How Ireland and Scotland players rated in tense Six Nations clash

Johnny Sexton starred on his first outing as permanent Ireland captain as Andy Farrell’s tenure as head coach began with an unconvincing 19-12 victory over Scotland.

How Ireland and Scotland players rated in tense Six Nations clash

Ireland ratings

JORDAN LARMOUR: Solid at the back and a constant threat on the counter, while producing a handful of important tackles. 7 (out of 10)

ANDREW CONWAY: Struggled to get involved in the action and was culpable of very poor pass inside his own 22. 5

GARRY RINGROSE: Almost put in Conway on the right wing for a first-half score being being replaced at the interval due to an unspecified injury. 5

BUNDEE AKI: Produced a standout break during a breathless period shortly before the break. Solid overall. 6

JACOB STOCKDALE: Like Conway on the opposite wing, failed to make his mark and also struggled to catch Murray’s kick. 5

JOHNNY SEXTON: Produced a match-winning performance on his first outing as permanent captain, scoring and converting a try and adding four penalties. 8

Jonathan Sexton goes over to Ireland's opening try at the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Jonathan Sexton goes over to Ireland's opening try at the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

CONOR MURRAY: Selected ahead of the in-form John Cooney, the 30-year-old had a prominent role in the opening score but was below his best and later escaped punishment following a slack pass which set Scotland away. 6

CIAN HEALY: Swift offload to Murray helped created Sexton’s eye-catching opening try but struggled in the scrum and was twice replaced. 4

ROB HERRING: Taking the place of retired former captain Rory Best, the hooker enjoyed a steady maiden Six Nations appearance. A couple of wayward throws in the line-out. 6

TADHG FURLONG: Probably the pick of Ireland’s front row, prop Furlong showed quick hands when needed and played a major role in helping to grind out an opening-weekend success. 7

Tadhg Furlong of Ireland is tackled by Jamie Ritchie, left, and Hamish Watson of Scotland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Tadhg Furlong of Ireland is tackled by Jamie Ritchie, left, and Hamish Watson of Scotland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

IAIN HENDERSON: Produced a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Sean Maitland a breakaway try just before half-time following a slack pass by Murray but could have been better overall. 6

JAMES RYAN: Went about his business with little fuss but will maybe be disappointed with his struggles at line-out and in the scrum. 6

CJ STANDER: Quickly switched from blindside flanker to number eight following Doris’ early departure and excelled, pushing his team forward with his trademark powerful running. 8

JOSH VAN DER FLIER: Involved in a number of key turnovers for his team and impressed throughout. 7

CAELAN DORIS: The highly-rated 21-year-old’s international debut was agonisingly cut short, lasting less than five minutes before he was forced off injured. 4

Replacements: Introductions of in-form John Cooney, World Cup absentee Devin Toner and debutant Ronan Kelleher lifted the crowd. Toner, Kelleher and Doris’ replacement, Peter O’Mahony, contributed to the staunch late defending. 6

Scotland ratings

Stuart Hogg of Scotland after the game at the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Stuart Hogg of Scotland after the game at the Aviva Stadium. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

STUART HOGG: Charged about like a man possessed as he sought to lead be example in his first game as captain – but the Exeter full-back will be haunted by his horror fumble on the try line for years to come. 6

SEAN MAITLAND: The Saracens man was solid under the high ball while his defensive positioning was spot on all but once as Aki broke clear. 6

HUW JONES: The Glasgow man is back in form and back in the team but his missed tackle on Jordan Larmour was a reminder of the defensive deficiencies that have always worried Gregor Townsend. 6

SAM JOHNSON: Did not have the legs to go all the way after intercepting Conor Murray’s pass but ran his heart out with a string of brave carries totalling 70 metres. 8

BLAIR KINGHORN: It did not take Ireland long to identify the Edinburgh wing as the weak link in the Scotland ranks, with high ball after high ball dropped on top of his head. 5

ADAM HASTINGS: Under big pressure to fill Finn Russell’s boots but could not produce the moment of magic Scotland needed to unpick Farrell’s defence. 6

ALI PRICE: Inherited Greig Laidlaw’s nine jersey after being given the nod over George Horne to start. Might have to go up another gear if he wants to hold off his Warriors team-mate. 6

RORY SUTHERLAND: No sign of rust as the Edinburgh prop returned to the international fold after a three-and-a-half year absence. Carried hard and scrummaged well. 6

FRASER BROWN: Guilty of a loose line-out throw and a couple of stupid infringements which left Ireland squirm off the hook just as Townsend’s team looked primed to pounce. 6

ZANDER FAGERSON: Aggressive in the loose while getting the better of Cian Healy at scrum-time. Scotland need to see more of this Fagerson on a consistent basis. 7

SCOTT CUMMINGS: A steady display from the Glasgow lock as he made his tackles but did little else to stand out from the crowd. 6

JONNY GRAY: Another monster haul of 25 tackles as he helped frustrate an Irish attack expected to run over the top of Townsend’s men. 7

JAMIE RITCHIE: An athletic display from the Edinburgh man as he got about the pitch, covering more ground than anyone in the Dark Blues pack. 6

HAMISH WATSON: How Scotland missed his pickpocketing skills after he went down injured in their World Cup opener. A huge display on his return to fitness. 8

NICK HAINING: An encouraging debut from the Edinburgh number eight as he carried with intent. 7

Replacements: Townsend waited until the final quarter hour before introducing fresh legs but while George Horne and WP Nel had goes at breaking through Ireland, their defence stood firm. 5

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