How they rated
Published 22/02/2010 | 05:00
9 Jonathan Sexton
Not a flawless performance but pretty damn close. We did not see as much line-kicking as may be required next weekend but Sexton ran hard, passed well, put in some meaty hits and helped win a couple of turnovers. Throw in six from seven placed kicks and a try stemming from good support play (for a total of 22 points) and it adds up to a display that will be hard to ignore.
7 Eoin Reddan
A lively, intelligent showing. The scrum-half's distribution and decision-making were up to the mark, and he made a couple of good breaks in a convincing audition for Twickenham.
6 Shane Horgan
Carrying a knock and not as involved as much as he would have liked. Scarlets had some joy down his channel and he missed a tackle in the build-up to the Welsh try. But there were also some trademark touches, including the powerful midfield surge which created the space for Isa Nacewa's try.
7 Shane Jennings
A strong showing from Leinster's captain on the night. Burrowed feverishly, and success-fully, for ball while putting in his tackles. Did his chances of making the Twickenham 22 no harm at all.
8 Girvan Dempsey
Dempsey showed all the qualities that made him Ireland's first-choice full-back for much of the last decade. His fielding was assured, he looked sharp on the ball and he made several crunching hits. It would have been a fairytale inclusion, but he was last night left out of the squad.
7 Mike Ross
The tighthead's Ireland candidature is crippled by his lack of starts for Leinster and Ireland Wolfhounds (where he was covering for Tony Buckley). He was reduced to a brief blood-bin appearance and 20 minutes at the end but showed in that time why he is so highly regarded as a scrummager.