Thursday 18 December 2014

Pictures: Ireland player ratings

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<p><strong>ROB KEARNEY 7.5/10</strong></p>
<p> Difficult to re-scale the heights of Paris, but almost succeeded. Petty perhaps, but a lot more needed from him in attack off the phases; some questions of his defence too.</p>

ROB KEARNEY 7.5/10

Difficult to re-scale the heights of Paris, but almost succeeded. Petty perhaps, but a lot more needed from him in attack off the phases; some questions of his defence too.

TOMMY BOWE 7.5/10

Another not far away from his Paris performance. Dangerous in possession and solid in defence, could be used to greater effect in attack from phases.

KEITH EARLS 7.5/10

The quiet man of the backline; seems to slip in seamlessly and efficiently to every situation. Essential element of overall effort, particularly in midfield.

GORDON D'ARCY 6/10

2012 has been a struggle for him, not unrelated to BOD's absence but not caused totally by it either. Another largely anonymous performance until substitution.

ANDREW TRIMBLE 7/10

The will o'the wisp winger was never going to have a big day with Scotland's tight organisation; took soft try well though, and was always hungry for action.

JONATHAN SEXTON 8/10

Revelled in having Reddan restored to starting partner status; excellent playmaking, from hand and foot, in vision and execution. Outstanding place-kicking.

EOIN REDDAN 7.5/10

Brought entirely changed dynamic to team's tempo and for this reason alone will be seen by many, other than Kidney, as preferred starting option.

CIAN HEALY 8/10

Maturing process continues, and some way ahead of schedule too. Now enjoys cornerstone status, notwithstanding tendency to concede penalties.

RORY BEST 7/10

Fully-deserving of captaincy. Lineout still slightly scratchy, but bold early decision rewarded with scene-setting opening try. Substituted early with coach's eye on Twickenham.

MIKE ROSS 7.5/10

Second-season syndrome continues, but doesn't undermine by one iota his importance to team effort and dominant scrum. Remarkable resilience in context of six-day turnaround.

DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN 7/10

With ROG, BOD, and POC not starting, unlikely last 'O' standing. Needed to move up a gear and did, but failed to establish senior pro position.

DONNACHA RYAN 8/10

As with Reddan, change of role contributed to change of tempo. A mobile workhorse, contributed more than his share at coalface, and visibly grew in stature. A second- rows' second-row.

STEPHEN FERRIS 8/10

A freak of rugby physicality, was central to every aspect of Ireland's effort. Guaranteed anchorman of backrow, regardless of combination involved; main pillar player' in absence of BOD & POC.

JAMIE HEASLIP 7.5/10

Lack of opportunity to carry restricted his opportunity to visibly stamp himself on proceedings; much-improved workrate contributed positively to overall effort.

PETER O'MAHONY 7.5/10

Deserved first start, and another tempo-driver. Suited to Scots' style, made a real nuisance of himself; future challenges, and there'll be many, will be more testing.

DECLAN KIDNEY 8/10

Uniquely testing season not helped by his own innate conservatism; as reflected in uncharacteristically early substitutions, Twickenham will be a career milestone, come what may.

Jill Glennon's player ratings

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