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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 9 March 2021
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Out of 10: How did you rate Ireland in their dominant four-try win over France?

James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Cian Healy and Garry Ringrose were all outstanding at the Aviva Stadium.

Ryan Bailey reports from the Aviva Stadium

THIS WAS MUCH more like it. Ireland delivered their best performance of the Six Nations campaign to put France to the sword in Dublin this afternoon, scoring four tries during an impressive display. 

Our match report is here, while below we take a closer look at the individual performances.

Jordan Larmour

7Our Rating

Thrust into the starting XV after Kearney's late withdrawal for his first Six Nations start. Settled nicely into his backfield role with a delightfully weighted kick in behind to provide the platform for Ireland's opening score, and although had a nervous moment in the air shortly after, was heavily involved throughout Ireland's dominant display, running a couple of superb decoy lines, notably for Sexton's try. Very nearly weaved his way through for a first home try, and overall, this was another important learning experience for the 21-year-old at this level.

6

Keith Earls

8Our Rating

Saw some early ball when cutting back inside and Ireland turned to his aerial ability on the right on numerous penalty advantages, only for Ramos to be equal to the task. Came off the wing to send through a perfectly-weighted kick into space during the second half, allowing Ringrose to swallow Dupont up and hand the hosts another attacking platform. From there, the Munster winger secured the bonus-point try, streaking through off a clever lineout move.

6

Garry Ringrose

9Our Rating

A return to the Ireland midfield after injury, Ringrose showed just why he has become such a lynchpin in the 13 jersey. Was desperately unlucky not to finish what would have been a virtuoso individual score after athletically collecting Sexton's bomb, just losing control of the ball as he slide for the line, but that took nothing away from his afternoon's work. Classy hands for Sexton's try, and what about the hit on Dupont early in the second half to force the turnover? Peerless in all aspects.

6

Bundee Aki

7Our Rating

Continues to be a big presence for Ireland in midfield, bringing plenty of power in possession, but a poor pass to Sexton and a sloppy knock-on in contact saw two try-scoring chances break down. No shortage of legwork around the park, making 11 carries and beating three defenders. 

6

Jacob Stockdale

7Our Rating

An unusually quiet afternoon for the Ulster winger. Didn't see a huge amount of the ball but looked lively any time he got his hands on it, and did well in a couple of aerial contests on this near side during the first half.

6

Johnny Sexton

7Our Rating

The Sexton wraparound worked a treat, and boy did Johnny enjoy it. The out-half's first Test try since crossing against Canada in the 2015 World Cup, ending a run of 30 games without scoring. Landed three of his four placekicks before taking a breather for the final 20 minutes. Replaced by Connacht's Jack Carty.

6

Conor Murray

7Our Rating

It's unusual to see Murray replaced with 20 minutes left on the clock, but that was more to give John Cooney further exposure in the green shirt, rather than a reflection of Murray's own performance. Still not back to top form, evidenced by a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes, but his delivery was much better as Ireland enjoyed front-foot ball.

6

Cian Healy

8Our Rating

Healy was 'on it' from the outset here, looking fit and sharp throughout an excellent 50-minute performance. Made his impact felt both in the tight and loose, while showing excellent law knowledge when coming through to dive on the ball on the French line. Unlucky not to get the score his ingenuity deserved. 

6

Rory Best

7Our Rating

The captain's final home Six Nations game. Back into the front row after sitting out in Rome, Best got his side off to the perfect start with a strong finish off a maul for his 10th international try.

6

Tadhg Furlong

8Our Rating

A shuddering clean out of Lambey early in the piece set the tone for Ireland's dominance in the contact area, and Furlong maintained that level of brutal physicality all afternoon before being replaced by John Ryan. 

6

Iain Henderson

9Our Rating

Back into the second row, and straight back to his best. Both he and Ryan looked every bit of the partnership they have promised to be, working in tandem to great effect at the lineout and indeed in the loose. The Ulster man, consistently doing the dog work of supporting the carrier, then showed his worth on the other side of the ball as he stripped France of possession to create the opening for Conan's try just before the break.

6

James Ryan

9Our Rating

Obscenely good, and continues to deliver performances of outstanding quality week-on-week. His spine-busting hit on Dupont was one of countless big involvements. Carried 17 times for 18 metres, made 13 tackles and was named man of the match. Immense.

6

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Peter O'Mahony

7Our Rating

Never backed down, got through a mountain of work and produced two trademark jackal turnovers for good measure. Showed the other side of his game, too, with the lesser-seen tip-on pass back for JVDF in the first half. Ensured Ireland's intensity never waned. 

6

Josh van der Flier

6Our Rating

Cruelly forced off with what appeared to be another knee issue, suffering the same fate as befell the Leinster openside in Paris 12 months ago. 

6

CJ Stander

9Our Rating

Stander's stats of 18 carries for 32 metres simply do not do justice to the utter damage he inflicted on the French defence here. Incredibly vocal during every stoppage in play, the Munster number eight - who shifted to openside - led from the front, running over blue shirts with pure disdain, showing absolutely no ill-effects from the nasty facial injury he suffered against France on the opening week. Topped the tackle charts with 15, while the inside pass to send Earls skating through was exquisite. Relentless. 

6

Replacements:

Jack Conan: 8

Off the bench and into the action earlier than expected after JVDF’s injury, but he wasted no time in making an impact. Often does so much unseen work, and continued his prolific try-scoring record with his sixth score in 13 Tests. 

Dave Kilcoyne: 7

Replaced Healy on 50 minutes and, again, brought power and energy off the bench. The Munster loosehead has surged up Schmidt’s pecking order with four strong performances during this championship.

John Ryan: 7

Ensured Ireland stayed on the front foot at the set-piece upon his arrival.

Ultan Dillane: 7

Thoroughly deserving of his place on the bench after a string of strong cameos for club and country, and he came up trumps with a lineout steal as France finishing the game strongly.

Niall Scannell, John Cooney, Jack Carty and Andrew Conway: 7

It was great to see both Cooney and Carty get 20-minute shifts here, the latter — on for his home debut — executing two excellent kicks from hand after coming on for Sexton. Conway got on late for his 12th cap after earning a call-up to the matchday 23 on the back of Kearney’s injury.

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Ryan Bailey

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