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11th Feb 2023

Ireland vs France: All the big talking points, moments and player ratings

Jason Hennessy

Ireland player ratings


The 2023 Six Nations continues this weekend with three more mouth-watering fixtures to look forward to. We had all the big plays, moments and Ireland player ratings covered in our live feed (below)

Up first was the hugely anticipated meeting of Ireland and France in Dublin, which many were calling a potential Grand Slam decider. Ireland scored four tries in a sensational encounter, to secure a bonus point victory.

Here is how Pat McCarry rated Andy Farrell’s victorious men in green [Note: Murray, Ryan and O’Toole all improved by one mark after another full viewing of the game].


Hugo Keenan – 9

Backed himself to finish his chance off after taking a wonderful line and the Bealham pass, on the charge. Made just under 100 metres on first half carries and caused France trouble in the air. Kicking out of hand was top-notch and caused head-aches. Finished with 182 metres gained(!) off 18 carries.

Mack Hansen – 7

Sprung out of the line to shut down a dangerous France attack. Fell off a tackle before Penaud scored. Will be fuming that he could not score when so close to the line, but Dupont is a little demon.

Garry Ringrose – 8

Bullet pass was key in the Lowe try. Shot out of the line (as is his brief) but fell off a few tackles again. Was never going to be stopped for that bonus point try.

Stuart McCloskey – 7

Aimless kick, on 13 minutes, put his side in bother. Made some brutalising carries. Was caught out after shooting out of the line, but scrambled back to make a turnover. Has proved he can cut it at Test level.

James Lowe – 8

Ireland player ratings

Great kick up the line had Ramos in huge bother. Honestly questioned why he went high for his try until I saw the replays. Incredible score. Came up big with another turnover for his side. 70 metres gained on his carries.

Johnny Sexton – 8

Sexton Loop worked wonders to open France up, early on. Failure to scrag Willemse was a key part of the Peanud try. Made two lengthy line breaks in the first half as his hamstrings got a mighty working out.

Conor Murray – 6

Passed too high to detract from Porter try-scoring chance. Came close to a try of his own but was thwarted by Dupont. Was placed in the back-field on defence a few times and France targeted him with high balls. Stuck three tackles, but missed five.

Andrew Porter – 7

Held up over the tryline, early doors, but did well to hang on to Murray pass. Scrum was solid. He missed five of his first eight tackle attempts but finished strong and emptied the tank – making five straight – before he went off in the last 10 minutes.

Rob Herring – 7

Did well in the set-pieces. Shipped two hefty hits from Uini Antonio. Went off at half-time.

Finlay Bealham – 7

Lovely inside pass for the Keenan try. Made some key carries and hits. Stuck 13 tackles, scrummaged well. Did not make much ground on in-tight carries.

Tadhg Beirne – 8

Was in the wars, early on. Lovely turnover poach after the Lowe try. Stuck 12 tackles in the first half. Made one more before going off injured after 45 minutes.

James Ryan – 7

Was tipping along nicely, without pulling out trees, until his spring forced France to lose a line out in their 22.

Peter O’Mahony – 6

Shelled the ball forward after Kelleher threw long over the line out in a planned move. Could not claim a lineout throw, soon after. Looked out on his feet after 55 minutes. 

Josh van der Flier – 7

Conceded a penalty as Ireland scrambled after a Dupont line break. Industrious as ever. Got turned over by Marchand, early in the second half. Stretched the legs with a few carries.

Caelan Doris – 9

Some big early carries over the gainline, and tackles on Dupont and Willemse. Came up with a crucial first half turnover. Some engine on the lad – at full-go for the entire 80. Lovely pass to tee-up Ringrose. 55 metres made off 11 carries.

Ireland player ratings


Rónan Kelleher – (for Herring ’40) – 7

On for Herring as a HIA sub then permanently for the second half.

Iain Henderson – (for Beirne ’45) – 7

Great lineout option and some big carries. Blocked a Dupont clearance.

Ross Byrne (for Sexton ’48) – 7

Tackled well and added a penalty to Ireland’s tally, after replacing Sexton early in the first half. See nice kicks pinned France into the corners.

Craig Casey – (for Murray ’56) – 7

Peach of a kick into the corner, on 63 minutes.

Jack Conan – (for O’Mahony ’56) – 6

Pouched the falling ball when France shelled a lineout.

Tom O’Toole – (for Bealham ’62) – 7

Some useful carries.

Bundee Aki – (for McCloskey ’65) – 6

Did great to scramble back after Dupont’s dangerous grubber.

Dave Kilcoyne – (for Porter ’69) – 6

Added some punch off the bench.

Once again our live blog was the best place to keep up with all the action and Ireland player ratings. You can check out the feed below.


Six Nations other match-ups

Wales will then look to bounce back from their disappointing defeat when they travel to Murrayfield to take on a Scotland team brimming with confidence following their Calcutta Cup win.

And on Sunday, England will welcome Italy to Twickenham as Steve Borthwick looks for his first win as head coach.


15. Hugo Keenan
14. Mack Hansen
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Andrew Porter
2. Rob Herring
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Tom O’Toole, Iain Henderson, Jack Conan, Craig Casey, Ross Byrne, Bundee Aki.

Ireland vs. France kicks off at 2:15pm on Saturday, February 11th at the Aviva Stadium, in Dublin.

WATCH RugbyJOE’s Six Nations Corner:

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