This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 22 May, 2018
Advertisement

#IreFIJ: How Ireland’s new-look team rated this evening

There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful after the 53-0 win over Fiji in Limerick.

Simon Zebo congratulates Craig Gilroy after his second try.
Simon Zebo congratulates Craig Gilroy after his second try.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Denis Hurley 6 - Looked solid in defence as he quelled some of Fiji’s more expansive breaks. Played a key role in McFadden’s first try.

Fergus McFadden 8 - A great showing from a man pounding on the first-team door. Great strength for two tries and played flanker while Chris Henry was in the sin bin.

Darren Cave 7 – Started excellently as he combined well with Marshall and sent McFadden clear in the first-half. Scored a nice, jinking try but performance faded in the second half.

Luke Marshall 8 – A superb outing from the 21-year-old who was chiefly responsible for keeping Ireland ticking in the first half. Set up Gilroy’s first and rounded the evening off with a try.

Craig Gilroy 9 – Named on the left wing but started on the right. Comfortable under the high ball and pace to burn. 80-metre breakaway try capped a hat-trick debut and a man-of-the-match performance.

Paddy Jackson 7 – Looked sharp in attack and brave in tackling some big Fijian units. Reverse passing out of the Sexton school. Made difficult conversions but missed a few simple ones.

Conor Murray 6 – Was sharp in setting up McFadden for his first try and tackled doggedly. Guilty of not being quick enough with distribution. Recovered well from a spear tackle before Paul Marshall appeared.

Dave Kilcoyne 6 – Penalised for some illegal binding at the scrum. Did not let himself down but not too many chances with ball in hand to show his worth.

Sean Cronin 9 – Pushed Gilroy very hard for the official ‘best player’ award. Bulled over for a try and set up Muldoon for a gimme he did not take. Solid lineout throws and committed second-half defence.

Sean Cronin tackles Fiji’s Vereniki Goneva. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

Mike Ross 7 – Was asked to put in another long shift and did so in typical, doughty fashion. Front row did not dominate but Ross carried well throughout.

Donncha O’Callaghan 7 – Was the livelier of the second rows and made some valuable carries in the first half as Ireland pressed. Will be happy with the 80-minute outing.

Dan Tuohy 6 – Jumped well in the lineout and battled manfully at the coalface. A tough game for forwards to gain much notice and will not threaten McCarthy for a starting spot against Argentina.

Iain Henderson – 8 Industrial and committed throughout. Showed good awareness to poach a wayward lineout and break upfield. Great steal on the Fijian scrum-half on the Irish tryline and set up Marshall for his late try.

John Muldoon 6 – Mucked in for his team and denied Fiji the quick ball they crave so much. Damaged his leg in a collision with Murray and was stretchered off early in the second-half.

Jamie Heaslip 7 – Will benefit from this outing ahead of a big test next week. Pack-hunted Fijians with Henderson and O’Callaghan in turn. Crucial role played in McFadden’s second try.

Replacements

Richardt Strauss 6 – His lineout throwing was much improved and he enjoyed himself in a 20 minute appearance. Defended well as Fiji pressed in the closing stages.

Cian Healy 5 – Was penalised for holding on as he tried to make a running impact. Got involved in some needless pushing and cribbing with Tatanavou in the last 10 minutes.

Michael Bent 5 – Made his presence felt when he came on and got the attention of referee Hodges. Another game in green under his belt.

Chris Henry 6 – Would have rated higher for 17 great, foraging minutes but his yellow card for illegal entry into the breakdown slowed the Irish freight train.

Paul Marshall 6 – Came on too late to truly influence proceedings but played a key role in Gilroy’s second try and kept his team moving.

Simon Zebo 6 – Another effective cameo from a replacement. His best contribution was haring onto a Jackson pass to set Gilroy free for his second try.

Mike McCarthy – Replaced Heaslip but not on long enough to rate.

As it happened: Ireland v Fiji, November internationals

Kidney happy with selection headache after stunning displays by McFadden and Gilroy

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

Read next:

COMMENTS (31)