Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ireland Player Ratings v Australia

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Seemed spooked by Israel Folau's prowess early on but grew into the game and went looking for work all afternoon. Joe Schmidt certainly needs him fit next weekend.

tommy bowe

His loose kick under pressure led to Australia's second try, but Ireland need to get the ball into his hands far more often than they have in their opening two games of the autumn.

brian o'driscoll

Not much for the show-reel here; his game could have ended after 23 minutes but he refused to submit. The backs skipped him more often than not and his influence was negligible.

luke marshall

Misread Quade Cooper's intentions after half-time and paid the price, but the young Ulster man was a threat all afternoon and carried the game to the Wallabies.

fergus mcfadden

Ireland's best player carried for more yardage than anyone on either side and took the game to Australia. Unfortunately, his in-your-face attitude and spark was not matched elsewhere.

jonathan sexton

Not a perfect display by any means but Ireland wilted when he departed, and his role in clawing back the deficit before half-time cannot be understated.

eoin reddan

Joe Schmidt placed his faith in the Leinster scrum-half, but he couldn't dictate the tempo and was outplayed by Will Genia. Oversold himself for Nick Cummins' try.

cian healy

Slipped off Stephen Moore in the build-up to Australia's first try, but otherwise strong in the tackle area. Lacked the impact with ball in hand that Ireland needed.

rory best

Couldn't exert the kind of influence he did against Samoa and, while strong out of touch, was partly to blame for the scrum woes. Needs more next Sunday.

mike ross

An evening to forget. Struggled at scrum time and crucially bounced off James Horwill in the build-up to Australia's first try. Carried well.

devin toner

Busy around the pitch and, one fumble aside, strong in the air on green ball. Failed to provide sufficient ballast at scrum-time, though, and Australia dealt with him easily with ball in hand.

paul o'connell

Handling let him down, while his decisions around kicking penalties rather than going for scrum or line-out were questionable, particularly when Ireland had the Aussies under pressure in the 30th minute.

peter o'mahony

Won't want to watch the replay of Australia's second try, where his opposite number Scott Fardy batted him aside. Nowhere near as abrasive as last week.

sean o'brien

An early knock-on aside, he carried with more threat than his forward colleagues. But never laid a glove on Michael Hooper at the breakdown.

jamie heaslip

If proving a point from his Lions disappointment was on the agenda, then the vice-captain didn't deliver. The game passed him by to a large degree.


Ian Madigan's (5) lack of game time was evident, while Conor Murray (5) couldn't fix the problems at the base. Stephen Archer (5) struggled, while Sean Cronin (6), Jack McGrath (6) and Mike McCarthy (6) couldn't make an impact. Robbie Henshaw and Kevin McLaughlin were introduced too late to be rated.

joe schmidt

Took over an Ireland side at a low ebb and three weeks' training could not fix the ills that plagued 2013. O'Connell suggested that the non-Leinster players are trying to take a lot in; may need to simplify things this week.

Irish Independent

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