RWC 2011: Ireland Player Ratings v Wales

15. Rob Kearney– 8

Ireland’s best player IMO. Didn’t do much wrong.

14. Tommy Bowe – 6.5

Pretty much silent throughout, one or two good touches

13. Brian O’Driscoll– 7

Reminiscent of his early years as captain where he tried to do everything himself. Had some great touches, tackles & turnovers but I’m still not sure why ROG wasn’t allowed have a go at those early penalties.

12. Gordon D’Arcy– 6.5

Jury is still out on his responsibility for the Phillips try but being a centre he should be seeing himself as the primary tackler in that situation and not joining a ruck IMO.

11. Keith Earls–  6.5

Good finish for his try but cancelled it out with his role in letting Davies get through for the clincher

10. Ronan O’Gara– 7

Not his best day at the office but I’ll never understand why he was picked if he wasn’t allowed to play the game the way he knows how. It was like the coaching staff over-thought it and tried to get him to pass & tackle more to somehow upset the Welsh. If so, it didn’t work.

9. Conor Murray- 6.5

He will be part of the Ireland setup for a long time to come and the experience will stand to him. Not sure he was ready for this occasion though.

1. Cian Healy– 5.5

Polar opposite of his showing against the Wallabies. He was up against a formidable front row and perhaps the struggle there took from his prowess in the loose. And then there was the non-tackle on Davies.

2. Rory Best– 7.5

Easily the pick of our forwards in my book. One or two bad darts but coming off a shoulder injury made two big tackles and a block-down in the opening quarter. Put himself about well and had a fine World Cup.

3. Mike Ross – 6

Much like his propping partner was kept quiet in the scrums and only had secondary involvement around the park.

4. Donncha O’Callaghan– 7

One of his better outings of late, steady at the lineout and forced some turnovers

5. Paul O’Connell– 7

Did everything he could to make an impact but had a lot to deal with in Charteris and AW Jones.

6. Stephen Ferris– 6

Ireland lost the backrow battle badly, so similar scores & review for all three. Crash ball opportunities were minimal.

7. Sean O’Brien– 6.5

Whatever about Heaslip helpung his clearing out duties, Sean was shown to be missing the 6 jersey in this match.

8. Jamie Heaslip – 6

His frustration when being dragged laterally into touch said it all.


16. Sean Cronin– DID NOT PLAY

17. Tom Court– DID NOT PLAY

18. Donnacha Ryan– not long enough to rate

19. Denis Leamy– not long enough to rate

20. Eoin Reddan – 7

He and Sexton were brought on too late for my liking. Did their best to energise the offence but the back row was too knackered by then to make it count

21. Jonathan Sexton– 7

See Reddan.

22  Andrew Trimble–  not long enough to rate

by JL Pagano

11 thoughts on “RWC 2011: Ireland Player Ratings v Wales

  1. What;s good about this is that the average score isn’t that much lower than Wales which is a reflection on how well matched a game this was. It was a fantastic competition between two teams adept at both attacking and defending, both knowing when to switch from one to the other. Small margins made the difference, but Wales first XV is better than Ireland’s first XV at this time.

    1. “What’s good about this is that the average score isn’t that much lower than Wales which is a reflection on how poorly English people rate Ireland. It was a fantastic competition between two teams adept at both attacking and defending, both knowing when to switch from one to the other. Small margins made the difference, but Wales manager (Gatland) is better than Ireland’s manager (Kidney) at this time.”

      There. Fixed that for you. Tactically, Ireland were completely shown up. Not playing Sexton was big. Wales set up a flat defensive line to push up against our runners and stifle our running game. It’s confirmed that they tackled low to bring down the big runners like Ferris and O’Brien. And they could do it as there was no Sexton on the field to make deft grubbers in behind the flattened line and exploit that. Ireland didn’t attempt to maul. Ireland asked no questions of Wales. It was Wales that asked all the questions. We’ll see how good Wales really are now, against a team they usually struggle against, a team that is superior to England at this time – France. Livremont will at least bother to ask questions of Wales, that Kidney didn’t bother to do.

      1. I partially agree. I agree that Gatland and Shaun have a large part in how Wales set themselves up for this game. Before the match the Wales fans main concern was the Irish back three, and Wales nullified them with an awesome technically superior and physically dominant display. The focus on chopping down below the legs was spot on. Ireland walked into a bit with O’Brien and his “if there isn’t a gap, I’ll make one” pre match approach that clearly indicated they (as did the rest of us I think) their back row was superior and would win the game. They didn’t have a plan B when it didn’t.

        However, I don’t think different tactics would have been enough either. We were better going forward than Ireland so we were always going to score tries. Yes, the tries were arguable soft but all four were; the final score often tends to look soft but it takes ages to get yourselves into the position where you take one of those chances, and you don’t take them all.

        As for France, it’s a big game. I cannot imagine us winning. However, coaching again might make a difference as the rumours are that this France team are playing for themselves, with the coach shut out. France playing as a unified team, for each other, each man simply playing good rugby, was good enough to beat a messy England. But as you’ve said above Wales won’t be so messy as they are well coached, so will France miss their coach for this match? I hope so.

  2. how has rog a 7 kicked 3 balls dead! didn’t demand a kick at the posts! was hiding all day around rucks and not defending trying to break on the inside into turn over tackles didn’t chip over the top once to stop the rush defense and was the reason our back row were knackered! sexton came on roberts ran straight at him and he stopped him held him up and created a turn over maul! he should of been starting!

    1. Hi Rick I gave ROG a 7 because I felt to give him any lower would be to somehow blame him for the result, and my contention is that once he was picked he should have been allowed to kick for the posts every time. The conversion Priestland nailed after the 3rd Wlesh try was roughly in the same spot where ROG would have been kicking from had we chosen to kick the first pen. True, he didn’t have the best day at the office, but it took him a while to start trying to kick for the corners and it was as though he wasn’t meant to, so again, why was he there at all to start?

  3. hopefully next match Ireland play will have this backline 9 murray 10 sexton 11 fitz 12 mc fadden 13 bowe 14 trimble 15 kearny we need physicality and speed think that would be a nice mix! it was the coaches mistake picking o’gara if our forwards can’t dominate all his weaknesses are highlighted. every one knew what the welsh tactics would be with him on the pitch and it happened. he has been a great servant to irish rugby but the game has moved on need more rounded players!

  4. Don’t understand how you rated Sean O’Brien ahead of Ferris. Ferris by far was the best backrow , he went into the rucks and made sure we had the ball for as long as we did , he endlessly ran at the defence. Sean O’Brien did nothing bar a few runs. Sean O’Brien recieves far too much hype.

    1. I agree. Ferris was better for us in that match. The 6.5 for D’Arcy was far too kind. Given that matches often hinge on scores like that, I can’t think for a more untimely lapse in concentration that allowed Wales to score the second try, and swing momentum back in their favor. It was a massive moment in the game, and he didn’t too much of anything right aside from that. I think gave him a 4 and some players were given a 3. But that’s just anger and it will pass. We’re not a great rugby power. People in Ireland need to wake up to that.

      1. The Irish people already accept that we’re not a great rugby power – that’s the problem.

        We are capable of being the best team in the world – but that starts with belief and as yet we’ve never had it. Check out the population of the greatest rugby power on earth – you know, the ones that have just lifted a certain cup today?

        Sure there are other problems with infrastructural set-up, but no-matter how good that is, you can never be the best until you believe it – and if small minds continue to accept our little lot, then greatness will never be achieved.

  5. It was madness starting with ROG…Roberts is 110Kg Davies is 105Kg Priestland is 92Kg and Philips is 100Kg. ROG is 84Kg and Darcy is 90Kg unfortunately size does matter in this situation and I think the game has moved on now to the point where 100kg and 6 foot is minimum requirements for any position.
    ROG is a last 20min man, when players are tired and we need position. Also I don’t rate Earls, its great being a poacher but you have got to defend aswell, Crazy that Trimble didn’t get a start.
    Ultimately Kidney is to blame as he had more weapons than he used and favoured some players over others based on past history it would seem, and there for should be sacked !!!

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