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23rd Feb 2024

Ireland vs. Wales: All the biggest moments, talking points and player ratings

Patrick McCarry

Ireland Wales


Ireland made it three from three in the 2024 Six Nations with a win over Wales, in Dublin. Our live hub of the match (below) has all the biggest moments, talking points, best scores and full Ireland player ratings.

Ireland raced into a 17-0 lead, at half-time, but Wales rallied after the break and made a contest of it. Tries in the final quarter from Ciáran Frawley and Tadhg Beirne madew it 18 straight Test wins at home.


Ciaran Frawley – 8
His best moment was a line break followed by a smart chip-and-chase. Wales promised to put him under pressure but he had an easy ride for long stretches. Was one of the best Irish attackers as the game wore on.

Calvin Nash – 7
Did great to get the ball away to Lowe for his try. Did well to take some fizzed passes in his stride and keep driving forward.

Robbie Henshaw – 7
Missed a tackle on North, in the second half, but made up for it, soon after, by barrelling into Tompkins to shut down an attacking parry. Got a hand to a Costelow cross-field kick.

Bundee Aki – 8.5
Won an early breakdown turnover for his side. Loose with an offload attempt inside the Welsh 22 but he was playing to a penalty advantage. Had a try ruled out after a TMO check (no fault of his own).

James Lowe – 7.5
Smart, strong carries. Rewarded with a fine try after 31 minutes. His strength got him out of trouble when Rio Dyer caught him on a kick-chase. Made 84 metres off 13 carries. Three missed tackles in defence, from three attempted.

Jack Crowley – 7
Put all the kicking talk to one side when lapping over the opening penalty from over 40 metres out. Popped a nice conversion from a more acute angle. Had one loose kick from play when he hurried it as Wainwright cantered towards him. One beaut of a kick up the touchline.

Jamison Gibson-Park – 8
Called for a knock-on but he was under pressure as the ball skittles after a wonky lineout. Made a great break, two put-ins later, as Ireland got the pill to play with. Lovely pass for Frawley’s try.

Andrew Porter – 8.5
In like Flynn for an early breakdown poach, and didn’t he love it! Big part of a dominant Irish scrum, and maul. 70-minute shift on a day he really stood out.

Dan Sheehan – 8
Lineout that missed O’Mahony looked like an over-throw. Another lineout blip, soon after his well-taken try. Scrum was a huge success and was key there. Won a big turnover inside his 22, on 36 minutes.

Tadhg Furlong – 8
His best game in green for about a year. Was pumped for this one and went after the Welsh at scrum-time. Stuck five tackles and had five carries, too.

Joe McCarthy – 8
His ability to blockbuster through tackles and draw in extra bodies is so impressive. Made a big carry that punched a hole before Lowe’s try. Beat three defenders on carries.

Tadhg Beirne – 8
Was tipping along nicely – some decent carries and hefty hits – until he was deemed guilty of bringing down the Welsh maul. Resulted in a penalty try and Beirne being sin-binned. Returned from the bin to deny a Wales try with a great turnover. Sealed the bonus point with a late, late try.

Peter O’Mahony – 7
Lineout was having some issues in the first half. Was constantly chatting and advising out there, especially around the scrum. Captaincy was positive as Ireland’s scrum and maul held sway, and he knew it.

Josh van der Flier – 7
Many of his carries were only for gains of two or three metres, but it got his side over the mainline and fractured the Welsh lines. Went off for a Head Injury Assessment and did nor return.

Caelan Doris – 8
One thumping tackle almost cut Costelow in two. Has such a good engine on him – improved and had a greater match impact as it progressed.


Jack Conan (for van der Flier ’46) – 6
Started off as a HIA replacement but stayed on.

Oli Jager (for Furlong ’54) – 6

James Ryan (for McCarthy ’54) – 6
Yellow-carded, late on.

Rónan Kelleher (for Sheehan ’54) – 7
Had a big turnover, soon after coming on.

Ryan Baird (for O’Mahony ’54) – 6
Had one superb break that got everyone out of their seats. Spilled the ball, a minute later.

Stuart McCloskey (for Nash ’67) – 7
Won a late turnover.

Conor Murray (for Gibson-Park ’69) – 6

Cian Healy (for Porter ’72) – 5

Click on the key point you want to read about, or just keep scrolling to see updates in our live hub [below]:

Ireland Wales

Players’ form heading into Ireland Wales

Andy Farrell’s side got their Six Nations defence off to a record-breaking start as they demolished France 38-17 in Marseille. Next up, was an Italian side that let victory against England, in their opener, slip through their fingers. Ireland scored six tries and kept the visitors scoreless. Next up are a Wales side that are 0 from 2 after two tight losses.

Looking back at our Ireland player ratings for the opening Six Nations games, and the World Cup, it gives us an idea of who stepped up in some big games for Andy Farrell.

Most recently, we had Bundee Aki and Joe McCarthy score 8.5 out of 10 in that win over France. Tadhg Beirne, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Jamison Gibson and Caelan Doris all scored 8s. In the 36-0 win over Italy, Lowe top-scored with 9, with Keenan, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Stuart McCloskey all getting 8s.

Against Romania, in their World Cup opener, Keenan, Aki, Johnny Sexton and McCarthy all scored 8/10s. Against Tonga, Sexton and Mack Hansen both scored 9/10 while James Ryan, Andrew Porter and Aki all got 8s.

In that epic, tense win over South Africa, Doris, Porter and Lowe all scored 8/10, while Aki got 8.5 after another great effort. Doris and Garry Ringrose topped our Scotland ratings, with 9/10 each. In the quarter final loss to New Zealand, Aki top scored with 9/10, with Beirne getting 8. The rest had 6s and 7s.


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