RUCK delivers our man-by-man ratings as Ireland thrash Canada 50-7 in their World Cup opener at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
15 Rob Kearney…7
The fullback took his try superbly in the second half and was Ireland’s most potent attacking weapon throughout the game with his direct running style.
14 Dave Kearney…7
Secured his side’s bonus point after 35 minutes throwing a lovely dummy before touching down. Overall a great performance from the wing.
13 Jared Payne…6
Was anonymous at times but linked up well in midfield and showed real composure with his try right at the end.
12 Luke Fitzgerald…6
He linked up the play with some excellent passing and ran some beautiful lines. His intensity also helped Ireland force a few crucial turnovers.
11 Keith Earls…6
The winger put in a well-rounded performance and always looked dangerous. He just didn’t get the try his performance deserved.
10 Jonathan Sexton…8 (man of the match)
His kicking out of hand and for goal was impeccable for the most part. The fly-half ran the show and took his try superbly to move past 500 points for his country.
9 Conor Murray…7
The scrum-half was not at his glistening best but got to grips with the game quickly and kept Ireland ticking.
1 Jack McGrath…6
Had no problems at the scrum and was prominent in the loose. He also landed some vital tackles in defence.
2 Rory Best…6
The hooker put in a hard-working performance and threw well at the lineout.
3 Mike Ross…6
The prop put in an imposing performance as Ireland dominated the scrum. The tight-head also was active in defence when the Irish were on the backfoot.
4 Iain Henderson…7
Touched down his first try in Ireland colours after 22 minutes. He consistently got into good positions in attack and was effective at the breakdown.
5 Paul O’Connell (c)…6
Playing in his fourth World Cup the Captain didn’t have his greatest outing in the green shirt being sin-binned in the second half. Overall he led the team well and kept the Irish defence organised when Canada was attacking.
6 Peter O’Mahony
The flanker put in a powerful but controlled performance, showing high physicality to shut down his opposite number.
7 Sean O’Brien…7
Scored the opening try before setting up Sexton for the third. His work rate in defence was also commendable.
8 Jamie Heaslip…7
The number 8 was like a second Skipper for Ireland, displaying outstanding leadership qualities. His heavy duty ball carrying also kept the men in green heading in the right direction.
Replacements: Sean Cronin (7), Cian Healy (5), Nathan White (5), Donnacha Ryan (5), Chris Henry (5), Eoin Reddan (5), Ian Madigan (7), Simon Zebo.
Star man: DTH Van der Merwe…8
The winger clearly would not be denied. He caused Ireland difficulties all afternoon and ultimately got his reward after the break when he raced from 30 metres to dive over in the corner.
15 Matt Evans (6), 14 Jeff Hassler (5), 13 Ciaran Hearn (5), 12 Nick Blevins (5), 11 DTH Van der Merwe (8), 10 Nathan Hirayama (7), 9 Gordon McRorie (6), 8 Aaron Carpenter (6), 7 John Moonlight (5), 6 Kyle Gilmour (5), 5 Jamie Cudmore (c) (4), 4 Brett Beukeboom (5), 3 Doug Wooldridge (6), 2 Ray Barkwill (5), 1 Hubert Buydens (5).