After a very difficult first half, Ireland ran out comfortable winners in their second Autumn International, running up a scoreline of 49-7 against Georgia. Did any players impress ahead of Australia next week? Here are our ratings for the Ireland team:
15. Felix Jones 8/10
A willing runner throughout the game, Jones was one of the only backs that looked dangerous in a stilted and limited first half going forward for Ireland. Took his late try in the right corner well, and was accomplished throughout. Ran over for a second try a few minutes after his first, following a long, flowing move which Jones finished off nicely.
14. Craig Gilroy 6/10
Limited opportunities in the first half, but broke into full stride a couple of times. Knocked on when Ireland were coming into the 22, but the pass was hardly stellar from Cave. Improved in the second period, as the Georgia started to tire, and took the ball up well against tight defence in the 22. Will be disappointed he didn’t see as much space as he might have anticipated.
13. Darren Cave 6/10
Didn’t see very much ball in the first half, but had a nice break on the right with an intelligent kick through. Worked hard throughout and saw out the full 80 minutes. Will be slightly disappointed with the lack of penetration with ball in hand, especially given the opportunities available late on.
12. Gordon D’Arcy 7/10
A solid return from injury for D’Arcy, and a useful run out in a bid to get his fitness back up to the levels needed for Australia next week. Probably did enough to secure his starting spot for the last of the Autumn Internationals. But who will play outside him, Henshaw or Payne?
11. Simon Zebo 7/10
Georgia didn’t allow Ireland very much clean ball in the first half, so Zebo didn’t get too many chances to shine. One nice pirouette showed his capabilities, but nothing more. Finished off a try in the second half that was bread and butter stuff for the Munster man.
10. Ian Madigan 8/10
Always looking to go forward, Madigan had a lively game at 10 – and took the majority of his kicks. A really accomplished performance from the Leinster man, as he orchestrated the attacks in the last 20 minutes that saw Ireland put up a real score. Will be looking forward to making an impression if he gets on against the Wallabies.
9. Eoin Reddan 7/10
Captain for the day, Reddan was constantly trying to provide speedy service but the ruck and support play wasn’t there from the team and it effected his ability to quicken Irish play. Georgia spoiled well in this regard. He fell off a tackle for Georgia’s only score, but will be generally pleased with his performance. Replaced by Marmion, who had a much easier time of it as the Georgians were out on their feet at that stage.
1. Dave Kilcoyne 7/10
Ireland had some problems up front in the first half against the strong scrummaging Georgians. Kilcoyne contributed well to the general play, but the pack’s inability to get quick ball to the backs was a problem for all the first period. Powered over well for Ireland’s first try after 42 minutes, and generally showed the running abilities that we know he is capable of.
2. Richardt Strauss 6/10
Struggled along with the rest of the Irish pack to get fully on top in the first half, but he enjoyed the second half as Georgia tired. He scored Ireland’s second try, as Ireland mauled themselves unstoppably towards the try line. Won’t be enough to win the starting spot from Cronin or Best for Australia you feel, but he will be happy enough with his performance.
3. Mike Ross 6/10
Taken off after just six minutes of the second half, Ross was being spared for next week and the challenge of Australia, no doubt. A solid if unspectacular performance from the Leinster tight head – and the Irish scrum was under some pressure in the first half.
4. Dave Foley 8/10
Carried all day long, and was deservedly awarded the man of the match. Munster’s lock made his debut today, and looked right at home on the international stage – even taking the responsibility to call the lineouts. To win the man of the match award on your first cap is quite the achievement.
5. Mike McCarthy 6/10
A typical McCarthy performance – willing runner and always present in defence. Will be frustrated at the first half, as will all the Irish pack, but came into it more after half time.
6. Dominic Ryan 7/10
Showed some nice touches in open play, the Leinster man popped up all over the pitch in the first half. Kept going into the second half and did well playing in the more unfamiliar no.6 position. A fine interntional debut for the Leinster man.
7. Tommy O’Donnell 6/10
Knocked on as the line was beckoning in the first half, but ran good support lines and put in his tackles.
8. Robbie Diack 6/10
Carried well at times in the Georgia 22. Took the ball at the tail of the lineout that led to the Strauss try in the second half. Replaced after 60 minutes, and was a physcial presence throughout.
16. Sean Cronin
Carried phenomenally well following his second half introduction. Easily the most impactful player off the bench – as usual.
18. Rodney Ah You
The Connacht prop replaced Mike Ross early in the second half, and put himself about well.
20. Robin Copeland
Made a few nice offloads after coming on to make his international bow, and carried well for his 20 minutes.
23. Stuart Olding
Ran in a fine try after coming on late. Looks like an exciting option going forward for Ireland.