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Ireland player ratings in disastrous Rugby World Cup defeat to Japan

Jacob Stockdale reacts to Ireland's shocking loss to Japan.
Jacob Stockdale reacts to Ireland's shocking loss to Japan.

Ireland's Rugby World Cup campaign suffered a huge blow in the Shizuoka Stadium on Saturday morning when Japan ran out deserved 19-12 winners in the Pool A clash.

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So how did the Ireland players rate?

Starting XV

Rob Kearney 6: Scored Ireland's second try, incredible to think that they wouldn't register thereafter. Claimed a few kicks but knocked backwards.

Jacob Stockdale 5: Had to be alert to stop one early Japanese dart in behind but made little or no attacking impact after one break outside.

Garry Ringrose 7: Ireland's best player early on but faded from the contest as the hosts starved Ireland of ball.

Chris Farrell 7: Looked set to have a real role for Ireland in a strong opening quarter but was confined to defence from there on.

Keith Earls 6: His first game back, decent in the first-half and saved Luke McGraths's blushes but knocked on in the process. Fitting.

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Jack Carty 6: Summed up Ireland, everything looked to be going fine but accuracy deserted him over the final portion of his day.

Conor Murray 5: Lacked anything like the control of a week ago as Ireland looked rushed in their possession. Gave up three penalties.

Cian Healy 5: Having been the most talked about player in the build-up, was the first called ashore. Japanese scrum much, much better than advertised.

Rory Best 5: The best play on the field was a hooker, but not Rory Best. Two lost lineouts key points in the game.

Tadhg Furlong 5: Coughed up possession and couldn't get purchase at scrum time where he unusually was seen to give away a penalty.

Iain Henderson 6: Not the day he'll have been expecting as he quickly found himself into a defensive battle in a flagging battle.

James Ryan 8: Still Ireland's best player over the 80 minutes, even on a day when that carried little weight.

Peter O'Mahony 5: Tested the patience of referee Angus Gardner throughout, managing only one turnover to compensate.

Josh van der Flier 6: Saved a try before things really began to unravel but Ireland were blown out of it at the breakdown.

CJ Stander 5: Ireland generated no momentum, and it's not fair to put that on all his shoulders, but made only an average impact.


On a day when Ireland visibly tired early into the game, the relied upon impact from the bench never game. There was some physicality added from the likes of Tadhg Beirne and Dave Kilcoyne but plenty of mistakes too. The sight of Joey Carbery booting the ball out of play after the hooter either in error or to protect a losing bonus point summed up the muddle of the final hour. 4

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