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How the Ireland players rated in historic win over South Africa

Ratings by Jonathan Bradley

Ireland crushed South Africa 38-3 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday in a sterling display at the Aviva Stadium.

But how did the individual players perform? Jonathan Bradley casts his eye over each of them:

Ireland player ratings

Rob Kearney: Can be excused of looking a little ring rusty. Was bailed out by his Leinster team-mate Robbie Henshaw after one aerial miscue. 6

Andrew Conway: Handled the step up in opposition with aplomb. Was well worth his first Test try and made plenty of impact down the right wing. 8

Robbie Henshaw: Shunted out to 13, where he has performed well for Leinster, and was a key figure again in a defensive performance. 7

Bundee Aki: Took all of 60 seconds to show he was ready for the Test arena as he started off his Ireland career with some shuddering hits. 7

Jacob Stockdale: The Ulster winger seems to step up each and every time it’s required. Most of play was down the other wing but still found a way to make impact. 8

Big impact: Jacob Stockdale scores his try against South Africa

Johnny Sexton: Named as man-of-the-match and the out-half was once again the man with his hand on the tiller in a truly commanding performance. 9

Conor Murray: Understanding with Sexton still in full flow and Murray was well up for the defensive fight. Box-kicking though below his lofty standards. 7

Cian Healy: Resurgence continues with another strong showing. Irish scrum had the upper hand and showed up in the carrying game too. 8

Rory Best: With a few weeks training under his belt the captain was back on song. Brilliant on the deck and the line-out ran smoothly as well. 8

Tadhg Furlong: On paper his tete-a-tete with Tendei “The Beast” Mtawarira looked challenging but the Lions Test tighthead had no problems locking down the scrum. 8

Iain Henderson: Clip of him running through Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth will get plenty of airings on social media but plenty more to admire too. 9

Devin Toner: Was finger-tips away from the most unlikely of intercept scores and quietly had a busy day at the office. Another strong shift. 7

Peter O'Mahony: Tough to overstate what he brings to Ireland’s line-out play as a back-rower but left the game as the team’s only real injury concern. 7

Sean O'Brien: No surprise that he was up for the physical battle and he was key to Ireland’s ability to slow South African ball come ruck time. 8

CJ Stander: Seems silly to say given the winning margin, but his turnover on the half hour mark was a real key mark in the game. Back near last season’s levels. 8

RUGBYU Ir (17).jpg
Ireland's CJ Stander and South Africa's Tendai Mtawarira during the Autumn International at the Aviva Stadium.


Rhys Ruddock (for O’Mahony, 50): Scored (right) and produced big turnover. 5

Dave Kilcoyne (for Healy, 66): Kept set-piece superiority. 7

Rob Herring (for Best, 66): Crossed for try. 8

John Ryan (for Furlong, 70): Schmidt can count on him. 7

Kieran Marmion (for Murray, 70): Maintained tempo during final flourish. 7

Darren Sweetnam (for Kearney, 74): Got involved well. 7

Joey Carbery (for Sexton, 74): Notable conversions.  7

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