Rugby Ireland v New Zealand, head-to-head: How the players rate ahead of crunch World Cup quarter-final

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15. ROB KEARNEY 7 v BEAUDEN BARRETT 10

Ireland’s most decorated full-back has made an enduring career out of the mastery of the more traditional aspects, but his opposite number is a two-time World Player of the Year who, at 15, has the freedom to dabble in his greatest of many strengths: seeing space and eating it up like an Olympic sprinter.  

14. KEITH EARLS 7 v SEVU REECE 8

The Moyross man hasn’t produced the fizz that was expected in this tournament. Reece could be playing for Connacht rather than at the World Cup were it not for a court case, but instead has four tries in five caps to date.  

13. GARRY RINGROSE 7 v JACK GOODHUE 7

The missed tackles have become a reason to be cautious about where Ringrose’s game stands. Goodhue has been trusted as Conrad Smith’s long-term successor even though he is not there yet as a defensive mastermind.  

12. ROBBIE HENSHAW 7 v ANTON LIENERT-BROWN 7

Henshaw looked razor-sharp against Wales before the tournament but was not at all himself in an error-ridden run-out against Samoa last week. Lienert-Brown has been picked ahead of Sonny Bill Williams and his main role will be to supplement the All Blacks’ defensive strategy.

11. JACOB STOCKDALE 8 v GEORGE BRIDGE 7

The Ulster winger has 16 tries for Ireland already, including famously against the All Blacks

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