Sport Rugby

Sunday 21 January 2018

ireland ratings

ROB KEARNEY: Quality player who deserves far better than this, an element of pique was understandable along with the yellow card. 5

FERGUS McFADDEN: No lack of desire or commitment but McFadden is a centre and asking him to be Tommy Bowe (or Shane Horgan on kick-offs) is too much. 4

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL: Hard to say it about an Ireland icon but O'Driscoll had a howler and the team lacked tactical leadership. 3

PADDY WALLACE: From beach towel in Portugal to Sonny Bill in Hamilton, Wallace was all at sea and you had to feel sympathy for him. 2

KEITH EARLS: Left the field after taking an unmerciful clout from Hosea Gear, Earls could make little impact out wide against the impressive Ben Smith. 4

JONATHAN SEXTON: Kicked very little and passed well but with Ireland chasing the game from early on, when Plan A was not working there was no Plan B. 4

CONOR MURRAY: Box kicks went too far and All Blacks successfully slowed down his ruck supply. Murray had a go around the fringes but was well contained. 4

CIAN HEALY: Third big game in a row for the bullocking loosehead, who gave his all in the scrum, defence and on the carry. A Lion in the making. 6

RORY BEST: One costly overthrow but was as wholehearted as ever. However, Best is at his most effective when the game is fought out in the trenches. 5

MIKE ROSS: The All Blacks spent the week assessing how to counteract Ross' scrummaging power and did so effectively. 4

DAN TUOHY: Regressed after a much improved showing in Christchurch and, as in Eden Park, looked out of his depth. 2

DONNACHA RYAN: A pillar of defiance, Ryan was still able to make his presence felt despite the swamping and excelled again out of touch with eight takes. 6

KEVIN McLAUGHLIN: You know what you get with him and his application is valued, but this was at a different level to anything he has ever come up against. 4

SEAN O'BRIEN: Never stopped trying but the All Blacks had him well marked, would have been good to have seen him tried at No 8 to free him up. 4

PETER O'MAHONY: Struggled to fill Jamie Heaslip's boots. Badly scooped by Aaron Smith. Had 13 carries, Ireland's most, but made little headway. 3

REPLACEMENTS

ANDREW TRIMBLE (for Earls 49-54, 64): Could make little difference. 4

CHRIS HENRY (for McLaughlin, 54): Full of enthusiasm and made good impact. 5

RONAN O'GARA (for Wallace, 54): Did as much as he could. 5

DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN (for Tuohy, 55): Did his best but his strengths are not chasing hopeless causes. 4

EOIN REDDAN (for Murray, 59): Cleared the ball efficiently but had one badly overcooked box-kick. 4

DECLAN FITZPATRICK (for Ross, 59): Will have welcomed the exposure. 4

SEAN CRONIN (for Best, 68): Fantastic break to stun All Blacks with his speed. 5

Irish Independent

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