a try himself before giving way late on to Ross Byrne.

9. CONOR MURRAY – 7

There has been so much debate about his status at starting scrum-half that his yellow card after just three minutes would have cheered his detractors but he bounced back capably and showed there was more to his game than his trademark box-kicking. Excellent kick in setting up Keenan’s second try. Replaced by debut-making Jamison Gibson-Park on 67 minutes.

1. CIAN HEALY – 6

Had the horrors at the scrum on his last Aviva Stadium outing, playing for Leinster against Saracens, but he won an early set-piece for Sexton to kick three points and was a positive first-half influence. Waned a little after the break and was taken off for rookie Ed Byrne on 55 minutes.

2. ROB HERRING – 6

Excellent first-half when his nuisance value in disrupting opposition was to the fore with choke tackling and breakdown foraging. Did hand around in the second half, though, as the try-scoring Dave Heffernan was thrown on after 51 minutes.

3. ANDREW PORTER – 6

He is never going to be Tadhg Furlong but he held his own for the 63 minutes he was on for before Finlay Bealham arrived to up the tempo.

4. TADHG BEIRNE – 7

Set the standard defensively with a table-topping tackle contribution. He doesn’t carry much but his defensive belligerence is what can help Ireland most if they are to clinch the title.

5. JAMES RYAN – 6

Had the lineout ticking over and battled away in the tight confines. His ball carrying was unusually restricted and he was hooked for Ultan Dillane on 63 minutes.

6. CAELAN DORIS – 7

Lasted just four minutes in his debut Aviva Stadium Test due to concussion but more than made up for it here. Unlike Peter O’Mahony, who came on after 67 minutes, Doris has a threat on the ball that is invaluable and he was busy with it here. His best moment was the breakdown steal that began the move for Keenan’s second try.

7. WILL CONNORS – 8

You have to love newcomers who rise to the occasion and it was so fitting that he got Ireland’s bonus-point try on 61 minutes before being awarded the official man of the match award. His combination with Leinster colleague Doris have the back row a versatility it was crying out for in the loss to England.

8. CJ STANDER – 7

Accounted for Ireland first try and was busy knowing that with O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier left out, he could have been next to go if he didn’t come up with a performance. Bossed the metres carried chart for the forwards with more than 70 made off 21 carries.

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