Saturday 27 December 2014

Ireland player ratings

Published 10/02/2013 | 17:28

ROB KEARNEY: Mr Dependable delivered once again. In slippery conditions like these, Kearney's high skill levels and calm temperament were crucial. 8

CRAIG GILROY: Not a day for wingers thanks to the incessant rain, but the weather failed to dampen Gilroy's hunger for work. 6

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL: Another frenzied shift in defence, but the favourite to captain the Lions had little chance to show his creative genius. 6

GORDON D'ARCY: Strong in the tackle and was comfortable amid the heavy traffic that came down his channel. 6

SIMON ZEBO: Limped off after 10 minutes, robbing him of the opportunity to further enhance his growing reputation. 5

JONATHAN SEXTON: Another early casualty, Sexton's exit after half an hour because of a hamstring injury was a disaster for Ireland. 6

CONOR MURRAY: Among many to suffer in the conditions, dropping a couple of passes, but finished a difficult afternoon in credit. 6

CIAN HEALY: Clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed as he was the instigator of two flare-ups in a brutal match. 7

RORY BEST: Underlined why he is considered the best hooker in Europe with a lively display full of energy. A constant presence at the breakdown. 7

MIKE ROSS: Showed England that last year's scrum horror-show at Twickenham was just an injury-enforced aberration with a solid set-piece shift. 6

MIKE McCARTHY: Still finding his feet at Test level, McCarthy has yet to make the same impression as he managed during an all-action autumn. 6

DONNACHA RYAN: A Munster hardman who loves to get involved, was at the heart of every scuffle and never took a backward step in the trenches. 7

PETER O'MAHONY: Another forward schooled the Munster way, O'Mahony enjoyed one of his best games in an Ireland shirt. A very physical presence. 8

SEAN O'BRIEN: Burst onto the scene in 2011 and after an injury absence is rediscovering the form that made his name. A class act. 8

JAMIE HEASLIP: His three first-half handling errors were conspicuous and while he did plenty right, it is those he will be remembered for in this game. 6

 

Replacements:

DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN: Arrived too late to make an impact. 5

SEAN CRONIN: Caught the eye with one powerful carry. 5

CHRIS HENRY: Threw himself about, but England were in control. 5

RONAN O'GARA: Kicked two penalties, but otherwise was poor. 4

KEITH EARLS: Let down by his decision making, but showed gas. 5

 

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