Player ratings: Ireland squeeze past Samoa in costly World Cup warm-up
Between the 'Battle of Bayonne' in '07 and tonight's injury list, maybe Ireland should just avoid World Cup warm-ups in the French town...
Ireland 17 - 13 Samoa
Ireland made sure they head into next month's Rugby World Cup as the world's number one ranked side with a physically bruising win over a resolute Samoan side.
However, the victory in Bayonne came at quite the cost, with Leinster full back Jimmy O'Brien leaving the field of play with an injury and Robbie Henshaw going down on numerous occasions with a knock of his own. Meanwhile centurion Keith Earls pulled out prior to kick-off as a precaution.
The most concerning addition to the injury list though will be veteran prop Cian Healy, who had to be carried to the sidelines by the Irish medical team following a nasty looking calf injury.
On a lighter note, Munster's Jack Crowley alongside Connacht wing Mack Hansen lit up a ragged Irish display. Taking his chance to deputise for the suspended Johnny Sexton, Crowley along with Hansen combined to help Jimmy O'Brien open the scoring with a superbly placed cross-field kick.
Ireland trailed 10-7 at the break, but second half scores from both Conor Murray, off the back of a deft Jacob Stockdale chip, and Rob Herring from a rampaging Irish maul, saw Ireland run out eventual victors.
Here's how Andy Farrell's match-day 23 faired overall:
Ireland player ratings:
15. Jimmy O'Brien - 5
14. Mack Hansen - 7
13. Robbie Henshaw - 6
12. Stuart McCloskey - 4
11. Jacob Stockdale - 6
10. Jack Crowley - 7
9. Conor Murray - 7
8. Caelen Doris - 7
7. Josh van der Flier - 6
6. Ryan Baird - 7
5. Tadhg Beirne - 6
4. Iain Henderson - 6
3. Finlay Bealham - 5
2. Tom Stewart - 5
1. Cian Healy - N/A
16. Rob Herring - 7
17. Jeremy Loughman - 6
18. Tom O'Toole - N/A
19. James Ryan - 7
20. Peter O'Mahony - 6
21. Craig Casey - N/A
22. Ross Byrne - 6
23. Garry Ringrose - 5
- Cian Healy’s Rugby World Cup in “serious jeopardy” following nasty injury
- Three things for Ireland to learn from Springboks demolition of All Blacks
- Ireland World Cup squad: Andy Farrell makes his 33-man selection
- Two international rugby stars test positive for banned substances
- Andy Farrell insists it’s not the end of the road for Jacob Stockdale or Ciarán Frawley
- Tom Stewart gets big chance to impress as worries grow over Sheehan and Kelleher