Thursday 23 November 2017


Geordan Murphy

Not a night for the Leicester man (one bad dropped ball, limited opportunities to counter-attack) who tends to perform better in dry conditions. Under pressure to hold off Rob Kearney. Tommy Bowe

Returning to fitness and form after his foot injury and recovered from early handling errors to take his two tries extremely well. Will be a key strike weapon against the Wallabies. Brian O'Driscoll

Very good in defence, bar one missed tackle, but still rusty and will look for a far greater impact next weekend. Did very well for Bowe's second try.

Gordon D'Arcy

Looked out of sorts, and not helped by a calf strain and delayed arrival. The intercept pass was a low point and Fergus McFadden is pushing hard for the No 12 jersey.

Keith Earls

Lively display by Earls, who was able to make inroads into the US defence with the possession that came his way, while containing the threat of Takudzwa Ngwenya.

Jonathan Sexton

His running threat troubled the Americans, but Sexton was unable to exert authority on proceedings and had a bad night with his place-kicking. Has a fight on his hands.

Conor Murray

Another assured outing from the youngster, who was given very little protection at ruck time. Used his size well when taking on possession and deserves to hold on for next week.

Tom Court

Destroyed Shawn Pittman at scrum-time and, although he does not possess Cian Healy's dynamism, Court's display was encouraging for what should be a busy World Cup for the utility prop.

Rory Best

Very good outing from the Ulster hooker, bringing all his scrummaging nous to bear on the Americans, as well as orchestrating his own try superbly and hitting his jumpers.

Mike Ross

His importance to the Irish forward set-up was emphasised once again. Played the full 80 and prospers from time on the pitch. Will relish the scrum showdown with the Aussies.

Donncha O'Callaghan

Part of a very effective set-piece display and a powerful presence in the maul. O'Callaghan threw himself into everything with gusto, one full-length dive on a loose ball standing out.

Paul O'Connell

Superb in the line-out and prominent throughout, O'Connell picked up the official Man of the Match award for his efforts but knows the bar will be raised next week.

Stephen Ferris

Getting back up to battle speed after his long lay-off and will be better for this outing. Ferris is on an upward graph and the Americans struggled to contain his power.

Shane Jennings

Battled gamely but was outgunned by Todd Clever and got sucked into the carnage of the breakdown. With Sean O'Brien due back, Jennings is unlikely to feature against Australia.

Jamie Heaslip

Not a dominant Heaslip performance, but, relatively short on game-time, it is safe to expect the Kildare man will use this as a springboard for a big one next weekend.

Eoin Reddan (Murray 51) 5

Tried to keep tempo up but put under pressure at rucks, leading to loose passes.

Ronan O'Gara (Sexton 51) 7

Brought a greater degree of control to proceedings and made his case for Auckland.

Jerry Flannery (Best 60) 6

One of the big pluses of the last five weeks, contributed well to keep heat on Best.

Denis Leamy (Jennings 60) 5

Not a natural openside replacement for Jennings and had a tough battle.

Tony Buckley (Court 65) 6

Buckley scrummaged very well at his weaker position of loosehead. Reassuring.

Andrew Trimble

(Murphy 67) 5

Did not have a lot to do but could be pre-planned inclusion against Wallabies.

Declan Kidney

(Ireland head coach)

Sensible substitution policy from the coach but no clear game plan or continuity from his players. Major direction and selection issues to address.

Irish Independent

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