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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 9 July, 2020

Here's how we rated Ireland in their swashbuckling four-try win over Scotland

Ireland’s flankers were tigerish bulldozers.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Rob Kearney – 6

Kearney was hungry to get the ball in his hands and didn’t just settle for garryowens, which was refreshing. But often he targeted bodies rather than space.

Tommy Bowe – 8

Didn’t get a whole lot of attacking space but that arching run early on created the platform for that crucial opening try. Unlucky that he stumbled after taking a pass from Payne in the second half, because the people of Ireland were denied another ‘Tommy BOOOOWWWWEEEEE’ moment.

Jared Payne – 8

A lovely swerving in-and-out line for his try was the highlight, but Payne created plenty of space through a variety of angles and show-and-goes.

Robbie Henshaw – 8

His performances up to now had been mainly about brawn – today he showed plenty of brains too. He linked well with Fitzgerald on the left and held the ball in two hands, constantly using his peripheral vision to spot support runners.

Luke Fitzgerald – 8

Justified his selection with a threatening performance. He looked likely to score on a few occasions, especially in the first half, and looked just as good as when he broke into the team in ’09.

Johnny Sexton – 7

Played a lot better than last week but those two poor misses from the tee are inexcusable.

Conor Murray – 8

After an off day last weekend, Murray dictated play well from the base of the ruck and varied the attack perfectly. His kicking game was strong too, marshalling the chasers around him.

Cian Healy – 6

He still isn’t back to his bulldozing best in the loose but his performance at the scrum was strong throughout.

Rory Best – 7

His throwing remains a weakness but there mightn’t be a better rucking hooker in world rugby.

Mike Ross – 6

A solid day at the scrum and popped up with the ball in hand a couple of times too but Moore looked better when he came on.

Devin Toner – 6

Hit a lot of rucks and looked more energised than he did last weekend.

Paul O’Connell – 8

From his early rumble over the line to his powerful carries through contact, the captain gave his all once again.

Peter O’Mahony – 9

O’Mahony must have belted out the anthem at half time because the Corkman was EVERYWHERE in the second half. Carried regularly and pounced on every Scotsman he could.

Sean O’Brien – 9

What can you say about his display of power at the ruck and in the loose except: should we call him the Tullow Tank or Carlow Cannonball?

Jamie Heaslip – 7

Made one error in judgement in attack in the second half but also stole the ball excellently in the first 40 and his try-saving tackle on Hogg could be the winning of the championship.

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