Ireland player ratings: Classy Johnny Sexton loads up in Romania demolition

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton looks on during the Rugby World Cup in France. Credit: Alamy
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton looks on during the Rugby World Cup in France. Credit: Alamy

Following Ireland’s dominant 82-8 win over Romania in their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash, here are our ratings for the world’s top-ranked side.

15 Hugo Keenan: The full-back produced another classy outing as he looked to carry the ball up from the backfield whenever he could despite the heat. He deservedly scored a try and notched up a game-high 167 running metres. Underlined his status as a key Irish player. 9

14 Keith Earls: Did not get as much opportunity as he would have liked but worked hard all game long particularly on the kick chase where a different bounce of the ball might have rewarded him. 7

13 Garry Ringrose: A busy outing from the centre but not quite a blockbuster performance. A lot of the work was done by players inside him but he still managed to beat a couple of defenders and set up a try late on. 7

12 Bundee Aki: One of the players of the game. The robust runner was keen to get his hands on the ball as much as possible and showed impressive toe as he skinned a defender to score his first try, meanwhile, his second was a beautiful line. A lovely outing for a player who looks to be loving his rugby at the moment. 9

11 James Lowe: Much like his wing partner, he did not get the kind of chances he would have liked. As usual, the team used his big left boot to exit effectively whilst he was spirited on attack when he did get a chance. 7

10 Jonathan Sexton: Did not look like a player who last played six months ago. The skipper had complete control of the game and pulled strings all game long. It resulted in a brace of tries and several kicks taking his points tally to 24 on the day. The kind of performance that showcased that Sexton is a Rolls Royce – effortlessly oozing class. 9

9 Jamison Gibson-Park: A critical component of the green machine. The way in which the scrum-half controls the tempo gives his side the best chance to exploit teams with the multi-phase attack. A very clever and crisp effort. 8

Monster pack

8 Caelan Doris: Not quite as involved as his back-row partners but typically tireless. He formed part of a powerful collective effort from the pack which ripped the game from Romanian hands. 7

7 Peter O’Mahony: Named player of the game for good reason, the flank scored a brace of tries between covering every blade of grass on the pitch. O’Mahony made seven tackles at 100% success rounding out what was a near-perfect performance. 9

6 Tadhg Beirne: Competed with O’Mahony for player of the game in a brilliant effort. His performance was typified by his impressive work rate to score his second try after 80 minutes despite holding a strong lead. The perfect blend of quality and proper hard work. 9

5 James Ryan: One of the more quiet forwards on the day but another player who worked tremendously hard. He carried frequently and did not miss a tackle. Ryan was also a menace in the line-out with one steal. 7

4 Joe McCarthy: Desperately wanted to score his first Test try and finally did after being held up and bundled in touch right by the line. The massive lock beat an impressive four defenders whilst making six tackles and two turnovers on defence. A confidence boosting Test. 8

3 Tadhg Furlong: Love to see the hands on the big man who was playing both delicate little balls to his forward partners or ever slightly longer passes out the back. Furlong was excellent in the execution of his fundamentals which resulted in scrum dominance for his side. 7

2 Rob Herring: A standout in a very good pack. The hooker managed a try and even a line break in a joyous afternoon. Will be great for his confidence and stand him in good stead for the rest of the tournament. 8

1 Andrew Porter: Like his prop partner was brilliant in the scrum and also showed some soft hands in the build-up to Beirne’s try. Ticked all of his boxes and will be excited to move on to the next. 7

Replacements: The substitutions maintained the intensity of the Irish phase play and ultimately that is what widened the scoreline so significantly as the Romanians struggled to keep up in the final 20. 7

READ MORE: Johnny Sexton racks up 24-point haul as Ireland cruise past Romania

The article Ireland player ratings: Classy Johnny Sexton loads up in Romania demolition appeared first on