Ireland lock Tadhg Beirne’s statistics from the Six Nations opener against France are truly remarkable.
His performance in Ireland’s 38-17 victory over France was overshadowed by his second-row partner Joe McCarthy, who was named Player of the Match, but the stats don’t lie and show just how impactful he was.
In fact, he ranked in the top five in eight different individual stat categories and the top ten in another two out of the two sets of players.
Tadhg Beirne’s stats
With Ireland getting the majority of the possession in the clash, Beirne did not rack up a massive tackle count, but his seven still ranked as the fifth-best tally by an Ireland player in the clash – according to the stats on the Six Nations‘ official website.
However, he was hugely impactful in other facets of the game, making a team-high of 12 carries for the men in green – a tally only bettered by France’s Gregory Alldritt.
He also carries for 72 metres in the clash, the most by a forward and third overall, with Calvin Nash (86.2) and Matthieu Jalibert (77.2) making more – his tally of 32 metres gained ranked ninth in the game.
He made a line break en route to scoring one of Ireland’s five tries on the night but also managed another, matching the tallies of Damian Penaud and Louis Bielle-Biarrey.
Beirne really made a mark on the attack as he also made seven passes in the game, the most by forward.
He was Ireland’s safest target at the lineout, securing possession on five occasions, another match high and was the only player to steal a lineout managing two in total.
His breakdown work highlights his work rate as he hit 19 attacking rucks, the fourth most in the game, with Caelan Doris topping the stat with a remarkably 31. Paired with that, Beirne also made 11 defensive rucks arrivals as he managed to slow down France’s attack and came up with a turnover.
Plus a breakdown steal and two lineout steals.
— The Loose Head (@TheLooseH) February 3, 2024
A big result for Ireland and praise for ‘Big Joe’
The Munster lock praised his teammates after the match and said the performance was a “special feeling”.
“You can’t really expect to beat France by a score like that,” Beirne said.
“You always think it’s going to be a tight game and maybe if there wasn’t a red card it might have been a bit tighter but who knows?
“We also knew that with our ability and the way we play that we were going to be able to take it to this French team.
“Within this group, there’s a massive belief. It’s such an enjoyable group to be with and such an enjoyable group to play with; the way we play we all love it.
“Everyone’s involved, and I felt from the get-go that we were just on it.
“It’s a special feeling when you’re in a game, and everyone is doing their job right, and everything is flowing.”
He also spoke highly of his locking partner, McCarthy, for his shift in his first Six Nations start.
“Well, he certainly was Big Joe out there,” Beirne said.
“He was physical; he did exactly what everyone was hoping that he would do and everything that we expected him to do. He does it in training; he’s so athletic and credit to him.
“What a first start in the Six Nations for Joe. There’s a lot more to come from him for sure.”