RBS 6 Nations 2011: Ireland Player Ratings versus England

1. Cian Healy – 7
Put in a savage performance for 80 minutes. Really stood up to the English front row and they didn’t get much change from the Irish forwards. Always busy in the loose, only negative was conceding 2 penalties.

2. Rory Best – 7
Decent day in the lineout, offered plenty in defence. His counter rucking was very effective in turning over a number of balls. His best performance of the tournament.

3. Mike Ross – 6
Decent day in the scrum. Dominated his opposite number Corbiserio, but didn’t offer much else around the park.

4. Donncha O’Calllghan – 7
Showed his usual tenacity and aggression, managing to hold the ball-carrier and prevent him from going to ground was successful to slow ball down.

5. Paul O’Connell – 9
The last game of the 6 Nations was the first time O’Connell demonstrated that he is 100% back to his pre-injury self. Awesome display of physicality, turn overs, rolling-mauls, My man of the match.

6. Sean O’Brien – 7
Rounded off a highly successful campaign with a solid performance. Our tip to keep an eye on this player from last October came good this Spring. Watch out New Zealand!

7. David Wallace – 8
Belied his age early on. Clean breaks, beating defenders, cleaning up at the breakdown, he proved his critics wrong and showed that this 35 year old has plenty left in the tank.

8. Jamie Heaslip – 8
Good performance from Heaslip, Showed great leadership on the pitch, motivated and inspired the players around him. Future Irish captain.

9. Eoin Reddan – 6
Distribution was decent, kept at a nice high-tempo, suffered from a lapse in concentration that led to the ultimate price being paid – no excuses for that intercept try gifted to Thompson.

10. Jonnny Sexton – 9
Kicked the demons from the Welsh game to touch, put in an excellent performance and was delighted to see the smile on his face at the final whistle. We will head to the World Cup with two excellent out-halves.

11. Andrew Trimble – 7
Was busy all over the park, brought some real muscle to the Irish defense, teamed up well with Bowe in a few double-hits.

12. Gordon D’Arcy – 7
Defense was solid as ever and discipline was top notch. Centre pairing of BOD and Darcy didn’t give an inch to their opposite numbers. D’Arcy always made it over the gain line when in possession.

13. Brian O’Driscoll – 8
What a game to claim the highest 6 Nations try scorer of all-time! Superb performance, defence and attack was flawless.

14. Tommy Bowe – 8
Another player who has returned to his best, was involved in everything good about Ireland, only negative was the forward pass to O’Driscoll, where there was no need for it.

15. Keith Earls – 8
Even though England didn’t test his fielding abilities, he was lethal on the counter, playing full of confidence, backs himself at the right times and is a viable alternative in the fullback jersey. Selection nightmare for Kidney at fullback.


Tom Court – 4
Replaced Ross at 59′. Had a nightmare, popped up in every scrum and didn’t offer anything in the loose.

Ronan O’Gara – 8
Replaced Sexton at 70′ and BBC got it correct when they described him as the master, closed the game out by pinning England back in their own half.

Denis Leamy – 6
Replaced D Wallace at 71′ Typical hardworking performance from the Munster back row.

Sean Cronin
Replaced Best at 78′ – not on long enough to rate.

Leo Cullen
Replaced O’Connell at 79′ – not on long enough to rate.

Peter Stringer
Replaced Reddan at 79′ – not on long enough to rate.

Paddy Wallace
Replaced D’Arcy at 79′ – not on long enough to rate.

By Conor Buckley

5 thoughts on “RBS 6 Nations 2011: Ireland Player Ratings versus England

  1. Good marks – Agree with them all. Wally was outstanding for the 1st 40.

    Am worried about Court as a long term option for us at TH, possibly need to revisit Mushy as an option. Depends I suppose on whether the RWC will be 22 or 23 man squads? Anyone know for sure?

    With Ferris and Kearney to come back from Injuries plus Luke Fitz and TOL, we have the makings of a fairly robust squad

  2. “and they didn’t get much change from the Irish forwards.”

    Just a shame that when they did, the Irish back row broke off and were attempting to steal the ball when it was still under Nick Easter. This then disrupted Easter and England lost the ball. No penalty given – very annoying!

    Not bitter though – Ireland fully deserved the win, I did rage at the referee on a couple of occasions though!

    Deise_Prop – Not sure re 23 man squads. It would make sense but then it would have made sense for it to be introduced into the Six Nations too. So who knows?!

    What happens when a fully fit Stephen Ferris returns then guys? It’s great to have such competition for places, it’ll be a tough choice! If I was the Ireland coach I’d probably put him back in provided he reaches his previous form. Was the best blindside in the NH for me.

  3. Oh dear – 6 for Rosser – he destroyed the English scrum, which started dominating after Court came in. Can’t really argue with the rest though.

    Backup 3 is a real quandary now – Mushy might get another look … The hope is this is the team to play Aus, but the expectation is that TOL will come in and slow down everything. G Murphy and Flannery might come in, but Earls (lack of) capabilities under the high ball wouldn’t be tested by the Aussie backs ….

  4. ross deserves a higher score think he offered in defense as well rucked hard and helped to push england back! cian healy could get a few taken off for kicking the ball!!! props should never kick that gave england the opportunity to get the soft try! don’t blame redan too much it was a set play coaches play book would never be on off training pitch! thought he was the difference in the team offers more than stringer and o’leary pity we can’t morph the 3 together!!
    kearny will get his place back can’t wait to see the battle between him and isa in leinster!! for the 15 jersey!

  5. Creating a defensive maul from a tackle and getting awarded the scrum is an annoying tactic but Ireland are playing it very effectively. Any time an attacker goes in slightly too high, two Irish forward wrap him up and don’t let him get to the deck. I think they achieved 3 turnovers from this on Saturday. Simple and effective as long as everyone is in on it. Another example of England’s naivety at the weekend – they’ve been trying to do it the whole championship!

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