Thursday 23 March 2017

Good day for...

Les Kiss

Scotland's winning try will be looked at closely, particularly the issues of Paddy Wallace being cut off and Fergus McFadden shooting out of the line but, all told, this was another good day at the office for Ireland's defence coach.

Rob Kearney

Excellent return to action and though there were not a whole lot of high balls to field, nor attacking opportunities to exploit, Kearney looked sharp and confident.

Luke Fitzgerald

A couple of kicks didn't come off but, back in his best position of left wing, Fitzgerald was eager and effective. After the difficulties of last season, this was a good way to get back on track.

Donnacha Ryan

A natural second-row, Ryan put himself about to good effect, particularly in the first half, and held his hand up for final-30 selection.

Mike McCarthy

The step up to international rugby takes adjustment but McCarthy acquitted himself well, in two positions. Aside from one occasion when Sean Lamont caught him flat-footed, the Connacht man made his tackles and got his hands on the ball. Can kick on from here -- if he gets the chance.

Jerry Flannery

Made it onto the pitch and off again with no fresh injury concerns. Good news for everyone.

TOUGH DAY FOR ...

Rugby lovers

Early-season matches are rarely classics but this one seared the eyeballs.

Tomas O'Leary

The speed and standard of O'Leary's service were an issue throughout. A quality player who has been struggling to find his best form for some time now.

Tony Buckley

Not a bad display, per se, but nor was it a performance to force the selectors' hands, with little opportunity to make an impact in the loose and a couple of scrums on the back foot.

Paddy Wallace

Targeted all afternoon and exposed on several occasions, Kidney has been loyal to Wallace as his centre/back-up 10 option but this did not provide compelling evidence as to why.

Fergus McFadden

Defended well, bar for the try, but needed ball in space to show his pace and footballing ability and, in this regard, the game passed him by. Needs another go at it.

Hugh Farrelly

Irish Independent

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