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How the Ireland players rated as Rhys Ruddock stars in bonus point win over Russia

Rhys Ruddock was Ireland's star performer against Russia.
Rhys Ruddock was Ireland's star performer against Russia.

By Michael Sadlier

Ireland were less than convincing in Thursday's bonus point win over Russia, but how did the individual players perform?

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Here are our player ratings for the 35-0 success in Kobe:

Starting XV

Rob Kearney 6: Ran a really good line for yet another try but then there was that horrible missed high ball. His black eye was no excuse for not owning that.

Andrew Conway 5: Quiet enough for long periods. An early touch saw him slice the ball out. Still, he did race clear to score Ireland's vital bonus-point try.

Garry Ringrose 5: Forced to go yet another 80 minutes. He too was fairly quiet (was he trying to save energy?) before then scoring the fifth and final Irish try.

Bundee Aki 4: Back in the side and seemed, at times, to be trying too hard to make an impact. Conditions weren't easy but he kept coughing up ball.

Keith Earls 6: Gave Conway the assist and there was one great break through traffic. His bid to latch onto a Sexton cross-kick was always too big an ask.

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Johnny Sexton 7: The skipper just did a half before being tactically replaced. He made O'Mahony's score. Ireland weren't the same without him.

Luke McGrath 5: Went the distance as Murray wasn't to be risked. Not a particularly controlled effort and struggled to make an impact in the humid conditions.

Dave Kilcoyne 6: A few of the familiar barrelling runs but Ireland's scrum wasn't the dominant force that was expected and he coughed up a set-piece penalty.

Niall Scannell 4: A chance to put some pressure on Best wasn't fully taken. Got through a fair amount of work but, again, the basics weren't ideal.

John Ryan 4: Helped Ruddock over the line. Made a few carries but, as with his front-row colleagues, the scrums should have been better.

Tadhg Beirne 5: Ireland's leading ball carrier, he also put in a lot of defensive work too and provided one nice strip late on. Left just before the end.

Jean Kleyn 4: There, presumably, as a scrummaging workhorse, his lack of visibility told a tale of possible fatigue in the heat or just not being up for it.

Rhys Ruddock 7: Huge work rate to tempt Schmidt over his usefulness, he nabbed man of the match though there were few challengers. Fourteen tackles too.

Peter O'Mahony 6: This was more like himself, being a nuisance around the park and even claimed only his second ever Test try. Had to go the full distance though.

Jordi Murphy 4: Put Kearney through the gap for the first try but then, after only flying out, he picked up a knock which forced him off. Them's the breaks.


CJ Stander had to go for far longer than was the original idea and was mixed, but still better than against Japan. Jack Carty helped make Conway's key score but he, too, looked at odds with the game, while Iain Henderson just kept losing the ball. Jordan Larmour looked, well, not the most confident either. 4

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