Monday 3 August 2015

Ireland player ratings v Scotland

Published 25/02/2013 | 11:05

<p><strong>Craig Gilroy 6/10</strong></p>
<p>The Ulster winger saw precious little of the ball but he took his score brilliantly, twisting and turning to wriggle over for the game's only try. He knocked on once or twice but, overall, his outing was positive.</p>

Craig Gilroy 6/10

The Ulster winger saw precious little of the ball but he took his score brilliantly, twisting and turning to wriggle over for the game's only try. He knocked on once or twice but, overall, his outing was positive.

Rob Kearney 6/10

Competent under the dropping ball and showed some good disco moves when he joined the line, dancing through on a couple of occasions. But it was to little effect as Ireland's attack was toothless.

Brian O'Driscoll 5/10

Quiet for the second game in a row. He was far too eager to get involved in rucks. It's great when he comes up with the ball, but the downside is that he is then out of position. Ireland need him receiving ball, not digging for it.

Luke Marshall 6/10

Inside 10 minutes he had carried for 43 metres. He was looking irresistible. But as the game played out, he got bogged down in the quagmire. He needed others to lead the way, but Ireland were lacking leaders.

Keith Earls 5/10

One fantastic break on 25 minutes split the Scottish defence. Alas, that was it from the winger. Ireland failed to get the ball wide as the game went on, leaving the Munster man with little chance to show his speed.

Paddy Jackson 4/10

One kick from four. The out-half was out of his depth and it showed. He should never have been put in the position and one hopes that he isn't affected long-term. He will not remember his debut fondly.

Conor Murray 4/10

This was one of Murray's most forgettable outings in an Ireland shirt. The Munster scrum-half was clearly affected by the lack of experience around him. His passing was poor and his kicks regularly went askew.

Tom Court 5/10

Gave away a few free-kicks and, like Mike Ross, offered nothing in the loose. He scrummaged strongly on Ireland's put-ins but defensive scrums were a problem. Another selection call that went wrong.

Rory Best 4/10

Was hugely out of sorts with his darts. This should have been an attacking platform for Ireland but one was left hoping the ball stayed in play in order to limit the number of line-outs. This is now an issue that cannot be ignored.

Mike Ross 6/10

Standing in the way when Kearney charged through and Ireland coughed up possession. He was excellent as usual at scrum-time – but is it a luxury to have a tighthead who does so little in open play?

Donncha O'Callaghan 6/10

Not a good day. He has been having a great season with Munster. But this was not an outing he will remember fondly. His work rate isn't in question. But, as with most of his team-mates, he came up short.

Donnacha Ryan 6/10

How affected is he by his injury? His back spasms first became an issue against Wales and his preparations for yesterday were clearly hindered. He is too brave not to give it his all but he was obviously restricted.

Peter O'Mahony 6/10

He tried hard but this was a terrible day for Ireland's players. O'Mahony took a couple of line-outs and made his tackles but his usual abrasiveness was lacking. A lack of leadership on the field didn't help matters.

Sean O'Brien 6/10

O'Brien was sporadically good with ball in hand and tackled well. The problem was Ireland were shockingly poor and not even O'Brien could force a change in circumstances. He also gave away some costly penalties.

Jamie Heaslip 4/10

Anonymous, again. It was notable that when Ronan O'Gara was told to kick to the corner in the 76th minute, it was Brian O'Driscoll again directing traffic. It hasn't been a good championship for the official captain.

Replacements

Ireland emptied their bench, with Ronan O'Gara, Eoin Reddan, Luke Fitzgerald, Devin Toner, Dave Kilcoyne and Iain Henderson all entering the fay, but nothing could stem the disastrous slide into ordinariness. No one off the bench was a positive influence.

Declan Kidney 4/10

To keep with the week's gambling theme, the coach ended up with a busted flush of a hand. This could end up being the nadir of his reign – even worse than Hamilton. The Scots simply can't believe they won.

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