Ireland player ratings after defeat to Japan

Here’s how the players rated in the aftermath of a hugely disappointing result and performance for Ireland in Shizuoka.

Ireland player ratings after defeat to Japan

Here’s how the players rated in the aftermath of a hugely disappointing result and performance for Ireland in Shizuoka. It’s the biggest shock of the tournament since 2015, with another massive Japanese performance stealing the headlines and rightly coming away with a well-deserved win.

Cian Healy 4/10

On a deeply embarrassing day for Ireland, Healy was solid without being spectacular. He scrummaged quite well - even penalised harshly on one occasion - but didn’t really show up around the field in. Looked a tired man when he came off on 45 minutes but he was far from alone in that regard.

Rory Best 3/10

The Irish captain provided a tonne of answers last week but will find himself looking at a whole new set of questions in the aftermath of this performance. Two lineout overthrows were a low-light - and to be fair, he did seem to be getting running repairs on his thumb during the game - but this was a poor hit out on his 100th start.

Tadhg Furlong 4/10

Furlong looked like a guy who was desperately trying to get going at multiple points in this game but just couldn’t get the purchase he needed. Some decent carries aside, this was one of Furlong’s poorest games in green. A common enough theme.

Iain Henderson 4/10

It’s a credit to Japan - or maybe a discredit to the Irish halfbacks - that we never got to see Henderson carrying where he’s most dangerous. That aside, this was as quiet as I’ve seen Henderson at test level.

James Ryan 4/10

James Ryan is one of the best second rows on the planet but you wouldn’t know it looking at this one. His effort was unquestioned with ball in hand but he was constantly frustrated by excellent Japanese defence.

Peter O’Mahony 3/10

There wasn’t much in the way of positives from O’Mahony in this game - one breakdown steal aside - but no glaring negatives either. His lineout work in defence looked good but didn’t have the impact he’ll have wanted. He went off relatively early for Ruddock.

Josh Van Der Flier 3/10

Van Der Flier was incredibly busy in defence with one excellent trackback after a Japanese kick through being the highlight of his defensive efforts. Ireland’s lack of possession negated his usual excellence at offensive rucks.

CJ Stander 4/10

A busy day of carrying but no go forward and little impetus. Like Ryan, the other Irish pack member to put 80 minutes on the clock two games in a row, Stander looked to be suffering in the humidity towards the end.

Conor Murray 4/10

This was a different game from Murray to last week. His kicking tortured Scotland last Saturday but he only kicked one contestable kick here. His performance was a symptom of general Irish overplaying against a dangerous opponent.

Jack Carty 4/10

A very mixed bag. Carty had two or three excellent moments inside the first 20 minutes but lost control of the game as the clock ticked on. An incomplete performance with encouraging glimpses of what he may yet become at test level.

Jacob Stockdale 4/10

When Stockdale has a big game, Ireland usually does too. So, by that metric, how uninvolved the Ulster man was a key indicator of how Ireland struggled to generate attacking possession.

Chris Farrell 6/10

I thought that the powerful Chris Farrell was Ireland’s stand out player. He was impactful in defence and carried strongly. I felt he could have been brought into the game a bit more.

Gary Ringrose 5/10

Ringrose took his try excellently and tried his best with ball in hand but couldn’t generate the kind of momentum Ireland needed. Still one of the better performers.

Keith Earls 5/10

This was a quiet game from the Moyross man, but his try-saving tackle in the last five minutes earned an Irish bonus point loss, as outrageous as it might sound to celebrate such a thing. He always seemed to get the ball on the back foot.

Rob Kearney 5/10

A solid performance from Kearney, with a try to boot, but was forced off with a failed HIA with 12 minutes to go.

Replacements 4/10

There wasn’t much in the way of standout performers off the bench. From the forward’s POV, Kilcoyne and Porter brought impact, at times, and Beirne made one excellent steal at a maul but Cronin and Ruddock were quiet enough. Luke McGrath spent the last 12 minutes defending on the wing, while Carbery tried his best to put some pattern on Ireland’s malfunctioning attack with limited results.

Follow Tom Savage on Twitter: @threeredkings

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