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Player ratings: How did you rate Ireland in their Cardiff horror show?

It’s hard to remember a worse Irish performance in the Joe Schmidt era.

A TOUGH WATCH. A horribly disjointed, error-strewn and indisciplined performance from Joe Schmidt’s Ireland saw them end this Six Nations championship as they started it — this time, they were utterly dominated by Wales, who surged to a third Grand Slam under Warren Gatland.

A 25-7 humiliation in Cardiff was one of the worst Ireland performances in the Schmidt era, and below we painfully rate the individual contributions — or lack thereof — from those in green.

Rob Kearney

5Our Rating

The great irony, of course, was that Wales thrived in the wet conditions that Schmidt insisted on. Ireland, on the other hand, completely floundered and thus the backline barely had a touch. Harsh to pull the fullback up for his positional play for Parkes' try, given he was dragged out to the right as Ireland scrambled, but was unable to cover back across. 

6

Keith Earls

5Our Rating

Didn't do a whole lot wrong, but through no fault of his own, didn't do a whole lot either. The Munster winger did well to scramble back, collect the slippery ball and win a relieving pressure off Josh Adams early doors.

6

Garry Ringrose

5Our Rating

Poor first attacking involvement as he offloaded directly back to the Welsh defence when Ireland looked for a foothold back into the game after Parkes' first-minute try. A quiet game from the usually influential Ringrose. 

6

Bundee Aki

5Our Rating

See above. Worked hard, but utterly outshone by his fellow Kiwi centre Parkes. 

6

Jacob Stockdale

5Our Rating

It could have been a very different afternoon had Stockdale managed to escape the clutches of Parkes after collecting Sexton's cross-field penalty to surge down the left. Was tested in the air on multiple occasions, but generally fronted up well under pressure from Liam Williams. 

6

Johnny Sexton

3Our Rating

Ireland's kicking game was horrendous, no more so than in the opening exchanges of the second half when Sexton sliced an up-and-under off his right boot and straight into touch and then kicked a restart dead after Anscombe had stretched Wales' lead to 19. The out-half's frustration was evident throughout again, but he was as culpable as anyone. See his pass into touch when Ireland pushed for a lifeline. A horror show.

6

Conor Murray

3Our Rating

Still a long, long way off his best. Caught out of position for the opening try, where he should have been providing cover behind the ruck to mop up Anscombe's kick in behind, while a horrendously skewed kick out on the full pretty much summed up his afternoon, and championship. 

6

Cian Healy

3Our Rating

The Irish scrum came under monumental pressure and simply buckled in the face of a Welsh onslaught. Healy conceded four penalties. Replaced by Dave Kilcoyne on the hour mark.

6

Rory Best

3Our Rating

Not the Six Nations farewell he wanted. Ireland's lineout, like all aspects of their performance, completely malfunctioned. Best's throwing was awry from the get-go. A penny for Sean Cronin's thoughts as he watched this. 

6

Tadhg Furlong

5Our Rating

Made some uncharacteristic and costly errors, while being penalised by referee Angus Gardner at scrum-time. Not his best showing in an Ireland shirt, but the same could be said for many of his team-mates.  

6

James Ryan

5Our Rating

Hard to remember a less effective showing from the Leinster second row. An excellent lineout steal in the first half was the one bright note, but this was a steep learning curve for Ryan as he called the Ireland lineout for the first time. 

6

Tadhg Beirne

5Our Rating

Beirne's performance was arguably the only positive to take from a chastening afternoon in Cardiff. A first Six Nations start and he wasted little time in displaying his trademark turnover ability, claiming a brilliant steal five metres from Ireland's line in the first half. 

6

Peter O'Mahony

5Our Rating

Emptied the tank but his influence was completely nullified by the Welsh back row. Just two carries and two tackles in 80 minutes.

6

Sean O'Brien

3Our Rating

Not the impact he had hoped to make after being dropped for France. Five carries and eight tackles are the only notable takeaways from a fairly non-descript 50-minute cameo, before he was hooked for Jack Conan. Will we see him again in green?

6

CJ Stander

4Our Rating

Had no joy in getting over the gainline and was one of several players who endured a nightmare out there. The quick tap and knock-on in the first half was a moment to forget. 

6

Replacements:

Conan, Kilcoyne, Scannell, Porter, Roux, Larmour, Marmion and Carty were all introduced by Schmidt at different junctures during the second half. Could do little to reverse Ireland’s fortunes or change the outcome.

Larmour’s late try avoided the whitewash and saw the Leinster fullback score his first Six Nations try, but it was merely a consolation.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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