Ireland XV 53-0 Fiji: Ireland Player Ratings

Fergus McFadden

15. Denis Hurley 6
Playing in front of his home crowd, Hurley was his usual dependable self. There were some nice touches as the backline ticked in the first half.

14. Craig Gilroy 8
(Man-of-the-match) Gilroy appears to enjoy playing at Thomond Park, adding a hat-trick of tries to the magnificent solo effort he scored at the same venue against Munster in Aprils Heineken quarter-final. The Ulster winger is destined for full international honours.

13. Darren Cave 7
Stepped through a quite sizeable gap in the Fiji defensive line to ghost in for a first half try, and can be credited with a composed performance in the midfield. His defensive capabilities weren’t really tested by a limited Fijian attack.

12. Luke Marshall 8
Often the catalyst for much of Irelands attacking flair, those outside Marshall benefitted from his natural ability to create space on more than one occasion. He’s not afraid of the physical challenge either, and definitely deserved to walk in Irelands final try of the evening.

11. Fergus McFadden 8
Put his hand up for selection in the crunch tie against Argentina next weekend, scoring two tries, out of position, on the wing. McFadden also added his weight to the scrum whilst Chris Henry spent ten minutes in the sin bin, a real team player.

10. Paddy Jackson 7
Kicked 13 points with the boot, and looked assured in directing matters from fly-half. His partnership with Luke Marshall in the midfield bodes very well for the future, for both Ulster and Ireland.

9. Conor Murray 6
Still looking for form but he kept Ireland ticking. It was an easy run for Murray who will expect a far rougher ride from the Pumas should he retain his place.

1. David Kilcoyne 6
Substituted early in the second period but was generally solid in the set-piece before being replaced by first choice loose-head Cian Healy.

2. Sean Cronin 8
Cronin was a contender for the pick of the forwards, with an exceptional display in the loose. He drove over the whitewash from close range to cap an outstanding individual display, marred only by a few crooked throws.

3. Mike Ross 6
Not his best game in a green shirt, but essentially did as he was required to provide a secure platform at scrum-time. Ross will need to raise his game for Argentina by ten-fold, at least.

4. Donnacha O’Callaghan 7
Perhaps a surprise inclusion by Declan Kidney with the majority of the selection looking to the future but O’Callaghan nonetheless found himself in the thick of the action. The Munster lock was a key defensive pillar which thwarted the Fijian pack.

5. Daniel Tuohy 6
Back in the fold after missing the game against the Boks, he would have hoped to play his way into test contention, but was slightly less prominent than his second-row partner on this occasion.

6. Iain Henderson 8
This was a very mature performance for one so young. He carried well, and offered a useful alternative in the lineout. Henderson stood out in defence, and also provided a quality assist with a typically powerful run as the Fijians struggled to contain the rampaging Ulsterman.

7. John Muldoon 6
Spilled the ball with the line at his mercy in the first half, but did well in the main before going off with a nasty looking leg injury to be replaced by Chris Henry.

8. Jamie Heaslip (c) 8
Heaslip was rightly retained to captain this inexperienced Irish XV. He looked sharp with ball in hand, and on the ground. It was certainly an improvement on an average, by his standards, performance against the Boks.

Replacements – 7
Simon Zebo arrived on the hour and made an impact, sending Gilroy down the left wing for his second try of the evening. In the pack Cian Healy did his best to get under the noses of the frustrated Fijians and Chris Henry had a promising introduction but spent ten minutes on the sideline as the Irish pack lost focus momentarily in the third quarter.

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