Friday 23 February 2018

Ireland player ratings

Rob Kearney

If Declan Kidney asserts that Ireland possess the core values and attributes necessary to expand their game, then the full-back must comprehensively buy into the game plan -- he seems reluctant to do so.

Tommy Bowe

Another bustling display from the Monaghan man. He was more integrated into Ireland's game than on any occasion during the summer. He will presumably be stood down for next week's bruiser.

Brian O'Driscoll

The permanence of class utterly eclipsed the ephemeral dip in form; that the Irish captain can so rise to the occasion, confirms that last-four World Cup dreams are redundant without him.

Gordon D'Arcy

Established an Irish record for a centre partnership alongside his Leinster mucker and performed admirably, again as much without the ball as with it, even when in attacking mode.

Luke Fitzgerald

Knee problem forced his premature retirement and, in fact, probably should have exited even earlier after shipping the initial heavy blow. A pity, as the chance to play him at full-back next week may now be lost.

Jonathan Sexton Notwithstanding Ireland's injury problems in the latter stages, it was nevertheless crucial that Sexton was not substituted. Performed admirably and remains pivotal to Ireland's game plan.

Eoin Reddan

Selection was much pilloried and while his distribution was stodgy in parts, his error count was minimal. However, decision-making, a key element of this team's development, must be sharper.

Cian Healy

Struggled with his binding all day. The feeling from those within the opposition camp was that Owen Franks recovered from a rocky outing against Andrew Sheridan to dominate the Leinster man.

Rory Best

Sadly had to depart prematurely after having his face rearranged on a day when more than one-third of the Irish team had to visit the infirmary; such was the physical impact of the mighty Kiwis.

Tom Court

Has now assured himself of a starting berth in Ireland's front-row; has a discon-certing capacity to lose his focus at scrum time, which may prove costly if not erased. Excellent effort in the loose.

Donncha O'Callaghan

Needed a significant performance and delivered, especially as the presence of Paul O'Connell in the stands reminds all of the leadership Ireland have been missing up front. Must now maintain this consistency.

Mick O'Driscoll

Roundly slated by a slew of former internationals, but his temperate attitude will have inured him to such criticism and his focus was rewarded with a display vindicating the coach's selection.

Stephen Ferris

Delivered the positive physical impact his supporters were wishing for, but still ended up being completely outplayed if viewed through the prism of his opposite number. The bar rises all the time.

David Wallace

A bit like John Hayes a fortnight ago, you wonder if this is the last significant start for Wallace against a force of real world power. Struggled with the pace and his hands were well below par for this type of game.

Jamie Heaslip

Like Ferris, needed to deliver a significant statement to remind the world game what all the fuss is about. Just his luck to be eclipsed by Kieran Read, my leading contender for player of the year.


Sean Cronin

Had a shocker from touch as he rushed on to replace the injured Rory Best. Must work on basics to become respected at this level. 5

Devin Toner

After stirring display against Samoa, this yardstick proved to be beyond even this giant's reach. 4

John Hayes

It remains outrageous that Hayes has been picked ahead of Mike Ross for the opening three games of this November series. 4

Keith Earls

Still struggling to regain his fitness and touch. 5

Denis Leamy

Hopefully injury problems are now fully behind him. 5

Peter Stringer

Must be afforded more than the risible 20 minutes or so of game-time he has shared with Sexton at out-half. 5

Declan Kidney

Selection was vindicated, as was decision to focus on this match. Still doesn't explain past fortnight of tactical cock-ups on his watch and the extent of fundamental problems will continue to hound him.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport