As the longest ever Guinness Six Nations draws to a close, Ireland claimed a bonus point victory at home over the Italians to send them top after four rounds. Robert Rees rates each player from their romping win.
Guinness Six Nations down to the wire
The win means the championship goes down to the last weekend of action, but here are the player ratings from round 4.
- Cian Healy, 8 – Destroyed the Italian scrum and carried hard around the park.
- Rob Herring, 8 – Another dominant member of the front row squad and put together a good lineout attacking platform.
- Andrew Porter, 8 – Shifted plenty of Italian beef and made the hard yards count as well.
- Tadgh Beirne, 8.5 – Disrupted the breakdown massively and was crucial in the maul attack.
- James Ryan, 7.5 – A menace with ball in hand, but cost Ireland a try with some needless obstruction.
- Caelan Doris, 9 – Some monstrous carries came from Doris, who also ripped apart the Italian breakdown.
- Will Connors, 10 – Man of the Match and a try on his debut just about sums up this man’s performance.
- CJ Stander, 9.5 – Once again the go to carrier for Ireland and bagged himself a try as well.
- Conor Murray, 7 – A yellow card early doors got himself off to a bad start and he never really did anything extraordinary from there.
- Johnny Sexton, 8.5 – Lead his team from the get go and even played ball carrier at one point for a try.
- Hugo Keenan, 9.5 – A brace on his debut and one disallowed. Plenty of pace and yardage in this young man.
- Bundee Aki, 8.5 – A big carrier in midfield, who put Ireland on the front foot several times, also bagged a try.
- Garry Ringrose, 7 – Was superb before having to go off permanently following a HIA.
- Andrew Conway, 7 – The quieter of the wings, but brought width to the attack when needed.
- Jacob Stockdale, 9 – Plenty of metres ran, setting attacks up and a cannon of a boot in an outstanding overall performance from the Ulsterman.
SUBS; Dave Heffernan, 7, Ed Byrne 6, Finlay Bealham 6, Ultan Dillane 6, Peter O’Mahony 7, Jamison Gibson-Park 6, Ross Byrne 6, Robbie Henshaw 7.5.
- Danilo Fischetti, 5 – Pushed around the park, and no go in the carrying department.
- Luca Bigi, 5.5 – Did some carrying, but wasn’t that affective overall.
- Giosue Zilocchi, 5 – Weak once again this Six Nations and offered nothing in the loose.
- Marco Lazzaroni, 5 – No carrying threat from their major lock forward.
- Niccolo Cannone, 5 – Lineout was an issue all game and no big impact from Cannone.
- Seb Negri, 5.5 – Quiet game for the Benetton man, who did little after his early break.
- Bram Steyn, 6 – Offered some carrying resistance, but nowhere near his usual self.
- Jake Polledri, 6 – Couldn’t penetrate the gain line, but was solid in defence.
- Marcello Violi, 5.5 – Slow ball all game and never gave them an edge.
- Paolo Garbisi, 7.5 – Italy’s best player, giving some dynamic and bagging a late try.
- Mattia Bellini, 6 – Limited usage of running on to the ball hindered most attacks.
- Carlo Canna, 6 – Didn’t bring that leadership that an inside centre needs in attack.
- Luca Morisi, 6 – Lacked ball in hand and failed to do anything with the little he had.
- Edoardo Padovani, 7 – Innovative in attack and a good defensive set gained him a try.
- Jayden Hayward, 6.5 – Didn’t offer any attacking threat from deep and kicked poorly at times.
SUBS; Gianmarco Lucchesi 5, Simone Ferrari 5, Pietro Ceccarelli 5, David Sisi 5, Johan Meyer 5.5, Maxime Mbanda 5, Callum Braley 5, Federico Mori 5.5.
“Main photo credit”