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
22 Andrew Trimble– not long enough to rate
by JL Pagano