Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ireland Player Ratings

Published 28/02/2011 | 05:00

Luke Fitzgerald 6 L

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Dropped his first high ball of the day but recovered his poise immediately. However, the back three still don't convince as an attacking unit. Made a bizarre decision to wildly kick infield late on.

Tommy Bowe 6

First significant touch in the 33rd minute, indicating the problems Ireland had in moving the ball wide, when he reached skywards for an O'Gara restart. Looked short of international sharpness on return from injury.

Brian O'Driscoll 6

Delivered some familiar flashes of genius in the congested midfield area, but once more questions have to be asked in terms of his captaincy and directing his side to maintain discipline.

Gordon D'Arcy 6

Did more than enough to justify the coach's faith in his selection, although one would prefer if there were a compelling understudy in any event. Offloaded twice in one decent attacking move in second half.

Keith Earls 6

Like Bowe, had to move in-field in the first half due to a dearth of supply. Was more of a force after the break but yet to fully convince in the back three. Brilliant defensive break relieved 48th-minute pressure.

Ronan O'Gara 9

Asserted himself all over the fray as he laid down the gauntlet to both apprentice and head teacher with a stunning display, which made one wonder why was he taken off?

Eoin Reddan 7

A mixed bag but overall contribution indicated he would be the preferred partner for O'Gara, presuming the Munster man is reinstated for Wales. Snaffled try well but caught in possession at times.

Cian Healy 7

The Scots accused the Leinster player of boring in on the hooker immediately before their loose-head was binned for the same offence. Carried superbly all day, however, and linked well in attack.

Rory Best 8

Needed to produce a big performance after a couple of underwhelming outings and managed to do just that, the Ulster man's terrific tackle forcing an Irish five-metre scrum which led to Reddan's try.

Mike Ross 7

The new father will not be getting much sleep this week -- but only because he is on nightfeed duty with his two-week-old son Kevin James. Continues to demonstrate his presence at this level.

Donncha O'Callaghan 5

Declan Kidney will rue the fact that there appears to be a measure of inconsistency creeping into O'Callaghan's game and glaring errors may put pressure on the coach to try Leo Cullen next time out.

Paul O'Connell 8

Now approaching his peak condition and performance following a lengthy lay-off. Only the Lions captain could emerge with those two significant plays -- a line-out steal and then a turnover -- in the game's death throes.

Sean O'Brien 7

Had a quiet first half but then exploded out of the traps in the second act with a couple of runs which were so formidable even his team-mates struggled to keep up. Needs to produce the full 80, though.

David Wallace 7

Carried well all day and continues to prove himself an indispensable member of a back-row which, when fully switched on to full power, can provide Ireland with the go-forward they require.

Jamie Heaslip 5

After bizarre condemnation of his coach's selection decisions, didn't exactly deliver the consistent performance that would have asserted his role as spokesperson for demoted provincial colleagues.

Replacements

Jonathan Sexton 6

Will have learned more watching the master at work in the first hour than from any amount of video analysis. Now under pressure to regain pre-eminence.

Peter Stringer 6

Arrived to add some zip to Ireland's play but ended up in typically resourceful and scrappy defensive mode.

Sean Cronin 6

Demonstrated with a couple of line-breaks that he is deserving of better time off the bench to complement Best. 6

Denis Leamy 6

Ripped ball fantastically to prevent a late Scots surge.

Leo Cullen 6

Replaced O'Callaghan on 67 minutes and will more than likely continue to deputise.

Declan Kidney 7

Was fully justified in selecting Ronan O'Gara and should have backed that judgment by keeping him on the pitch. Must address discipline issue which is a problem, contrary to what the coaching staff say. Better use of bench. 7

Irish Independent

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