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Ireland player ratings vs Wales | 2024 Guinness Six Nations

By Ian Cameron
Ciarán Frawley of Ireland celebrates during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland player ratings: Ireland came into this one heavy favourites, but Wales didn’t quite roll over in the manner that many were predicting at a cold Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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It was Ireland’s least convincing outing of the championship to date, with Warren Gatland’s men making it sticky for the much-fancied men in green.

Here are our Ireland player ratings:

1. Andrew Porter – 8
Made a crucial turnover on eight minutes and then spent the rest of the match swapping between beasting the Welsh scrum and making a massive nuisance of himself.

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2. Dan Sheehan – 7.5
Running over British & Irish Lions wing Josh Adams like he was a rookie was made his highlight of the first half. The lineouts weren’t perfect, so that will be for Mr O’Connell to look at during the week, but other than that another fine Sheehan performance.

3. Tadhg Furlong – 6
Another passable shift from the tighthead, who continues to live on reputation more than his actual performances these days. Most of the pressure brought to bear on Wales’ scrum came from Porter’s side, while he was quiet around the park.

Set Plays

3
Scrums
8
100%
Scrum Win %
63%
14
Lineout
12
86%
Lineout Win %
83%
5
Restarts Received
2
100%
Restarts Received Win %
100%

4. Joe McCarthy – 7
Threw himself around the place but he’s still yet to reach the heights seen against France three weekends ago. His ability to break tackles in relatively heavy traffic sets him apart from most Test locks.

5. Tadhg Beirne – 7.5
A couple of botched lineouts aside, it was a generally productive first half for the Munsterman. The second half started badly when he was sin-binned for collapsing a maul on Ireland’s line, an infringement that saw Wales awarded a penalty try. Sealed the deal with Ireland’s bonus point on the buzzer.

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6. Peter O’Mahony – 6
His 50th Six Nations match, the returning captain had a decent outing, one turnover aside. Not much to report other than that.

7. Josh van der Flier – 7.5
Always at the right place at the right time, van der Flier’s defensive work and ability to contest at the breakdown were top-notch, but it was his carrying which was on show here. Came off for a HIA 50 minutes in and was replaced by Jack Conan.

8. Caelan Doris – 6
Doris’s athleticism and skill set were on display in fits and starts, making significant carries and demonstrating a high tackle count, before fading into the wallpaper at other times.

9. Jamison Gibson-Park – 7.5
His snappy decision-making and sharp service kept the tempo high, allowing Ireland to maintain pressure on Wales throughout the match.

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Ruck Speed

0-3 secs
59%
49%
3-6 secs
30%
31%
6+ secs
8%
13%
130
Rucks Won
109

10. Jack Crowley – 7
Maybe the most mature performance yet from Crowley, who kicked well out of hand and from the tee. Attacked the line well and was ably abetted by Frawley frequently making himself available as a second option at first receiver.

11. James Lowe – 6.5
The Welsh defence attempted to put pressure on Ireland’s back three, meaning Lowe maybe didn’t have quite the same leeway with his kicking that he enjoyed against Italy, and even missed touch on one occasion with a clearing kick from his 22. His ability to break the first tackle was invaluable but he was caught napping by Rio Dyer on a lazy backfield run.

12. Bundee Aki – 8
His midfield breakdown work proved a roadblock for the Welsh attack although a couple of handling errors besmirched his performance, he was his usual potent self. Came a cropper of Andrea Piardi once or twice but that comes with playing on the edge. Was good value for his ultimately disallowed 5-pointer in the 59th minute, which was pulled back for a knock-on by Henshaw.

22m Entries

Avg. Points Scored
3.1
9
Entries
Avg. Points Scored
1.1
6
Entries

13. Robbie Henshaw – 5
The first half largely passed Henshaw by other than a few solid carries and he didn’t hit his straps in the second either. One to forget for the Leinster centre.

14. Calvin Nash – 7
A beautiful offload for Lowe’s try in the corner on 32 minutes and was a lot more involved than his previous outings.

15. Ciaran Frawley – 8.5
His first-ever Test start after coming in for the injured Hugo Keenan, Frawley showed that he can mix it up with ball in hand, throwing some sumptuous passes and even twice found Nash on the right wing with a kick pass. Constantly tried to make things happen, often acting more as a second flyhalf than a sweeper. Picked up Ireland’s third try which put the game to bed and by rights he should have received the Man of the Match award.

REPLACEMENTS: 

16. Ronan Kelleher – 8
Immediately won an important turnover after coming on for Sheehan, before making a half-break that directly led to Aki’s try.

17. Cian Healy – 6
While he didn’t improve on Porter, Healy brought some convenient experience and stability to the setpiece in the final eight minutes.

18. Oli Jager – 6
The former Crusader made his debut after coming on for Furlong on 50 minutes and provided fresh legs and continued the dominance in the scrum.

Points Flow Chart

Ireland win +24
Time in lead
77
Mins in lead
0
93%
% Of Game In Lead
0%
38%
Possession Last 10 min
62%
7
Points Last 10 min
0

19. James Ryan – 6
His introduction added an extra layer of steel to the lineout and ruck, with Ryan making his presence felt immediately. Copped another yellow card for his troubles.

20. Ryan Baird – 7
Baird’s elite athleticism and energy were evident, not least with a number of breaks upfield that most locks dream about but have become standard for the Leinster man.

21. Jack Conan – 7
Conan’s impact was pretty immediate after coming on for Josh van der Flier, with strong carries that tested the Welsh defence and solid work at the breakdown.

22. Conor Murray – 6
Murray’s experience and tactical kicking helped Ireland control the game’s tempo in the final 11 minutes.

23. Stuart McCloskey – 6
McCloskey brought physicality and fresh legs to the midfield in a relatively short 13-minute cameo.

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