Ireland player ratings: Josh van der Flier displays world-class credentials in outstanding effort against South Africa

Colin Newboult

Following a 19-16 triumph over South Africa in their Autumn Nations Series Test in Dublin on Saturday, here are the player ratings for Ireland.

15 Hugo Keenan: Defused South Africa’s high balls well and was positionally very sound as usual. 7

14 Robert Baloucoune: Was enthusiastic and chased everything all night but didn’t have much ball to show his running talents. 6

13 Garry Ringrose: A linchpin in both attack and defence. Rarely makes searing breaks but knits everything together nicely. 7

12 Stuart McCloskey: Brutal for the Ulster centre, who had to go off with an injury. Has waited so long for his chance and for it to end like this is cruel. Was playing really well until that point too. 7

11 Mack Hansen: Took his try well and did a lot of good things with the ball, despite limited opportunity. A very smart player. 7

10 Johnny Sexton (c): Overplayed a bit at times, especially in the first half, but was otherwise very controlled. 7

9 Conor Murray: Like McCloskey, there was injury disappointment for Murray. On his 100th cap, the scrum-half box-kicked nicely and also made a good break, but was forced off in the first half. 6

Impressive forward effort from Ireland

8 Caelan Doris: Grew into the game. Carried hard, competed well and his magic off-load was key in Ireland’s second try. 8

7 Josh van der Flier: Has become a world-class flanker and showed yet again why he is among the best in the game. 9

6 Peter O’Mahony: Followed up his excellence in New Zealand with another solid showing. 7

5 James Ryan: Still not quite the eye-catching displays of when he burst onto the scene but a good shift nonetheless. 7

4 Tadhg Beirne: As ever, a nuisance at the breakdown, good in the set-piece and excellent around the field. 8

3 Tadhg Furlong: Another to go off injured in what was a game with a high attrition rate. Had performed pretty well up until then without really stamping his authority on the contest. 6

2 Dan Sheehan: Immense energy around the field, the lineout went well and he was very close to scoring a try. 7

1 Andrew Porter: A great shift from the loosehead, who scrummaged well against the fearsome Springbok front-row and was busy in the loose. 7

Replacements: Significant impact from the bench, with McCloskey’s, Furlong’s and Murray’s absence not felt. Jimmy O’Brien did well on debut while Jamison Gibson-Park raised the tempo and Finlay Bealham did well in all facets. 8

READ MORE: Ireland claim scalp of Rugby World Cup holders South Africa in Dublin