Sport Rugby

Friday 23 February 2018

ireland ratings

ruaidhri o'connor

6 5 5 7 5 5 5 6 7 6 5 5 6 6 8 5

Rob Kearney

Gave his all as part of a diminished leadership group, but was left abandoned in the last line of defence and struggled to contribute to Ireland's attack as those inside him got clogged up.

Tommy Bowe

Stretchered off with a suspected knee ligament injury after just 13 minutes.

Keith Earls

Missed three tackles, which is too much for any outside centre, but Ireland's narrow defence didn't help him as he spent most of the time scrambling. Made little impact in attack.

Robbie Henshaw

His brilliant pass put Luke Fitzgerald away for the first try and he contributed on both sides of the ball, but the toll of the effort against France and the responsibility heaped on his young shoulders seemed to tell.

Dave Kearney

Abandoned in defence where he uncharacteristicly missed five tackles. However, he was one of Ireland's more effective attackers, beating four defenders with his foot-work and power.

Ian Madigan

Couldn't pick up where he left off and exert control from No10. Whatever about the start, Ireland didn't play in the right areas when they got themselves into contention. Missed two kicks, including one to draw Ireland level.

Conor Murray

Ireland needed all of their experienced players to step up but Murray, despite some big moments, couldn't dominate and it was Martin Landajo who won the battle of the No9s. Late knock-on proved crucial.

Cian Healy

Never quite won his race to be fully fit for this tournament and Jack McGrath's performance off the bench suggested Healy might have been better utilised as a replacement.

Rory Best

Once again, the lineout ran smoothly and the scrum was strong. Best has been one of Ireland's best players at this World Cup and made some crucial interventions while leading from the front.

Mike Ross

Started the game poorly and was caught in the open on a number of occasions, but the big tight-head played his part at the scrum. Days could be numbered at this level.

Iain Henderson

May have been better deployed on the flank as his role was confined largely to defence. Only made seven runs for 13m and Ireland needed more from their most dynamic ball-carrier in Sean O'Brien's absence.

Devin Toner

Ran a solid lineout and contributed in the tight, but with Ireland being battered in contact and losing collisions the Meathman was found wanting in the loose. His high tackle on Sanchez was a game-changer.

Jordi Murphy

Ran an openside's line on the try and effected two turnovers. Also performed well in the lineout, but he was wearing the No6 jersey and lacked the power and size to impact the game in the loose.

Chris Henry

Gave absolutely everything in a dogged display and could walk off the pitch with his head held high, but like Murphy he lacked the power game Ireland needed to effect the game.

Jamie Heaslip

Led from the front with a turbo-charged effort. Continuously made tackles and got his side over the gainline, but too often he was acting alone. Perhaps he could have influenced the lack of control on the hour mark.

Joe schmidt

A day that will haunt the Ireland coach who knows that this was an opportunity missed. Players didn't get to the pitch of the game until too late and when they fought back they lacked control and discipline. Lamented the loss of experienced lieutenants.

Luke Fitzgerald (8)

If Ireland had won this game, as seemed possible after an hour, this would have been Luke Fitzgerald's day. Added the cutting edge so lacking at other times, finishing his try brilliantly before teeing up Murphy. Ireland just couldn't get the ball to him often enough.

Jack McGrath (7)

Came on as if affronted after not starting and threw everything into his task, hitting tackles and carried the game to Argentina at a time when those around him were flagging.

Nathan White (6)

Played his part in the recovery and can't be faulted for his tenacity in open play.

Richardt Strauss (6)

Came on as the tide was turning in Argentina's favour and could do little to arrest the slide.

Eoin Reddan and Donnacha Ryan not on long enough to rate

Irish Independent

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