RBS 6 Nations 2011: Ireland Player Ratings versus France

Luke Fitzgerald – 5
Made a superb early break, but as the game went on looked uncomfortable under the high ball – but then again, who wouldn’t, with the spectre of Rougerie bearing down on you!

Fergus McFadden – 6
Took his try well, did all the hard work in its creation and got to finish. Looked like he enjoyed playing in this immensely physical game.

Brian O’Driscoll – 7
Inspirational as ever, nothing less than 100% from the captain. His hit on Rougerie had him seeing stars in a similar vein to Wilkinson’s hit on Masi in the Italian game.

Gordon D’Arcy – 4
Another mistake-ridden afternoon’s work for D’Arcy, and was at fault for the missed tackle on Rougerie that lead up to the French try. Needs serious improvement.

Keith Earls – 6
Had a bit of a shaky start with some nervous mistakes but made up for it in the second half, with a beautiful chip through that showed his creativity. Unlucky not to be rewarded with a try on the day.

Jonathon Sexton – 7
Had a good game but for one missed conversion, his substitution did not reflect on his game, and was tactical.

Tomas O’Leary – 5
Improved on last week’s laboured distribution, but still has a lot of work to do. Started well with plenty of quick ball but as the game rolled-on, he slipped back into the two-step pass.

Cian Healy – 7
Credit where it’s due, Healy had a great game, stood up well to the French front-row. Easily Ireland’s best scrummager on the day.

Rory Best – 5
Had a decent game, set-pieces were improved from last week. Was at fault for the late lineout mess up in the second half though, which was costly.

Mike Ross – 6
Made a nice break to setup O’Leary’s try, had a good day in the scrum, will improve with more exposure at this level.

Donncha O’Callaghan – 6
Another good day at the office for Donncha, displayed great aggression and physicality from early on. Did a solid job at the lineout and restarts have improved too. Got pinged once or twice by Pearson which would be the only negative aspect of his day’s work.

Paul O’Connell – 6
Solid performance from the Munster lock, still settling in at international pace since his return, dominated the lineout and had many an aerial dual with Harinordoquy.

Sean O’Brien – 7
The backrow trio functioned well against France. O’Brien had some gig carries and displayed some deft handling skills that belies a player his size.

David Wallace – 7
Immense in defense, seemed to be involved in every ruck. Had some barnstorming carries that set up both the first and last tries.

Jamie Heaslip – 7
A quiet start but once up to the pace of the game contributed well. Didn’t look like a player that had been out of the game for 5 weeks!


Tom Court – 4
Replaced Healy midway through the 2nd half. Got penalised at the scrum twice, didn’t look comfortable at all.

Ronan O’Gara – 6
Change of tactic midway through the second half saw ROG come on, almost immediately put his stamp on the game with a perfectly measured kick to the corner.

10 thoughts on “RBS 6 Nations 2011: Ireland Player Ratings versus France

  1. Darcy hasn’t played well for a couple of years – people just like the sound of Darcy-O’Driscoll. Not anymore. I know we’re strapped for backs at the moment, but I’d be tempted to chuck in Eoin O’Malley as long as McFadden’s needed on the wing – he performed with little top-level experience against Clermont in France, and we need to change something around. If Bowe is back, that beautiful man, get rid of Darcy and stick McFadden at 12.

  2. no coach comment?????????? has 2 get a 2 for picking the wrong 22
    and not using the bench! redan needs to start, trimble on bench or starting with mc fadden at 12
    team versus scotland
    1 healy 2 best for 50 mins 3 ross 4 cullen 5 poc replaced after 60 till match fit 6 ferris 7 o’brien 8 heaslip 9 reddan 10 sexton 11 earls 12 mc fadden 13 bod 14 bowe 15 fitz
    16 croinin 17 court 18 o’callanagh 19 wallace 20 o’leary 21 o’gara 22 trimble
    stringer t start if reddan gets injured o’leary for his versatility can’t have stringer and o’gara on the same bench we hopefully have learned since the lions tour!
    I would like to see Touhy from ulster starting but thats not going to happen

  3. can you guys tell me what James Downey @ northampton has done to deccie?
    he must have insulted his mum or something , he is Irelands best 12!!!!

  4. You cannot start Reddan – whatever about O’Leary not playing giving any quick service at least he’s ok in defence. Reddan gives nothing. O’leary to start and bring on Stringer at 60. Hell yes you can have Stringer and O’Gara on the same bench – a partnership like that brings quite a bit even if that physical talents are waning.
    You know, I didn’t even know James Downey was Irish – how has he never got a game?He’s not better than McFadden, but yeah, Kidney needs to give games to the Downeys/Carrs/Cronin etc

  5. Reddan gets a hard time i don’t see why if u watch leinster play reg he is very good at setting up tries has time and sees space he made the try from the quick through against clermont!! sexton will play better with him rather than o’learys slow crap passes! and reddans defense is good not as good as o’learys but he is a utility back and plays badly at 9!!!
    Spenser is a 13 not a 12 !

  6. I can handle playing a 13 at 12 at the moment. Darcy hasn’t played like an international for quite a while; 13 or 12 you can take a pass.

  7. hugh the solution of bowe 14 and mc fadden 12 is the best as they can switch for power plays and both strong in defense! yes spencer is a great talent but hes not fully ready yet give him another season! after world cup he’ll be the 13/ or o’mally
    we have a serious team developing
    backs that are young and can be world class
    kearny, fitz, earls, bowe, trimble, mc fadden, spencer, david kearny, morris, conway,cave, darcy ulster 15, Marchal best 9 in ireland just not gettin a chance! theirs more in the shadows waiting for their chance when did we ever have that much of a quality pool of players in the so called golden generation!!!

  8. sorry Hugh! don’t think we have anything to be complaining about except for the coach ha he doesn’t pick on form!

  9. I disagree with your pick of O’Leary to start Hugh, apart from being out of form, he is a 10 man rugby type of 9. His ‘service’ is killing the time and space for our outside backs. Kidney talks of playing with ball in hand etc. but picking O’Leary does not help this at all. As discussed above, we have exceptional talent in the back line and we should be doing everything we can to develop this, starting with picking a 9 who can give them a quality service! For me, I’d have Stringer on the bench no matter which 9 starts, to inject tempo into the game late on. Reddan to start though….

    Also, I agree with McFadden at 12 if Bowe is back. D’Arcy, unfortunately is horribly out of form but Wallace is not a solution. It’s too soon for O’Malley on the back of one Hcup game! Give him time to mature.

    One other thing, what do you think of Liam Tolands suggestion in the Irish Times to play Ferris in the second row? I really like the idea, if his basics of scrum, lineout and restarts were up to scratch then it would certainly add some major dynamism to the front five.

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