Monday 23 October 2017

Ireland player ratings

Duncan Bech

How the Ireland players rated in the game against Italy

ROB KEARNEY: Worst performance of an otherwise solid, if unspectacular, Six Nations. Tried to inspire Ireland but it did not happen for him. 5/10

CRAIG GILROY: Almost wriggled through in the second half. Will have wished for more ball - the story of his championship. 6

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL: Marked what is likely to be his last appearance for Ireland by being sent to the sin-bin for stamping, but strong elsewhere. 6

LUKE MARSHALL: Barely involved until a clash of heads with Paddy Jackson ended his afternoon early for a second successive match. 5

KEITH EARLS: Another player to depart early, Earls suffered a shoulder injury shortly after setting off on a break. 5

PADDY JACKSON: Fine performance from the Ulster fly-half, who is growing into this level. Kicked five tricky penalties to keep Ireland in the hunt. 7

CONOR MURRAY: Started strongly, breaking at will and kicking with aplomb, only to blot his copybook with a petulant visit to the sin-bin. 5

CIAN HEALY: Typically robust when Ireland had their tails up in the opening quarter, but faded along with his team-mates thereafter. 6

RORY BEST: Looked a certainty for the Lions after two rounds of the tournament but has lost plenty of ground recently. Horrible day for the line-out. 5

MIKE ROSS: Ireland's scrum held up well against Italy and Ross could take satisfaction from having played his part. 6

MIKE McCARTHY: Only his second match back from injury and failed to produce the all-action display witnessed against France. 5

DONNACHA RYAN: Harshly sin-binned in the second half and as line-out leader will take some blame for the dire malfunction at the set-piece. 5

PETER O'MAHONY: Played most of the match on the left wing as Ireland contended with yet more injuries in a cursed Six Nations. 6

SEAN O'BRIEN: As always the Leinster openside hurled himself at the opposition and was his side's top carrier, but with little reward. 6

JAMIE HEASLIP: Ireland's captain is clearly trying so hard to lead by example and he could not be faulted today. 7

REPLACEMENTS

SEAN CRONIN: Came on for the ineffective Best. 5

DAVE KILCOYNE: Hardly the best circumstances to enter the game. 5

STEPHEN ARCHER: Tough day at the office. 5

DEVIN TONER: Made little impact. 5

IAIN HENDERSON: Got stuck in when he could. 5

PAUL MARSHALL: Only on for seconds at the end. 5

IAN MADIGAN: Found himself in midfield because of injury. 5

LUKE FITZGERALD: Came on, and then departed injured. 5

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