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Friday 18 April 2014

Player ratings from Scotland v Ireland

Luke Marshall evades a challenge in the match
Luke Marshall evades a challenge in the match

Player ratings from the big match in Murrayfield

IRELAND

ROB KEARNEY: Tried to get more involved in the second half and had some impact, but also conceded a key penalty that changed the momentum. 5.

 

CRAIG GILROY: Last autumn's sublime debut against Argentina seems so long ago. Scored the only try but needs more ball to prove his class. 6.

 

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL: Quietest game of this Six Nations, although he repeatedly sought to inspire Ireland though his deeds. 6.

 

LUKE MARSHALL: Strong debut for the Ulster centre who bulldozed his way through Scotland's defence. Quieter in the second half, however. 7.

 

KEITH EARLS: Possibly Ireland's most frustrating player who is let down by his decision making. In one instance he made a fine break only to isolate his support. 5.

 

PADDY JACKSON: A debut to forget. Missed eight points from the kicking tee in a match that was decided by the finest of margins. 4.

 

CONOR MURRAY: Hesitant display from Ireland's scrum-half who, for all his talent, has yet to stamp his authority on a Test match. 5.

 

TOM COURT: Occasionally fallible at the scrum, but threw himself around in the loose. Ireland's pack generated so much possession and was fully involved. 6.

 

RORY BEST: The Ulster hooker has been a key figure for Ireland, but this was one of his least memorable matches of recent times. 6.

 

MIKE ROSS: Anchored the scrum but except for the odd carry in the loose, was barely noticed. Higher workrate needed, but may be beyond him. 6.

 

DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN: A seasoned campaigner who returned to the team because of injury, failed to have the impact he would have liked. 6.

 

DONNACHA RYAN: The pick of Ireland's forwards who eased any concern over his back injury with a commanding display in the tight. 8 .

 

PETER O'MAHONY: Failed to reproduce the all-action heroics that marked his display against England, but still threw himself around. 6.

 

SEAN O'BRIEN: Ireland's ball-carrying go-to man no longer repeatedly smashes big holes in defences, but his workrate is vast. A real presence. 8.

 

JAMIE HEASLIP: Another disappointing shift from Ireland's new captain, who failed to inspire in leadership or his display. 4.

 

REPLACEMENTS

 

DAVID KILCOYNE: Had little impact. Conceded late penalty. 5.

 

EOIN REDDAN: Quickened the game. 6.

 

RONAN O'GARA: Failed to deliver. 4.

 

LUKE FITZGERALD: Given no ball to work with. Costly knock-on. 5.

 

 

SCOTLAND

STUART HOGG: Handed over the kicking duties to Greig Laidlaw after his first-half miss but was invaluable as a last line of defence - 7/10.

 

SEAN MAITLAND: Everyone knows the attacking he poses but proved he is just as strong at the back as he halted Brian O'Driscoll to prevent early try - 6.

 

SEAN LAMONT: The Glasgow man had to front up to the likes of O'Driscoll as Ireland dominated in the first half but did not let his side down - 6.

 

MATT SCOTT: Edinburgh centre showed a maturity beyond his 22 years as the Scots survived an early battering - 6.

 

TIM VISSER: Was expected to be the Scots' main attacking threat but barely saw the ball - 5.

 

RUARIDH JACKSON: Stand-off could not make any great territorial gains and was instead required to find touch just to keep his team out of trouble - 5.

 

GREIG LAIDLAW: The hero of the day with four perfect kicks to hand Scotland victory - 9.

 

RYAN GRANT: Brought in to add physicality to Scotland's pack and played an important part - 7.

 

ROSS FORD: Effective at the set-piece as Scotland held up Ireland's desperate pack - 7.

 

GEOFF CROSS: Euan Murray's stand-in proved himself no lesser an option as he scrummaged with dominance - 7.

 

RICHIE GRAY: Had to do the dirty work as Ireland drove on time and again but was magnificent in the role - 8.

 

JIM HAMILTON: Determined at the set-piece driving Scotland forward, he epitomised the team's determination not to lose - 8.

 

ROBERT HARLEY: Off early as he was momentarily treated for a cut to the head but returned to drive Scotland on with real guts - 7.

 

JOHNNIE BEATTIE: Unable to lead the charges with his usual style but stayed calm as the battle got frantic - 6.

 

KELLY BROWN: The skipper simply led by example, tackling everything in sight - 8.

 

REPLACEMENTS

 

DOUGIE HALL: Brave in the tackle - 6

 

MORAY LOW: Played brief part - 5.

 

ALASTAIR KELLOCK: Stood strong in dying moments - 6.

 

DAVID DENTON: Had to be resolute at the end - 6.

 

DUNCAN WEIR: Positive display - 6.

 

 

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