RBS 6 Nations 2011: Ireland Player Ratings versus Scotland

Luke Fitzgerald – 6
Struggled under the high-ball on a few occasions, not looking as confident or sharp on the ball as he has previously.

Tommy Bowe – 5
Obviously still not up to the pace of the international game, hardly got a touch of the ball all game.

Brian O’Driscoll – 5
Poor game by his own high standards, defensively solid but didn’t offer anything in attack.

Gordon D’Arcy – 5
Improvement on the last two games, again decent in defence but no creativity or penetration going forward.

Keith Earls – 7
Stood out as hungry and dangerous on the ball, came in off his wing looking for work, couple of great breaks and chips through.

Ronan O’Gara – 8
Man of the match performance alongside O’Brien, took his try well, all kicking from hand was excellent, controlled the game.

Eoin Reddan – 5
A couple of little darting runs exploiting space, was indecisive on one break and didn’t give the ball early enough to Earls and attack broke down.

Jame Heaslip – 6
Seemed to drift in and out of the game. Tackled well, and took easiest try he has scored in seasons!

David Wallace – 7
Much improved, some impressive carries and caused problems at the breakdown for Scotland.

Sean O’Brien – 8
Described as “The human wrecking ball” – completely true, what a game! His speed and strength can be easily compared to Pierre Spies at his peak. Awesome.

Paul O’Connell – 6
Grafted well through the game and Will Greenwood hit the nail on the head with this tweet: “O’Connell a quite incredible last 5 mins to steer Ireland home!! Lineout steal, maul steal, tackle, 50/50 ball. Incredible”

Donncha O’Callaghan – 6
Great aggression and defence while he was on the pitch, made way for Cullen at the right time.

Cian Healy – 7
Impressive couple of breaks and offloads to keep the ball alive. Irish scrum was much improved, although his discipline needs a little work.

Rory Best – 5
Didn’t offer anything in the loose. Throw-in’s were not always hitting his man, and conceded 2 penalties.

Mike Ross – 6
Again conceded 2 penalties at scrum-time, but did well other than that.

Replacements:

Peter Stringer – 6 Injected pace when needed at 60mins.
Sean Cronin – 5 Looked nervous again, didn’t settle well. Seems to be a slow starter and coming in off the bench is not helping his cause for Ireland.
Denis Leamy – 5 Doesn’t look up to international standard since returning from injury, discipline has always been an issue, although had a decisive turnover close to the end.
Leo Cullen – 6 Absorbed a lot of Scottish pressure when he came on.
Jonny Sexton – 5 The pressure of ROG having such a good game got to him. Came on and tried to run the ball out of his own half twice when he should have booted the ball to safety.
Tom Court – 5 Hardly noticed him when he came on.

By Conor Buckley