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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 16 July, 2018
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How we rated Ireland in their encouraging win over Scotland

Stander, Heaslip and Sexton were particularly impressive against Scotland.

Jonathan Sexton in action against Scotland.
Jonathan Sexton in action against Scotland.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

IRELAND PRODUCED ARGUABLY their most complete performance since the World Cup as they ended the Six Nations campaign with a win over Scotland. Read our match report here.

Simon Zebo: 8

Was never given the opportunity to show his explosive ability but was faultless at fullback and produced a solid display. Was guilty of an uncharacteristic handling error in the second-half with Ireland in a good position.

Andrew Trimble: 7

Was involved in Ireland’s most fluent move after the break and very nearly scored but for a last-gasp intervention from Duncan Weir. Was solid under the high ball.

Jared Payne: 7

Rarely directly involved with ball in hand but he put in a good shift and made a couple of telling tackles.

Robbie Henshaw: 7

Set the tone with a low, drilled kick in behind the Scottish defence with just a couple of minutes on the board and is growing in stature at this level with each appearance.

Keith Earls: 8

The Munster man marked his 50th appearance with his 17th international try and was lively throughout, most notably when he looked to come in off the wing. Was gifted his try by confusion in the Scottish defence but he persisted and got his reward.

Jonathan Sexton: 9

His afternoon ended in the sin-bin but Sexton was outstanding from the outset. His kick into the corner with just a minute on the clock penned the Scots back and the Leinster out-half played with real authority. His delicate left-foot kick for Earls’ try oozed class and it was a measure of his performance that he receiving a standing ovation after being shown yellow.

Conor Murray: 7

Got his name on the scoresheet, for his third try of the championship, and was typically busy throughout until coming off late on. His half-back partnership with Sexton is flourishing again and gives huge grounds for optimism heading into the summer.

Jack McGrath: 7

McGrath once again showed why he is now ahead of Cian Healy in the pecking order with a powerful display. He made combative carries and was unwavering in the scrum.

Rory Best: 6

Not the captain’s finest performance and was guilty of shooting up in the build-up to Richie Gray’s try. He completely misread the break and raced up to allow the Scottish flanker walk it in under the posts.

Mike Ross: 5

There’s never any doubt Ross will be a reliable performer at the set-piece but you can’t help but think back to Stuart Hogg’s try and the prop left helpless in midfield.

Donnacha Ryan: 7

Heaslip was named MOTM but Ryan wasn’t far behind with a combative display in the second row. Made a couple of purposeful runs and was strong in defence.

Devin Toner: 7

Toner’s first international try for Ireland settled the contest. Excellent in the lineout and carried well.

CJ Stander: 9

Schmidt reserved special praise for the Munster back-rower afterwards and it was certainly justified. He made 22 big carries, racking up 33 metres, and scored the all-important opening try.

Tommy O’Donnell: 7

An impressive return to the side and he was part of a dominant back row. He made 11 tackles but was pinged on several occasions by the referee at the breakdown.

Jamie Heaslip: 9

Was named the man of the match and it was hard to argue with that choice as Heaslip is beginning to rediscover his best form. His offload for Toner to score under the posts was special.

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Heaslip underlines importance to Ireland with complete display against Scots

Back row dominant, defensive work-ons and more Ireland talking points

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Ryan Bailey

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