Following a dominant 59-16 victory over Tonga in the Rugby World Cup clash in Nantes on Saturday, here are the player ratings for Ireland.
15 Hugo Keenan: A classy operator at full-back. So solid under the high ball and a real threat on the counter-attack. 8
14 Mack Hansen: Scored a genuinely stunning try in the first half and always makes the right decision in other areas of the game. 7
13 Garry Ringrose: Combined excellently with his centre partner and produced a number of neat moments during his time on the field. 7
12 Bundee Aki: Really has been excellent in Ireland’s opening two World Cup matches. Physical on both sides of the ball but with a deft touch to match. A stunning performance in Nantes. 9
11 James Lowe: Not too many chances to run, but he took his try well and was a threat when given an opportunity with ball in hand. 7
10 Johnny Sexton (c): Looks fit, looks sharp and, like against Romania, he was very impressive. Broke Ronan O’Gara’s Ireland points record in the process. 8
🙌 What a moment!
☘️ Johnny Sexton is Ireland's all-time leading point scorer.
👏 Congrats Johnny!
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) September 16, 2023
9 Conor Murray: Kept play moving nicely from the base of the ruck, while his box-kicking put the Tongan back three under pressure. Much easier to play behind a pack such as this, but Murray’s still operating at a very high level. 8
Another fine forward effort
8 Caelan Doris: Does he ever play badly? Carries hard and always makes ground, but is also a real threat in the counter-ruck. Doris just never lets the opposition rest. 8
7 Josh van der Flier: Not quite at the level that won him the World Rugby Player of the Year, but not far off. Van der Flier did several good things, but Doris is certainly outshining him at the moment. 7
6 Peter O’Mahony: Was yellow carded after a series of team indiscretions, but on either side of that, he put himself about and was a typical nuisance in the tighter exchanges. 7
5 James Ryan: Did plenty of excellent work without the ball by putting the Tongan lineout under pressure and making his tackles in defence. 7
4 Tadhg Beirne: Magnificent performance from the Munster second-row. Staggeringly physical in the carry and, as ever, a threat at the contact area. A wonderful player. 9
3 Tadhg Furlong: Akin to Van der Flier, there is much more to come from the tighthead prop. Not quite at his best in either the set-piece of the loose, but it will surely come. 7
2 Ronan Kelleher: Lineout went much better this weekend with Kelleher at the helm, while he also put himself about in the loose. 7
1 Andrew Porter: Won’t thank Hansen for knocking on, which led to his try being disallowed, but he put that behind him to put in a good 40-minute shift before being replaced. 7
Replacements: Finlay Bealham’s evening was cut short due to a head injury, but the others all made an impact. Robbie Henshaw showed up well at centre, while Ross Byrne controlled play nicely from fly-half. 7