Thursday 23 November 2017

Player Ratings: Ireland v Scotland

2 February 2014; Andrew Trimble, Ireland, on his way to score his side's first try. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
2 February 2014; Andrew Trimble, Ireland, on his way to score his side's first try. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Ireland ground down the Scots to get their 2014 campaign up and running. Here is how we rated the players


ROB KEARNEY: The full-back led out the side as he won his 50th cap and celebrated the occasion with the third try. 6

ANDREW TRIMBLE: Found himself in acres of room to run in the first try on the stroke of half-time. 7

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL: His legs may be slowing but his mind is still sharp as ever. Winning a record 129th cap, he showed all his experience as he waited until the right moment before slipping the ball wide to Luke Marshall in the lead up to Trimble's score. 7

LUKE MARSHALL: A dynamic figure in the midfield as he provided the hosts with vital energy where it matters. 7

DAVE KEARNEY: Both a trusty hand in attack and defence, he did a decent job before being denied a last-gasp try by the TMO. 6

JONNY SEXTON: Thought he had created the first try after a fantastic 60-yard drive set up Jamie Heaslip in the corner only for Max Evans to appear just in time to drag the number eight into touch. His 13 points proved elementary in the end. 7

CONOR MURRAY: A busy display from the number nine as Ireland dominated at the breakdown. 6

CIAN HEALY: The prop had the better of Moray Low pretty much every time as Ireland enjoyed the better of the scrum contests. 7

RORY BEST: Did not have line-out expert Paul O'Connell to hit but the hooker handled the set-piece reasonable well. 6

MIKE ROSS: Found himself frustrated by the Scots' mauling abilities in the opening half but fared better after the break. 6

DEVIN TONER: With O'Connell missing it was up to the Leinster lock to stand up and be counted at the line-out and he did a fine job. 7

DAN TUOHY: A late call-up for sick O'Connell, the Ulster giant proved himself an able deputy. 6

PETER O'MAHONY: Competed well against some determined opponents as he did the ugly parts of the game. 6

CHRIS HENRY: Bust his gut at the breakdown as Ireland streaked ahead later in the game. 7

JAMIE HEASLIP: Denied by Evans when a try looked a certainty just before half-time, the Irish skipper captain made amends seven minutes after the restart as he drove a maul through the Scottish defence to notch up his ninth try for his country. 8


MARTIN MOORE (for Ross, 63): Did not have much to do. 3

JACK McGRATH (for Healy, 64): On for some fresh impetus. 3

SEAN CRONIN (for Best, 66): Tidy with the little ball he saw. 3

TOMMY O'DONNELL (for O'MAHONY, 66): Did well in final stages. 3

ISAAC BOSS (for Murray, 74): Thrown on with the game already over. 2

PADDY JACKSON for Sexton, 74): Little chance to make an impact. 2

FERGUS McFADDEN (for O'Driscoll, 74): Thrown on as O'Driscoll got his ovation. 2

IAIN HENDERSON (for Toner, 74): Hardly saw a touch. 2


STUART HOGG: How the Dark Blues have missed the British and Irish Lion in the year since his last cap. His daring drives and clever hands gave them a new dynamic dimension, it is just a pity more of his team-mates are not on his wavelength. 6

SEAN MAITLAND: Limped off after half an hour with nasty looking ankle injury just as the New Zealand-born wing looked like he was warming up for another decent display. 5

ALEX DUNBAR: Did not let his side down as he tasted Six Nations action for the first time, especially with a couple of important last-ditch tackles.6

DUNCAN TAYLOR: Another who is inexperienced at this level, the Saracens centre found it hard to get the better of the wily old O'Driscoll. 5

SEAN LAMONT: At 33, the veteran winger is an accomplished international but perhaps now lacks the pace needed to operate at the top level. 5

DUNCAN WEIR: Was chosen ahead of Glasgow team-mate Ruaridh Jackson as the better all-round package but the youngster struggled to dictate the rhythm of the game. 5

GREIG LAIDLAW: The vice-captain did his best to be inventive in and around the breakdown but ended up having to fight fires as Ireland grew in stature. 6

RYAN GRANT: The Glasgow prop was simply barged out the way as Heaslip scored Ireland's second. Replaced by Dickinson. 5

ROSS FORD: Four erratic line-outs in the first period wasted vital territory and possession the visitors had worked so hard to gain. 5

MORAY LOW: An awkward character at the maul, the Edinburgh man did well to frustrate the hosts in the early stages but struggled to contain Ireland at the scrum. 6

TIM SWINSON: It was the Glasgow lock's Championship debut but he showed promise up against a physical pack. 6

JIM HAMILTON: Had a rookie second-row partner in Swinson but held up his end of the bargain before being subbed for Richie Gray. 6

RYAN WILSON: The fourth Scot to make his Six Nations bow can look back on a tireless shift with satisfaction. 5

KELLY BROWN: The Scotland skipper leads by example but he found it difficult to give his side a platform at the breakdown. 6

DAVID DENTON: The Edinburgh man tried to bulldoze his way through the Irish ranks a couple of times with success. 7


MAX EVANS (for Maitland, 32): Came up with a try-saving tackle on Heaslip just before the break. 4

ALASDAIR DICKINSON (for Grant, 53): Fresh legs as Scotland tired. 3

RICHIE GRAY (for Hamilton, 58): Little time to show his talents. 3

JOHNNIE BEATTIE (for Brown, 58): Did not get a chance to run at the Irish. 3

MATT SCOTT (for Taylor, 64): Still struggling for fitness. 3

GEOFF CROSS (for Low, 66): Couldn't get into the match. 3

PAT McARTHUR (for Ford, 74): Thrown on for a late run out. 2

CHRIS CUSITER (for Laidlaw, 74): Barely noticed in final stages. 2




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