Sunday 19 November 2017

Ireland Player Ratings

David Kelly

David Kelly

Geordan Murphy 7

Just his luck to earn his only bow this November against a side mostly unwilling to play until the game disintegrated in the final quarter. Showed glimpses of his ability to facilitate support play from deep.

Tommy Bowe 6

Another who suffered from the mostly claustrophobic nature of the afternoon's endeavours. Didn't come infield looking for work as often as before and didn't have much to occupy his mind defensively.

Brian O'Driscoll 6

Selflessly persisted in playing on, even when smashed on his jaw and clearly suffering from a second-half concussive blow which, mercifully, was spotted by referee Mark Lawrence.

Gordon D'Arcy 9

Dominated the midfield partnership, resounding in defence and sternly vigilant in attack. Deserved his late try to seal a brilliant all-round display, perhaps the only occasion when kicking was an option.

Andrew Trimble 6

Took a great line from Murphy in the opening minutes but sadly drifted as an attacking force from then on. Poor choice to kick in the second half, albeit many of his team-mates were similarly suckered.

Jonathan Sexton 8

Superlative kicking display which hauled him past the century of international points and he arguably should have been allowed to finish what he started. Thrived on Stringer's snappier service.

Peter Stringer 8

On a day when slow ball dominated the sleeker stuff, Stringer's pace of delivery from the base of the forward morass allowed Ireland to demonstrate a breadth of consistent attack, for 40 minutes at least.

Cian Healy 7

Made an immense amount of effective tackles and demonstrated great leg-drive to force the penalty for the 13-0 and 16-3 leads. Struggled to hold his end up when shorn of Tony Buckley on tight-head side.

Sean Cronin 7

Still needs work on his throwing and that should become a special project for the Irish management team, as he may be a likely starter in the Six Nations and World Cup given the casualty rate in this area.

Tony Buckley 7

Renewed faith in his abilities but will this be yet another false dawn? Must now deliver consistently after sending the once-exalted Rodrigo Roncero to the knacker's yard early in the second half.

Donncha O'Callaghan 6

Marhsalled a strong physical effort in the first half, which repelled much of the barrage thrown his side's way. However, he flapped at two significant restarts which led to penalty concessions.

Mick O'Driscoll 6

Delivered again, despite calls for the more inexperienced Toner to be offered a chance to heighten his experience against top-class opposition. After a torrid display against South Africa, has responded well.

Stephen Ferris 8

Supporters have been wondering where the Ferris who shone in the class of the Lions tour of 2009 had disappeared to, but he re-announced his credentials as a potentially world-class back-rower yesterday.

David Wallace 8

Brushed off a serious enough ankle knock in the early exchanges to roll back the years, delivering a high-octane display and also marking himself down as the best offloader on the day.

Jamie Heaslip 8

A personal duel with D'Arcy for the man-of-the-match gong, Heaslip was effective for much longer than in any of the previous Tests this November and showed better awareness than hitherto for the opening try.

Replacements

Denis Leamy (6)

Has now overtaken Sean O'Brien as the prime back-row back-up.

Tom Court (5)

Conceded a breakdown penalty with first touch and coughed up at scrum time.

Damien Varley (6)

Made an immediate impact, ripping into an opponent on his own 22 to force turnover.

Keith Earls (6)

Only given a pitiful amount of game time in the outside-centre berth.

Ronan O'Gara (6)

Managed to see that an effective kick at the right time in the right area could produce dividends; unluckily, Ireland failed to convert.

Devin Toner

Not on long enough to be rated.

Eoin Reddan

Not on long enough to be rated.

Declan Kidney 6

His only motivation going into this match was to win and stem the flow of defeats that has afflicted his side recently, yet will have been disappointed that his side failed to build on promising first-half display.

Irish Independent

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