Final tournament rankings for Ireland's World Cup squad 1 month ago

Final tournament rankings for Ireland's World Cup squad

Five games, three wins, two defeats.

Thousands of Irish fans, when World Rugby released its' first blocks of tickets, set their sights on Sunday, October 20 in Tokyo. The thinking, late last year then early this year [when the tickets went on sale] was that Ireland would be facing South Africa for a place in the semi finals.

Japan blew that planning out of the water by defeating Ireland 19-12 in the pool stages. It put Joe Schmidt's men on-course for New Zealand in the last eight and fans were right to be worried.

On Saturday, in Chofu, the All Blacks dished up a beating to an error-strewn Irish side and ended up 46-14 winners. After the bright start against Scotland, Ireland fell to Japan, laboured against Russia, looked better against Samoa and, ultimately, were lucky to be even rated second best against New Zealand.

Looking back on our player ratings from all five games, and then taking an overall view of the tournament, here are our Irish player ratings for the 2019 World Cup:

Chris Farrell - final rating - 8.5 out of 10

Was superb after replacing Aki early in the win over Scotland. Ireland's best player in the loss to Japan but was concussed in that game and did not feature again.

Joe Schmidt not selecting him was one of his big errors when it came to the crunch. The next one was...

Andrew Conway - 8/10

Andrew Conway

Quite how Andrew Conway did not make the match-day 23, let alone the starting XV, for New Zealand should see Fox Mulder re-open the X Files.

Ireland's best attacking threat in the backline and scored three tries but Schmidt kept faith in Kearney, Earls and Stockdale.

Josh van der Flier - 7.5

Josh van der Flier

The best of Ireland's forwards and a consistent performer. His best games were against Scotland and Samoa but he still fought the good fight against the Japanese and All Blacks.

Jordan Larmour, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Johnny Sexton, Jordi Murphy*, John Ryan*, Jack Conan*  - all 7/10

Sexton was looking good all the way until the All Blacks cramped his style and his game collapsed in the quarter finals. Larmour is pressing for a regular role in the back three while Ryan was good but only great against the Scots. Rhys Ruddock should have featured more.

*Murphy, Conan and John Ryan all did well in their sole tournament outings.

Rob Kearney, Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander, Dave Kilcoyne, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery - all 6.5

CJ Stander

Dave Kilcoyne is breathing right down Cian Healy's neck now. Garry Ringrose struggled against the Kiwis, like so many others, but excelled in our first two games. Murray showed glimpses of his 2013-2017 form but was another that was successfully pressured by the ABs.

Stander had 8/10 performances against Samoa and Scotland but most sides know he will horse into contact and have a plan for him. It was a shame we did not have a fully fit Carbery from the start of the tournament.

Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Peter O'Mahony, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne - all 6/10

Ireland pack(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

Three of our first-choice pack all had their moments in Japan but will leave with regrets. Porter was a decent impact sub while Beirne will be targeting a starting role in 2020.

Rory Best, Keith Earls, Iain Henderson, Luke McGrath, Jack Carty - 5.5

(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

Best and Henderson were looking good against the Scots, but that was their high point. Earls had a very quiet World Cup.

Carty was looking good up until 30 minutes in against Japan then his confidence took a hit. Schmidt clearly trusts no other scrum-half bar Murray so McGrath was a bit-part player.

Niall Scannell, Sean Cronin, Bundee Aki - all 5/10

Bundee Aki

The lack of punch from the replacement hookers shows why Best was clearly the first-choice. Aki was brilliant for his all-action 22 minutes against Scotland (before he went off with a head knock) but was poor against Russia and was sent off against Samoa.

Jacob Stockdale, Robbie Henshaw - 4.5

Ireland rankings

Two players that have delivered plenty of times for Ireland in the past and will have opportunities to redeem themselves in a green jersey.

Henshaw injured his hamstring a week before the tournament started and looked unsure of himself in his two error-riddled appearances. Stockdale was strangely muted and was badly exposed in defence by the reigning world champions.


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The latest episode sees Andrew Trimble and Jerry Flannery look back on Ireland's World Cup exit to New Zealand.