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Ireland 32-18 England player ratings: Hugo Keenan and Robbie Henshaw make British & Irish Lions cases

4 min read

How the players on both teams rated out of 10 as Ireland finished off their 2021 Six Nations campaign with an impressive performance to defeat England 32-18 at the Aviva Stadium

Robbie Henshaw was named man of the match in Ireland's win over England

Robbie Henshaw was named man of the match in Ireland’s win over England

We look at how Ireland and England’s players rated out of 10 as the hosts triumphed in the Six Nations clash in Dublin…

Ireland player ratings

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Hugo Keenan: He was fantastic under high balls and was everywhere during a top-class display. A possible Lions bolter, particularly with Warren Gatland watching this game. 8/10

Keith Earls: An opportunistic try – his 34th on the international stage – puts him a small step closer to Brian O’Driscoll’s Ireland record of 46 and he was unlucky to be denied another. 7

Robbie Henshaw: He finishes as arguably Ireland’s player of the tournament. Always a bright, willing runner and another exceptional display should strengthen his Lions chances. 9

Bundee Aki: He was a little unlucky with the red card for a dangerous tackle on Billy Vunipola which left his team in the lurch, but it did not prove too costly. 5

Jacob Stockdale: He slipped back in seamlessly on his first Test outing of 2021 but there was some evidence of rustiness and he could have done more to deny Youngs’ try. 6

Johnny Sexton: Led his country to their best display of the Andy Farrell era. Reliable as ever with the boot too, kicking a remarkable 22 points. 8

Conor Murray's kicking game caused England problems Conor Murray’s kicking game caused England problems

Conor Murray: Pulled the strings at scrum-half and his kicking game continually put Ireland in strong positions. A late yellow card blotted his copybook slightly. 7

Dave Kilcoyne: Unfortunate to have only his third Six Nations start cut short by a head injury after just 20 minutes. 5

Rob Herring: The hooker ended a solid tournament with another substantial contribution. His long line-out throw caught out England and helped free Earls to score. 7

Tadhg Furlong: A fine job to limit Mako Vunipola and appears to be back to his best following year-long injury issues. 8

Jack Conan was among the try-scorers for Ireland Jack Conan was among the try-scorers for Ireland

Iain Henderson: He went about his business in the second row with little fuss. An influential showing helped Ireland cope with James Ryan’s absence. 7

Tadhg Beirne: Another player who Lions boss Warren Gatland will struggle to ignore. An absolute monster in the engine room and brilliant at the breakdown. 8

CJ Stander: Quietly efficient on his farewell appearance before international retirement and the win was a fitting way to finish. He will certainly be missed by Ireland. 7

Josh van der Flier: A sound and satisfactory afternoon from the hard-working flanker. Ripping the ball off Billy Vunipola was a highlight for him. 7

Jack Conan: Produced a statement performance to celebrate his first Test start for 15 months. Conan came up with a deft assist for Earls’ score before scoring one of his own. 8


Replacements: Cian Healy was thrown on early due to Kilcoyne’s injury and, as expected, was a more than able deputy. Such was Ireland’s dominance, the rest of the bench were given little time to impress. 7

England player ratings

Elliot Daly: He must have cursed his luck when Max Malins was ruled out by injury and he had to switch to full-back late on. It was a shaky display at 15 from him too. 5/10

Anthony Watson: A star of a disappointing Six Nations for England, but the Bath winger was denied any meaningful ball. 6

Jonny May scored a try, but it was little consolation for England Jonny May scored a try, but it was little consolation for England

Ollie Lawrence: Handed a start due to England’s late reshuffle, the centre was given more opportunities to make an impact than previously. However, his runs failed to dent Ireland. 5

Owen Farrell: Disappeared for a head injury assessment in the second half and did not return. The captain was unable to impose himself on Ireland in any capacity. 5

Jonny May: A late try failed to mask a disappointing afternoon for the Gloucester wing who operated in a misfiring backline. 5

George Ford: England’s pack was overpowered, giving fly-half Ford a poor platform from which to operate. 5

Ben Youngs' try could not help spark a comeback for England Ben Youngs’ try could not help spark a comeback for England

Ben Youngs: The scrum-half darted over for a try which hinted at sparking a comeback, but he came off worst against an inspired Ireland. 6

Mako Vunipola: The prop was substituted at half-time after giving away successive scrum penalties which saw Ireland gain the ascendancy. 4

Luke Cowan-Dickie: Handed a start again after the win over France, he was another to make way at half-time as England conducted urgent repairs to their front row. 4

Kyle Sinckler: The prop was a shining light in a pack which was otherwise over-run. Sinckler carried hard and was full of fight. 7

Maro Itoje and England struggled against Ireland in Dublin Maro Itoje and England struggled against Ireland in Dublin

Maro Itoje: Even the Saracens colossus came off second best as Ireland emptied the tanks. 6

Charlie Ewels: England’s line-out and breakdown started well, but Ewels was present for the forwards’ collapse. 5

Mark Wilson: He put in a big shift full of low-key interventions but could not stop the dam bursting. 5

Tom Curry: The bulldozing flanker suffered with his team-mates and was unable to make much of an impression. 6

Billy Vunipola: It was an ineffectual performance following his impressive display against France from the No 8, who was eventually concussed during a high tackle and departed. 5

Replacements: Ellis Genge played with controlled fury after coming on at half-time and there were fine moments from Ben Earl. 6



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