Sunday 24 September 2017

Ireland Player Ratings

David Kelly

David Kelly

Luke Fitzgerald 5

Superb break into the line in the 26th minute but performance standard slipped in the second half with poor first kick then noticeably struggled in the air against Aurelien Rougerie. Fergus McFadden

Fergus McFadden 6

After waiting in vain all last week for a decent scoring try, decided to do the hard work himself and was rewarded, slamming Clement "Poitre-faut" early on and nabbing confidence-boosting early score. Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll 6

The heroic captain had to reach for the smelling salts again after a tremendous late hit on Rougerie left him flailing on the turf. Brilliant penalty win in 36th minute could have been pivotal had Ireland retained possession.Gordon D'Arcy

Gordon D'Arcy 4

Day summed up when he found himself on the wing late on and was forced into a hospital pass to McFadden. Desperate tackle attempt on Rougerie for Medard try. Superb offload during build-up to Heaslip try. Keith Earls

Keith Earls 6

Intelligent perception in the final frantic moments of the game deserved a better reward and was on the shoulder waiting for a pop pass but, sadly, his team-mates messed up the chance. Jonathan Sexton

Jonathan Sexton 6

Made use of the trademark wraparound move exploited by Leinster this season. Poor 18th-minute pass. O'Leary saved his blushes when he scored. Shipped heavy knock which hindered his second conversion attempt. Tomas O'Leary

Tomas O'Leary 5

Survived nationwide calls for his culling with a 40th-minute try; few other scrum-halves could have produced his initial surge and final bound for the line; still, too many errors mocking his desperate grasping for form. Cian Healy

Cian Healy 7

Struggled with injuries but it was notable when he left, Ireland's scrum imploded at two key moments which allowed France create their winning platform. Early penalty success against Nicolas Mas. Rory Best

Rory Best 4

Seemed to be in difficulty when William Servat put on the pressure during the scrum that launched Medard's try and when the pressure was at its height, he messed up when Ireland needed a line-out platform.Mike Ross

Mike Ross 6

Guilty of boring in the second scrum of the day and seemed to have some difficulty with his footing. Strong burst from Ireland's line-out gambit before O'Leary's try created that score. Graph positive.Donncha O'Callaghan

Donncha O'Callaghan 6

Smashed Julien Pierre in the early moments and rarely relented thereafter, although he was not alone in succumbing to English referee Dave Pearson's eagle-eyed view of ruck indiscipline. Paul O'Connell

Paul O'Connell 6

Still playing his way back into the scene as evidenced by an early handling error but put in some huge tackles, earning a 49th-minute penalty for one and pivotal on his own side's restart ball at crucial times. Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien 7

Carried superbly in the first half, where he managed to puncture significant holes in the French fringe defence. Covered brilliantly in the 31st minute to prevent French try but less secure in ball-carrying in second half. David Wallace

David Wallace 7

Rolled back the years with some destructive carries, pointedly for the game's opening try. Pinged for one of a surfeit of breakdown penalties but remained alert when sending Heaslip in for third try. Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip 7

Seemed to struggle to get into the game in the first half and was quieter than his two back-row colleagues. Stepped up in the second half and did brilliantly for try. Will need to analyse why two throws didn't find him.

Replacements

Tom Court 4

Came on for a visibly struggling Healy in the 53rd minute, but worryingly, the game seemed to pass him by and he struggled in the first two scrums he endured; will not threaten Healy next time. 4

Ronan O'Gara 6

Arrived with the familiar strain of Lansdowne Road encouragement as Sexton was withdrawn for the final quarter. Immediately shifted the focus of the attack and landed a superb conversion. 6

Eoin Reddan

Not on long enough to be rated.

Sean Cronin

Not on long enough to be rated.

Leo Cullen

Not on long enough to be rated.

Declan Kidney 5

Will hope that a fortnight of preparation for must-win Scottish game can provide clarity on the game plan that seems to be thriving when Ireland apply pressure with territory as opposed to creativity. Indiscipline needs to be addressed.

Irish Independent

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