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Ireland player ratings vs Maori All Blacks

By Josh Raisey
Waikato , New Zealand - 29 June 2022; Ireland players, from left, Cian Prendergast, Ciaran Frawley, Kieran Treadwell, Bundee Aki and Gavin Coombes await a conversion after a Maori All Blacks try during the match between the Maori All Blacks and Ireland at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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It was not a good start for Ireland in their tour of New Zealand as they fell to the Maori All Blacks 32-17 at the FMG Stadium Waikato on Wednesday.

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Andy Farrell’s men were able to claw back a 32-10 half-time deficit to win the second-half, but an ill-disciplined opening 40 minutes did all the damage as the visitors looked disorganised and were tactically naive. Worse still for Farrell, a number of players went off with what looked to be serious injuries, including frontline prop Cian Healy. Centre James Hume also picked up what appeared to be a tour ending injury, and Jeremy Loughman came off at half-time with a head injury.

Not many players put their hand up for consideration to face the All Blacks this Saturday, but there were some standout performances. Here is how the players rated:

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Ireland post-match press conference
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Ireland post-match press conference

15. Jimmy O’Brien*- 6.5
A mixed bag from the boot from the fullback during his hour on the field. A deft attacking attacking kick early on almost resulted in a try for Jordan Larmour, but he was guilty of a number of loose kicks in the first-half which led to a 50:22 and a counter attack try. Kicking did improve in the second-half.

14. Jordan Larmour- 6
Grew into the game and was gifted a bit more space in the second-half to show off his feet, but was part of a back three that were in disarray at points. Larmour was one of the players that would have wanted to stake a claim to be part of the matchday 23 against the All Blacks, but did not shine as much as he would have wanted.

13. James Hume- 5
Limped off the field early in the second-half after a quiet first half that was marked by trying to quell the Maori All Blacks’ attack in the outside channels. Tour looks to be over after a great season.

12. Bundee Aki (c)- 5.5
Of course scored an impressive try in the first half, but had a game that was marred by a string of penalties, often at the ruck for not releasing or rolling away. An emotionally charged game for Aki, and that manifested itself with some good and bad flashes.

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11. Keith Earls- 5.5
Saw a lot of action in the first-half defensively as the Maori All Blacks frequently attacked down his left wing. That may not necessarily have been his fault, but there were often huge swathes of space in the back field that the opposition either kicked into or exploited with ball in hand.

10. Ciaran Frawley*- 5.5
Leinster’s Frawley was never really able to grab hold of the game the way he would have liked, which was partly down to the conditions. The 24-year-old produced a few kicks in the first-half that just gifted the hosts with attacking opportunities, but that was endemic in the entire back line. His kicking tightened up in the second-half and as a result Ireland were able to exert more pressure, but he still didn’t pull the strings the way he would have wanted and was caught in contact a few times which led to penalties.

9. Craig Casey- 7.5
Seemed on his own at times trying to pick up the tempo in the first-half, and persistently looked threatening around the breakdown by either sniping himself or bringing players into the game. Was quieter in the second-half, but stood up when it counted.

1. Jeremy Loughman*- 5
Went off within 90 seconds for an HIA and though he did return to the field, he was replaced by Cian Healy at half-time. Played in a half where Ireland were often on the back foot, and was unceremoniously marched back in the scrum.

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2. Dave Heffernan- 5.5
Picked up his performance in the second-half and started to carry well, although he produced a poor error when Ireland were applying pressure by knocking on a tap and go.

3. Tom O’Toole- 7
Huge shift from the tighthead O’Toole going the full 80 minutes, and despite the one scrum in the first half where Ireland were marched back on their own put in, he produced a few scrum penalties.

4. Joe McCarthy*- 5
Was full of enthusiasm in his first match for Ireland for the 50 minutes he was on the field, but that enthusiasm spilled over into ill discipline and handling errors when trying to force an offload. Was pinged by Wayne Barnes a couple of times in the first half for being offside and not rolling away, but he was not the only one.

5. Kieran Treadwell- 6
An industrious game although fairly quiet. Solid in the lineout and most other areas of the game. Did not damage his chances of playing against the All Blacks, but perhaps did not boost them either.

6. Cian Prendergast*- 6
Got through a huge amount in defence, running tirelessly from touchline to touchline. However, he was guilty of missing a crucial tackle in the build up to Cullen Grace’s try.

7. Nick Timoney- 7
A strong carrier throughout the 80 minutes and was at the heart of any momentum that Ireland were able to build, and stood out in the first-half when Ireland seemed shy of a few players to make hard yards. Timoney’s carrying suited the way Farrell wants Ireland to play.

8. Gavin Coombes- 8
Had a hand in both of Ireland’s tries, assisting Aki’s with a well timed pass and scoring the second himself. Probably the best Irish player on the field, and put his hand up for Test selection.

Replacements- 6
Though the entire bench was not used, they had a tough job trying to turn the game around. Niall Scannell impressed after only arriving in New Zealand yesterday.

* denotes first appearance for Ireland

 

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