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Ireland player ratings as they brush England aside to finish Six Nations on a high

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Tadhg Beirne was one of Ireland's standout performers. Picture by Niall Carson/Reuters

Tadhg Beirne was one of Ireland's standout performers. Picture by Niall Carson/Reuters

Tadhg Beirne was one of Ireland's standout performers. Picture by Niall Carson/Reuters

Ireland finished their Six Nations on a high with a thumping victory over England at the Aviva Stadium, with Andy Farrell's men showing real signs of promise in a convincing 32-18 win.

England collapsed to their joint-worst Six Nations finish after being routed 32-18 by Ireland as an ill-fated title defence ended tamely at the Aviva Stadium.

A week after appearing to signal the end of a shaky period by dispatching France, they failed to fire a shot against opponents they had beaten four times in a row.

Combined with defeats by Scotland and Wales, it equals their worst Six Nations performance from 2018, when they also lost three games and finished fifth under the guidance of Eddie Jones. In 2005 and 2006 they lost three times and finished fourth.

The highlight of Ireland’s most impressive outing since Andy Farrell took charge after the 2019 World Cup was Jack Conan’s try that concluded 23 phases of highly polished play.

It was a mesmerising score directed by the brilliant Johnny Sexton, but Keith Earls’ opener was almost as accomplished as England were picked apart by a smart line-out move.

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Keith Earls, centre, scores Ireland’s first try against England (Niall Carson/PA)

Keith Earls, centre, scores Ireland’s first try against England (Niall Carson/PA)

Keith Earls, centre, scores Ireland’s first try against England (Niall Carson/PA)

Here are the Ireland player ratings:

Hugo Keenan 8

Will be annoyed with a late missed tackle, but his role in Conan's try should not be overlooked, as he reclaimed a towering kick deep in the England 22 to set the wheels in motion.

Keith Earls 9

Continues to silence the doubters. Had one stunning try chalked off, but scored another for which he showed blistering pace and footwork. Now just 12 tries off equalling Brian O'Driscoll's all-time record (46).

Robbie Henshaw 9

An exceptional performance to cap an excellent individual campaign. The Athlone man has taken his game to new heights and must now be a certainty to make his second Lions tour.

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Bundee Aki 6

Sent off for the second time in his international career for a high tackle on Billy Vunipola. Can have very few complaints, which was a shame as he had been playing well in midfield.

Jacob Stockdale 8

Showed flashes of his ability to remind everyone that he hasn't gone away. A couple of sharp breaks and a solid defensive shift has put him back in control of the No 11 jersey.

Jonathan Sexton 9

It was no coincidence that the talisman was at the heart of Ireland's best performance since 2018. Expertly ran the show, scored 22 points, as he kicked like a dream, both off the tee and from hand.

Conor Murray 8

Restored to the team and repaid the faith shown in him. Varied the play well and defended manfully throughout. Despite a frustrating late yellow card, he cemented his place as Ireland's first-choice scrum-half.

Dave Kilcoyne/Cian Healy 8

With Kilcoyne forced off after just 19 minutes due a nasty looking head injury, Healy came on and helped with a very strong effort at scrum time.

Rob Herring 8

The Ulster hooker's lineout throwing has been excellent all tournament and he maintained that fine form at the set-piece. Superb throw was absolutely crucial to Earls' set-piece try.

Tadhg Furlong 9

The tighthead had Mako Vunipola in all sorts of bother before the England prop was hooked at half-time. Back to his best after a long spell out and a shoo-in to start for the Lions again.

Iain Henderson 8

Led from the front with a towering display before a shoulder injury curtailed his involvement. Another Irish player who has had an outstanding Six Nations.

Tadhg Beirne 9

It doesn't matter if the Munster man is playing in the second-row or back-row, he will deliver. Won three trademark turnovers in another masterful display that has him in pole position for the Lions.

CJ Stander 8

Played his part in a crucial win before he brought the curtain down on his international career. Signed off with typical abrasiveness, as he relished the close exchanges. Will be missed.

Jack Conan 8

Picked a good time to have one of his best games in green. Showed sensational hands to set Earls away before he popped up with a vital try of his own before the break.

Josh van der Flier 8

A typically industrious shift from the all-action back-row. Looked to offer himself more as a carrier, but the highlight was a brilliant strip on Billy Vunipola.

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