Wednesday 13 December 2017

How they rated

Jim Glennon

Geordan Murphy 7/10

Good performance after relatively little game time following a shoulder reconstruction. Hasn't always shown his best and can be pleased with his showing. When on form there aren't many better.

Tommy Bowe 8/10

Back to his best of last season and also of South Africa. Increased involvement, most likely as a result of the out-half switch. Certainly won his personal battle with Monye.

Brian O'Driscoll 7/10

Outshone in Paris and would never allowed that to happen twice in succession. Assured both in attack and defence. Close to his old self again.

Gordon Darcy 7/10

One of Ireland's better performers of late and maintained that yesterday. Dealt well in defence with Flutey and pitched in with a few of his customary leg-driving carries. Hungry for work.

Keith Earls 7/10

A lot of speculation that he would be moved to full-back but the right decision was made to retain him on the wing. Performed well in attack, took his try well, still finding his feet at international level.

Jonathan Sexton 8/10

In his first Test outside Ireland and his first Six Nations start looked absolutely at home. Certainly the winner in the battle of the two Johnnies and varied his game to great effect.

Tomas O'Leary 6/10

Hasn't been at his best for most of the season and might not have started were Eoin Reddan performing for Leinster. Had his hands full with Danny Care. Much room for improvement.

Cian Healy 6/10

Will have learned from his first trip to Paris and his naive sin-binning. More comfortable against a less dominant English scrum. Still in the early stages of his international apprenticeship.

Rory Best 7/10

Welcome return after serious injury. Goes about his work in a quiet and effective manner. Got through a lot of it yesterday. Darts highly accurate, scrummaging abilities very welcome against the aggressive Hartley.

John Hayes 7/10

A century of caps for the great Bruff man and deserves every accolade even if it causes him more discomfort than the English scrum. A customary solid performance. Never disappoints.

Donncha O'Callaghan 7/10

His inclusion ahead of Cullen raised many eyebrows but he repaid the faith. His talent for causing mayhem everywhere, probably the main factor for his inclusion, was put to good use. Tremendous workhorse.

Paul O'Connell 7/10

Very prominent in the line-out once more with superb delivery for a match-winning try. Was out-muscled around the park in Paris and was obviously out to prove a point -- he succeeded. Led the physical battle upfront. Stephen Ferris 8/10

One of the abiding memories of last year's slam was the demolition-man performance of Ferris against England in Croker. Regained last year's highs, like Bowe, and put in some huge hits. Great to watch.

Jamie Heaslip 8/10

Outclassed in Paris in a pummelled pack but back to his best yesterday. Assured at the base of the scrum, solid in the line-out, and very prominent around the park. Should be delighted with his afternoon's work. David Wallace 6/10

Had one of his quietest games in Paris and was quiet again yesterday against the manic Moody. Did the basics well but is way more effective in a dominant pack.

Declan Kidney 8/10

Came in for some criticism after Paris. Although there were some surprise selections, namely O'Callaghan, and Buckley on the bench, a win in Twickenham is not easily achieved, particularly off 35 percent possession.







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