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Rugby

12th Mar 2023

Ireland vs. Scotland: All the talking points, biggest moments and player ratings

Patrick McCarry

Ireland player ratings

SCOTLAND 7-22 IRELAND

Andy Farrell and his players were up against a Scotland team that will fancy their chances at Murrayfield. We’ve you covered for all the Ireland player ratings, biggest moments and talking points from another big Six Nations encounter, and another Ireland win.

Ireland lost three forwards to injury in the first half, with Rónan Kelleher and Garry Ringrose also coming off with back knocks, but they did enough to beat the Scots.

Tries from Mack Hansen, James Lowe and Jack Conan, along with seven points from the boot of Johnny Sexton put Ireland on track for another victory. They now face England, next Saturday, with a Grand Slam on the line.

Follow our live match feed and check out all the big scores, player ratings and talking points RIGHT HERE:

Ireland player ratings

IRELAND PLAYER RATINGS

Hugo Keenan – 8

Early juggle before gathering a high ball. Peach of a pass for the Hansen try. So reliable in defence and made a stack of metres off his carries.

Mack Hansen – 9

Was denied an early score but showed great technique and strength to get over in the corner, on 27 minutes. Won a huge turnover, early in the second half. High aerial take and offload for Sexton was sublime. Won another turnover, almost had a third, and set up Conan with a lovely pass. Only misses out on a perfect 10 after falling off three tackles.

Garry Ringrose – 6

Will be livid with himself for allowing Huw Jones to score, far too easily. A rake of missed tackles in the game for the centre. Electric in attack, though. Was sparked out before the end.

Bundee Aki – 7

Many questioned why he started over Stuart McCloskey and while his answer was not emphatic, he emptied the tank for the cause. 23 metres made off seven carries and only slipped off one of his eight tackles. Back on for Ringrose after his head knock.

James Lowe – 8

Caught out in defence a few times as he cut inside. On the massive PLUS side, he won three turnovers for his side. Great strength and awareness for his try. Made 96 metres off eight tackles. Showed up twice in a move that almost led to a bonus point try.

Johnny Sexton – 8

Didn’t have it all his own way, but a full-on performance with some big moments when Ireland were up against it. Touchline conversion after the Lowe try sucked the air from the home fans.

Conor Murray – 7

Box-kicked his first two possessions. Made three snipes for not much change and stuck nine tackles. Solid enough with lots ion crisp passing on a day when Ireland had it hard at the breakdown.

Andrew Porter – 8

Penalised on the first scrum of the game. Made a try-saving tackle just before half-time. Always there for a first-up carry or to get stuck in at the breakdown.

Dan Sheehan – 6

Lasted only 17 minutes before going off injured.

Tadhg Furlong – 8

Welcome back, big man. The Irish scrum had a tough day but this lad was fantastic across the park, in his first game since December 3rd. Big carries and tackles, and soft hands in attack.

Iain Henderson – 6

Stuck 8 tackles and claimed some lineouts before going off with an injured wrist.

James Ryan – 8

Really big tackle on Stuart Hogg won his side a big turnover. His physicality was off the charts and he led the forwards for carries. ALMOST finished off an amazing move but tossed his offload to Lowe forward.

Peter O’Mahony – 8

At his scrappy, nuggety and infuriating (for the opposition) best. The lineout beacon when van der Flier needed a safe option. Rag-dolled the sub, Kinghorn, off the pitch.

Josh van der Flier – 9

Was drafted in as emergency hooker, for lineouts, after Ireland lost both of their men. Still had the energy to heave himself about Edinburgh, making a raft of tackles and big ground on his few carries.

Caelan Doris – 6

Lasted only 12 minutes after a leg injury sustained coming down from a line out. Early steal from a line out before the ref let Scotland off the hook.

REPLACEMENTS

Rónan Kelleher – (for Sheehan ’17) – 6

Replaced Sheehan then was injured himself and could not play on.

Jack Conan – (for Doris ’12) – 8

Got out on the wing and rode a big tackle to

Ryan Baird – (for Henderson ’24) – 8

Showed up big in the lineouts.

Cian Healy – (for Kelleher ’48) – 8

On for the injured hooker, and scrummaged decently in the role. Performed the role back in school but stood up to the test in a huge Six Nations match.

Jamison Gibson-Park (for Murray ’53) – 7

Slick passing in attack. Linked up with Lowe and Ryan for what could have been the try of the championship but effectively ended the contest.

Robbie Henshaw (for Aki ’66) – 6

Great to have him back.

Tom O’Toole (for ‘Furlong ’64) – 7

Came on and fronted up in a few scrums, again.

Ross Byrne (for Sexton ’70) – 6

Stuck a few tackles.

To get you up to speed on all the 2023 Six Nations matches for Ireland, so far, here is how the championship has played out for the men in green.

Ireland rolled over Wales, in Cardiff, in their first match out, with Hugo Keenan and Caelan Doris getting our highest ratings (9/10). France were rumbled next, in Dublin, with Keenan and Doris once again in flying form.

In their last match, during round three, Italy put up a big fight but Ireland finished strong to get their third win on the trot. Josh van der Flier and Tom O’Toole got big chunks of praise, in our final ratings.

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