Connect with us

6 Nations

Player Ratings – Ireland v England

Published

on

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

A day to remember for some and to forget for others. We give our ratings. Let us know what you think over on Facebook or Twitter.

Ireland:

Embed from Getty Images

15. Robbie Henshaw –  4

Obvious hasn’t played at Full-Back in some time. His attributes not best suited for an International 15. Matt Williams was quoted saying ” i’ve seen milk turn faster than Henshaw”

14. Keith Earls – 3

Caught out for opening England try with a poor defensive read. Targeted in the air and aerial battle against Jonny May. Tactically whipped off at HT by Joe Schmidt. Interesting to see if he starts next week in Edinburgh.

13. Garry Ringrose – 7

Ireland’s most dangerous threat going forward. Joint highest carrier for Ireland with 14 carries. With only 4 clean breaks for Ireland, Ringrose had 2.

12. Bundee Aki –  6

Oddly played at first receiver a lot, second highest passing back. Managed Tuilagi well and carried well.

11. Jacob Stockdale – 6

Most prolific player with ball in hand this evening with 74m ran. Ultimately at fault for 2nd English try but a solid enough display for the Ulster man.

10. Jonathan Sexton – 3

Possibly his worst outing in a green shirt, certainly his worst in the last few years. Emphasises how important an in form Sexton is to Ireland success.

9. Connor Murray – 5

Rare to see Ireland being dominated in an aerial battle. Perhaps more to do with the strength of the English players in the air than the quality of kicks. Exceptionally busy in defence with 12 tackles, the highest in the backline, double the amount of 2nd place Ringrose.

8. CJ Stander – 6

Ireland’s joint top tackler with 17 tackles and 0 missed. 2nd highest carrier with 11 carries. Huge work rate but not as dynamic as usual with only 6m gained.

7. Josh Van Der Flier – 6

Similar to Stander, huge work rate as always, 17 tackles made and 0 missed. 1 handling error.

6. Peter O’Mahony – 5

Unusually quiet game, in comparison to his fellow back rowers, 9 tackles, 2 missed and carried 6 times for 2m. His game will be remembered more for his ‘Stupid c***’ remarks towards Kyle Sinckler.

5. James Ryan – 7

Typical industrious performance that we have come to expect from the Leinster man. Most willing carrier in the pack with 14 carries.

4. Devin Toner – 5

Solid in the line out, ineffective going forward and will be disappointed with a poor clear out leading to a turnover. Ireland will hope his injury isn’t serious given the current state of the 2nd row options.

3. Tadgh Furlong – 7

Typical strong carriers and solid in the scrum. 1 memorable carry taking 3 Englishmen to finally ground him.

2. Rory Best – 6

1 crooked lineout. Key secondary shove for Healy try. Typically aggressive and persistent at the breakdown.

1. Cian Healy – 7

A willing carrier with 9 carries. Got across for Ireland’s opening try. Solid in the scrum. Has definitely reclaimed the Irish 1 jersey.

Replacements:

16. Sean Cronin – 7 – Put Cooney in for late try.

17. Dave Kilcoyne – NA

18. Andrew Porter – NA

19. Quinn Roux – NA

20. Sean O’Brien – 7 – Good to see him back in the green. Could be pushing for a start next week.

21. John Cooney – NA

22. Joey Carberry – NA

23. Jordan Larmour – 5 – Didn’t get to use his trademark quick feet. Will be disappointed with defensive display making 1 and missing 2.

England:

Embed from Getty Images

15. Elliott Daly –  8

Try, assist, solid in the air.

14. Jack Nowell –  8

Most metres made by any English player with 56m. Even deputising in the backrow during Tom Curry’s period in the bin.

13. Henry Slade – 9

Our Man of the Match. Continual threat with the ball in hand. Busiest English back with 11 tackles. 2 tries, showing great pace for the try from Jonny May’s chip.

12. Manu Tuilagi –  8

Great to see him back in the England starting XV. Solid display. Lucky that his no armed clear out on Jacob Stockdale went unnoticed.

11. Jonny May –  8

Scored on 90 seconds. Totally dominated the aerial battle with his opposite wing with success time and time again.

10. Owen Farrell – 8

Leading from the front and with passion. Clever kicking, huge defensive display and directed the English side to victory.

9. Ben Youngs –  8

A reminder that Connor Murray isn’t the only quality box kicking 9 in the Championship. Regularly put England on the front foot with his pin point box kicking.

8. Billy Vunipola – 8

England’s most efficient carrier but maybe not as destructive as we’re used to.

7. Tom Curry –  7

Silly yellow card with his late hit on Earls. Harried the breakdown well

6. Mark Wilson – 8

Very effective with the unglamorous work required of a back-row forward. 21 tackles – Newcastle will be missing him over these next few weeks

5. George Kruis – 7

Unspectacular but effective work from Saracen’s second row

4. Maro Itoje – 8

England will be hoping that his injury will not be as it looked as he hobbled off the field. One memorable turnover. Fortunate that the collision in the air with Earls was only a penalty

3. Kyle Sinckler – 6

Quiet – only memorable for his exchange with POM

2. Jamie George – 7

Gave away two penalties. Tackled well

1. Mako Vunipola – 9

Extra-ordinary defensive effort. 25 tackles. Very unlucky that his first half try was contentiously denied for double movement.

Replacements:

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie – NA

17. Ellis Genge – NA

18. Harry Williams – NA

19. Courtney Lawes – 8 – Solid shift from the big 2nd rower.

20. Nathan Hughes – 7 Did well playing in the unusual position of 2nd row.

21. Dan Robson – NA

22. George Ford – NA

23. Chris Ashton – NA

Let us know what you think over on Facebook or Twitter.


6 Nations

Keenan’s Injury Rehab ‘Progressing Well’ As Ireland Squad Link Back Up Together

Published

on

Hugo Keenan was always confident that Ciaran Frawley would perform well against Wales last week, with the Skerries man marking his first start for Ireland by running in the hosts’ third try of the game.

Frawley deputised at full-back as Andy Farrell’s men made it three bonus point wins on the trot to extend their lead at the top of the Guinness Men’s Six Nations table to six points. Calcutta Cup winners Scotland are now their closest challengers.

It was a rare match for Keenan to miss, and such has been the ever-dependable Dubliner’s importance to the team during Andy Farrell’s reign, he has started 38 of their last 43 Tests. Only Jimmy O’Brien, Michael Lowry, and now Frawley, have stood in for him during that time.

Currently rehabbing the knee injury that he picked up against Italy, and with his sights set on returning against England on Saturday week, Keenan is hopeful of being available for selection for the trip to Twickenham.

“That’s the plan, hoping to get back for England. I was sad not to be out there at the weekend. Always tough watching from the stand, but rehab’s progressing well,” he said, speaking at an event to promote Energia’s #HalfAFan campaign.

“I’ve been worked hard. I’ve been in rehabbing the last day or two as well while the rest of the squad’s been off, so it’s always the annoying side of it, you don’t really get your days off.

“I’m happy with how it’s coming along, and progressing well. No (contact training), not fully quite there but we haven’t been in this week.

“We’re linking back up together tomorrow (Wednesday), we are going to be based in Energia (Park), then we’ve got the open training session (at the Aviva Stadium) on Thursday. Not too far off getting fully involved, so looking forward to being back.”

It is easy to forget that Keenan won four of his first six international caps on the wing, towards the tail end of 2020 and those uncertain Covid-19 times. Since then he has very much cemented himself as Ireland’s first choice full-back, and one of the best in the position worldwide.

Having been ever-present during last year’s Grand Slam-winning campaign and the Rugby World Cup, the 27-year-old is itching to get back to full fitness and ensure that it is only one game he has to sit out.

Commenting on the timeframe for his recovery, he explained: “I suppose the injury happened in the Italy game and four weeks from that would be the England game. I was trying to get back for the Wales match. It was just a week or two too early.

We sort of treated it – since we’ve known I’d be out – as a four-week injury. There was no point rushing me straight back into something I’m not ready for.

“So, I’m hoping to build up the load over the next 10 or so days leading up to it to get right for that one. You don’t enjoy the time on the sideline but hopefully it will be a case where I just miss one.

“It wouldn’t have been the worst timing because maybe sometimes a four-week injury in the middle of a Six Nations you miss three games rather than just one. Hopefully I’m getting lucky with that.”

Reflecting on how he sustained the injury, Keenan fell awkwardly in a 52nd-minute tackle from Italy replacement Giosuè Zilocchi. Just moments earlier, he had spearheaded a breathless attack from deep, breaking onto Craig Casey’s chip kick and bringing play close to the Italian 22.

“I saw him (Zilocchi) coming out of the corner of my eye, so I managed to get my legs off the ground, which meant a lot of the impact was taken, so it was nothing too serious.

“I tried to shake it off, but it probably wasn’t one I could have. We were in a comfortable position at that stage as well.

“You always are a small bit nervous, but we’ve got great doctors and great physios. They cleared my knee for a large part going into it (the scan), so I was pretty confident it was something pretty minor. I was reassured soon enough so it was all good.”

Frawley’s 80 minutes against Wales – ‘solid enough’ according to head coach Farrell – will certainly help to build more depth at full-back.

Jack Crowley got some game-time in the position against Italy, while of Ireland’s extended Six Nations squad, Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale have also had international starts at full-back.

Mack Hansen (shoulder) and O’Brien (neck) will add to those back-field options on their return from injury later in the year. In the meantime, Keenan praised his Leinster colleague for his performance last Saturday, but would understandably rather be out there himself as Ireland’s last line of defence.

“I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t been in that situation (sidelined for match week) too many times. I’ve had a good run of injuries.

“It’s something I don’t enjoy too much, I get nervous, I get worried. You can’t control anything when you’re on the side of the pitch, while when you’re in amongst it you’re distracted more, you’re just focused on the challenge in front of you.

“I thought Frawls went very well, didn’t he? It was great to see it. I don’t think anyone had any doubts about him, he’s an incredible footballer. We’ve all seen it for Leinster, and the small bits that he’s got a chance with a green jersey as well.

“He’s got a bit more time at 15, and I think there were probably a few question marks around who would play there with Jimmy and Mack out, but we were all very confident in him.

“It was great for him to get settled in early and get a try as well. I was delighted for him,” he added.

Energia ambassador Hugo Keenan was speaking as part of Energia’s #HalfAFan campaign. As proud partner of the Ireland Men’s and Women’s rugby teams, Energia understands that being a partner to both teams means showing support for both – so don’t just be #HalfAFan.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


Continue Reading

6 Nations

‘It’s A Great Appointment’ – Farrell On Murphy’s Move To Ulster

Published

on

With Dan McFarland stepping down as Ulster head coach this week, it has been confirmed that Murphy will take over the role on an interim basis following the conclusion of the Under-20 Six Nations Championship.

The Ireland Under-20s are in title contention again thanks to two opening wins, with Murphy having overseen back-to-back U-20 Grand Slam successes and a World Rugby U-20 Championship final appearance in the last two seasons.

Farrell first worked alongside Murphy when they were defence coach and skills and kicking coach respectively, during Joe Schmidt’s coaching reign with Ireland.

The pair have kept up a strong connection with Murphy continuing for a short while as a specialist kicking resource for the senior squad, and the Under-20s often training with Farrell’s men during the Six Nations window.

“I think it’s a great appointment. I think Richie will do a fantastic job (at Ulster), his rugby knowledge is second to none,” commented Farrell.

“He is a very experienced guy that has been an assistant for quite some time and I know that he worked with us for a short period before we went to the Under-20s, but that was his next step to take that type of mantle on and do it his way.

He has certainly done a fantastic job. I mean, coaching the Under-20s is coaching in its purest form, it’s bloody difficult because of the swapping and changing the whole time each year.

“It shows exactly the quality that he’s got and his knowledge of the whole game. I think the players up at Ulster there will love him.

“His attitude is great but first and foremost I think they will respect his knowledge, definitely.”

McFarland was in charge of Ulster since 2018 and guided them to the PRO14 final two years later. They looked to be finding form again with a trio of wins over Racing 92, Connacht, and Leinster, coming into the New Year.

However, last Sunday’s poor 19-17 defeat at the Ospreys was their third loss in a row, leaving them eighth in the BKT United Rugby Championship, and came just a few weeks after failing to reach the last 16 of the Investec Champions Cup.

Assistant coach Dan Soper will take the reins for their next URC fixture at home to the Dragons on Saturday week, before Murphy comes on board for their two-match tour to South Africa where they will play the Hollywoodbets Sharks and the DHL Stormers.

The Bray man will have to quickly get up to the speed as the Ulstermen then travel to Montpellier in the EPCR Challenge Cup’s round of 16, just after Easter. Given the people involved, Farrell is confident they can turn things around at Kingspan Stadium.

“Look, it’s obvious that we want all the provinces playing at the top of their game. If that happens, it’s a special place to be but it doesn’t tend to happen that often, does it?

“One thing I know for sure is that Ulster have got a fantastic squad and good people up there. The lads that we have within our squad are exemplary to the province, as far as their attitudes are concerned whether they’re playing or not.”

A dislocated toe, suffered during that loss to the Ospreys, means Iain Henderson is unavailable for Ireland’s clash with Wales on Saturday. His Ulster colleague, Stuart McCloskey, is one of only two backs on the hosts’ bench as they opt to return to a six-two split.

New-look Wales, who lost their first two games to Scotland and England by a combined three points, come to Dublin with a squad that has accumulated 662 caps, compared to Ireland’s 1012.

119 of those caps are provided by George North alone, while 21-year-old Exeter Chiefs lock Dafydd Jenkins continues as captain, and Cardiff back rower Mackenzie Martin could make his debut off the bench.

Asked what he is expecting from Wales this weekend, Farrell replied: “Playing against Wales, you know it’s always going to be a scrap.

“You know that every single time Wales play against Ireland, it means probably a little bit more to them, I’ve been told (that) over the years.

“So we’re aware of that, and we also know as well that Wales historically have got better throughout the competition.

“We’re five weeks into it come the weekend, from when we first started training. We know that they’ll be better and hopefully we’ve used our time wisely as well.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


Continue Reading

6 Nations

Wales team to face Ireland in Dublin named

Published

on

Senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland has named the Wales side to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the third round of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations on Saturday 24 February (KO 2.15pm live on ITV and S4C).

There is one change to the starting XV that played England at Twickenham on 10 February, with Sam Costelow returning for Wales at fly half.

Among the replacements back-row Mackenzie Martin is in line to win his first senior cap this weekend and would become the 1,200th Wales men’s international.

.

Tight-head prop Dillon Lewis would be making his first appearance of this Championship if called on from the bench.

Gatland said: “We are excited to go out to Dublin and test ourselves against one of the leading sides in world rugby. It’s a challenge we are relishing.

“We’ve made steps in the last couple of games and now it’s about building on that, learning from those experiences and taking that into this weekend.

“It’s about continuing to work hard, looking for accuracy in our performance across 80 minutes and also keeping our discipline.”

Wales senior men’s team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the Guinness Six Nations, Saturday 24 February KO 2.15pm GMT. Live on ITV and S4C.
15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 56 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 119 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 34 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 16 caps)
10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 9 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 55 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 27 caps)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons – 48 caps)
3. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 4 caps)
4. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 14 caps) Captain / Capten
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 53 caps)
6. Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 15 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 45 caps)

Replacements

16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 40 caps)
17. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 54 caps)
19. Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 30 caps)
20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 19 caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 4 caps)
23. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)

Images & Content – Wales Rugby


Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending