Ireland 29-16 England: Six Nations player ratings from the Aviva Stadium

Ryan Baird inspires Ireland to a grand slam-sealing victory as England fade following Freddie Steward’s harsh dismissal


Hugo Keenan Taken off just before the break for a head injury assessment and sadly missed the second half if not the celebrations. 6

Mack Hansen Well shackled for much of the game but tackle on Watson set up the try for Henshaw that turned the game Ireland’s way. 6

Robbie Henshaw Filled the hole left by the absence of Ringrose and was always a physical threat. Try brought the house down. 7

Bundee Aki Smart work set up the Henshaw try and gave England’s defence a lot to think about as the game wore on. 7

James Lowe Could not display the kind of opportunist skills that have lit up the tournament but would not have minded one bit. 6

Johnny Sexton If this is a last Six Nations appearance a tournament points record and a grand slam made it a perfect send off. 8

Jamison Gibson-Park Had a quiet game after a fine display at Murrayfield with few chances to test England’s back row but kicked astutely. 6

Andrew Porter Solid in the scrum and worked tirelessly all evening. Gives Ireland a real hard-as-nails look in the front row. 6

Dan Sheehan His first try after 32 minutes hauled Ireland back into the game. Always a thorn in England’s side. 8

Tadhg Furlong Not at his best in the set-piece and not quite back to fitness on another physically punishing night. 5

Ryan Baird Not bad for Ireland’s fourth-choice lock. Carried well and solid in the set-piece. In 11 games has not been on a losing side. 9

James Ryan A tower of strength all tournament. No one has played more minutes for Ireland. Another great muscular effort. 8

Peter O’Mahony A key figure in the lineout and that controlled aggression helped navigate Ireland through some choppy early waters. 7

Josh van der Flier Possibly the brightest star in this stellar side. That red scrum cap was everywhere. Quick thinking set up Sheehan’s try. 8

Caelan Doris Recovered from his injury in Edinburgh to give a solid display at the back of the scrum. Very strong defensively. 6

Replacements: Rob Herring (for Sheehan, 70) 6, Tom O’Toole (for Furlong, 58) 6, Kieran Treadwell (for Baird, 74) 6, Jack Conan (for O’Mahony, 56) 7, Connor Murray (for Gibson-Park, 73) 6, Ross Byrne (for Sexton, 73) 6, Jimmy O’Brien (for Keenan, 40) 6

Jamie George touches down for England.
Jamie George touches down for England. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA


Freddie Steward Harsh red card on stroke of half-time was a turning point. Until then he had been assured under the high balls that rained down. 5

Anthony Watson Was forced to play at 15 after departure of Steward. Solid under the high ball and made some nice half-breaks. 7

Henry Slade Has been an invisible man in this tournament and had little chance to show what a potent attacking threat he can be. 5

Manu Tuilagi Made an instant impact with a bulldozing run that flattened Aki and gave England an extra attacking edge. Solid return. 6

Henry Arundell Thrown into the deep end and didn’t have chance to show his pace. Steward’s absence gave him extra defensive duties. 6

Owen Farrell Great defence to deny Sexton an early try and place-kicks kept England in contention. Controlled the game well. 7

Jack van Poortvliet Kicked most of his possession away, but not aimlessly, and was much better than in the difficult game against France. 6

Ellis Genge The captain gave Furlong a testing time in the scrum. Made a big impact in a big defensive display by his team. 7

Jamie George Twisted his ankle after half an hour but showed huge character to play on and capped a brave display with a try. 7

Kyle Sinckler His best game of the year. The Bristol prop scrummed well and looked lively in the loose. Impressively powerful. 6

Maro Itoje Has not been himself in this Six Nations but back to something like his best. Still gives away too many penalties. 7

David Ribbans If this was a swansong the Saints lock can be pretty pleased with his evening’s work. Added some steel. 6

Lewis Ludlam Starting place may be under threat if Courtney Lawes returns in the summer but defensively very strong. 6

Jack Willis Best performance in an England shirt. He was smart defensively and an imposing figure at the breakdown. 7

Alex Dombrandt Plenty to prove after a passive display against France. Much improved but may not be around come the World Cup. 6

Replacements: Mako Vunipola (for Genge, 65) 5, Dan Cole (for Sinckler, 67) 5, Nick Isiekwe (for Ribbans, 70) 5, Ben Curry (for Willis, 55,) 6, Alex Mitchell (for Van Poortvliet, 70,) 5, Jack Willis (for Dombrandt, 64) 7, Joe Marchant (for Arundell, 58) 5


Ian Malin

The GuardianTramp

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