Saturday 16 December 2017

Jim Glennon's player ratings

Rob Kearney 7/10: Presumed by most as a cert for the plane, and this was simply a case of getting match practice. Didn't shine, but a solid outing, ticking several boxes. More to be ticked during August though.

Andrew Trimble 6.5/10

Liked by Kidney and, barring injury or a major shock, will be in the squad. Typically lively, physical performance; made himself available for work throughout which will be important in NZ.

Fergus McFadden 7.5/10

An excellent performance. Tireless worker and quite dynamic, was in excellent form all last season and seems to have carried this through pre-season. Provides Kidney with a lot of options.

Paddy Wallace 6.5/10

A big opportunity in light of Gordon D'Arcy's problems, Wallace is a 'pet' player of Kidney. A virtual cert for the plane, but real doubts around his physicality at World Cup level --interestingly, was targeted by Scots.

Luke Fitzgerald 6.5/10

Coming off the back of a poor Six Nations, albeit with improved form for Leinster at season's end. Needs to impress in August. Versatility a feature, as with many others around him. Looked strong and confident yesterday.

Jonathan Sexton 7/10

Kidney's number one outhalf after excellent finish to last season. Mixed his game reasonably well in what was as structured a team performance as could have been expected.

Tomás O'Leary 7/10

Like Kearney, in dire need of game-time, but will travel, barring injury. Looked rusty in his passing at times, but defensive capabilities were to the fore.

Tom Court 6.5/10

Ability to cover on both sides of the front-row (although not always convincingly) bestows 'near-certainty' status. Hard to know what to make of him really but a decent performance.

Sean Cronin 6.5/10

Will travel, along with Best and Flannery (fitness permitting). Consistently lively around the pitch, can be let down at times by his basics. His throw was challenged by a strong Scottish defensive line-out and faltered.

Tony Buckley 7/10

Likely to travel, but under pressure. Off the boil somewhat last season, and needs to dispel any doubts over his commitment and application. Struggled against Jacobsen but showed his power at the breakdown.

Donnacha Ryan 6.5/10

Vying with Mike McCarthy, Mick O'Driscoll and Kevin McLaughlin for a seat on the plane. Strong physically, and reliable at the line-out as well as in defence. Solid without excelling, has yet to convince at the highest level.

Leo Cullen 7.5/10

On the flight already. Showed his leadership qualities in a mix-and-match pack, and showed that he should be in the engine-room with O'Connell when the big ones roll around. Typically assured performance.

Mike McCarthy 7/10

First cap, and a big chance, particularly in light of Ferris's injury troubles. Widely speculated that there might be a spot for a back-five-cum-blindside and, on this performance, has more than an outside chance. Put himself about very well.

Denis Leamy 7/10

Will certainly travel, most likely as Heaslip's back-up, and as such this was a valuable opportunity to stake a claim for the starting position. Brought the fight to a strong Scottish back-row but has a way to go.

Niall Ronan 6.5/10

Needed a big performance to force his way into Kidney's plans. Prospects enhanced by Shane Jennings' limited training participation and, while he played well and seemed to cover every blade of Murrayfield, the Boyneman remains an outside bet.

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