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Ireland v USA player ratings: Tom O'Toole sparkles as Rob Baloucoune an instant crowd favourite

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Ireland's Tom O'Toole celebrates after an impressive debut performance. Pic: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ireland's Tom O'Toole celebrates after an impressive debut performance. Pic: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ireland's Tom O'Toole celebrates after an impressive debut performance. Pic: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ireland eased past the USA on Saturday evening with six Ulster players in the squad.

Here are our match ratings as Robert Baloucoune and Tom O'Toole were the pick of the northern bunch...

Hugo Keenan - Reliable excellence, crowned by fine try. Another howler here like last week but few will remember them. 7

Robert Baloucoune - Never mind the time of his debut try, remember the date. Already crowd favourite. 7

James Hume – Excellent debut and rare ability to pass competently off both sides; two stunners off his left. 6

Stuart McCloskey – May have to wait another year for next cap given midfield logjam but signed off with try 5

Andrew Conway – After slipping off international radar, 40 minutes here won’t rescue him despite bright moments 4

Joey Carbery – Improved display despite usual variety. Heartening to have him back but Sexton will not be fretting on past week’s evidence. 6

Craig Casey – Arguably the dominant half-back. Fine effort. 7

Dave Kilcoyne – Direct running caused havoc for hapless US side and adds usual ballast to front-row. 5

Ronan Kelleher – Dominant try-scorer from marauding maul could still be Lions bound. 8

Tom O'Toole – Sparkling debut, superb in loose and unfairly pinged for scrum pen. 7

Ryan Baird – Coaches will be eager to see him throve against sterner opponents. Could have carried and tackled better. 6

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James Ryan – Still difficult to know why, apart from proving a point to Warren Gatland, Ireland did not give injury-prone Ryan the month off. 5

Caelan Doris – Uncertain effort at times with the ball in hand and cost side tries which didn’t matter ultimately in shambolic exercise. Strong opening defensive period. 7

Nick Timoney – Difficult to gauge from this miserable opposition whether he has the heft or wit to tackle sterner tests. 5

Gavin Coombes – Outstanding, try-scoring effort; his restart and delayed draw and pass on the short-side to Conway one of many highlights. Will be trusted in a real test? 8

Replacements:

Will Addison – Busy player whose skills have been sorely absent from a team seemingly intent on playing. Needs to remain injury-free. 4

Paul Boyle – Wonderful journey may temporarily end here as few immediate return opportunities await. 4

Harry Byrne – No chance to press claims as contest had disintegrated by time of his arrival. Boot not reliable. 4

Dave Heffernan – Remains an emergency option for coaches. 4

Ed Byrne – Will hope to kick on to challenge for World Cup contention. 4

Fineen Wycherley – Will have learned much from fortnight at this level. 5

Caolin Blade – Nice pass in build-up to late Keenan try. 4

Finlay Bealham – Against 14 men, that Ireland waited until securing 64-3 lead in 73rd minute to draft Connacht man is bad news for and brings better tidings for O’Toole.

Andy Farrell – Difficult to escape the conclusion that his selection could have been more subtle in last eight days. A few missed opportunities. 6


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