Player Ratings: Ireland v Samoa

The Pacific Islanders put in a great performance against a struggling Irish side. The Irish scrum was completely overwhelmed despite having a heavier pack-weight. Ireland lacked any direction or imagination, the sight of Brian O’Driscoll running across the pitch before getting turned over  summed up the Irish team’s performance. Ireland ended their six match losing streak but Declan Kidney is set for a week of sleepless nights ahead of next week’s test with the All-Blacks in Dublin.

Luke Fitzgerald – 8
Looked comfortable and assured under the high ball, the only player to create a bit of excitement with ball in hand, Rob Kearney should be worried.
Tommy Bowe – 6
Didn’t do much wrong, but didn’t see much ball. Was looking for work but had to drift infield to find it.
Brian O’Driscoll – 4
Poor game by his standards, looked like a headless chicken at some points.
Paddy Wallace – 3
Not a valid option at inside centre, very poor defense,To blame for the soft Samoan try. Gave away possession too much.
Andrew Trimble – 5
Again, had very little service from his own team, but didn’t get involved enough. Too many knock-ons and handling errors.
Ronan O’Gara – 7
Managed the game well, and closed it out by popping up for the try which effectively killed off any chance of a Samoan comeback.
Peter Stringer – 7
Provided quality, fast ball, has to start next week against New Zealand.
Tom Court – 5
Did not look comfortable at loose head, was pinged repeatedly for bringing the scrum down. When he switched sides looked much more comfortable.
Sean Cronin – 7
Solid lineout ball, found Toner each time, was great in the loose with a couple of nice line breaks.
John Hayes – 3
Poor performance, Does Kidney really have plans to bring Hayes on the plane to New Zealand? Time to cal it a day for a fantastic Irish servant.
Donnacha O’Callaghan – 6
Improved performance, made powerful line breaks, and a try-saving tackle in the second half.
Devin Toner – 7
Very competent in the lineout, secured 100% of own-ball and even stole a couple of wayward Samoan throws. Nice debut.
Denis Leamy – 6
Best Irish backrow on the day, decent performance. Provided the real grunt work at ruck time. Samoans were effective at slowing down quick ball and Leamy was the only one of the backrow that managed to ward them off.
Sean O’Brien – 5
Disappointing performance, looked very ordinary at this level. Took the ball into contact too often when he should have running into space.
Jamie Heaslip – 6
Decent first half, forced a few good turnovers, Took his try well.


Stephen Ferris – 5
Won’t be winning an Oscar for his performance after getting an elbow in the face, No place for that in the game.
Rory Best – 6
Decent lineout throws, and made himself busy in the loose.
Cian Healy – 6
Scrum certainly improved with the introduction of Healy, this had more to do with Court switching sides though. Unlucky to get held-up for his try.
Donnacha Ryan – 6
Provided a much needed sense of urgency and aggression at the rucks.
Issac Boss – not on long enough to earn a rating.

By Conor Buckley