RWC Warm-Up: Ireland Player Ratings v Scotland

Tom Court – 6
Decent performance, didn’t make any howling mistakes to jeopardise his place on the plane to New Zealand. Will travel for his ability to cover both sides of the scrum.

Sean Cronin – 6.5
Made some lovely breaks with the ball in hand. Line-outs were under pressure throughout but his throwing seemed to be fine, if a little slow. Looks to be a certainty to travel.

Tony Buckley – 7
Excelled at the breakdown, made a couple of nice steals. Was busy defensively. If only his scrummaging could improve as much as his loose play. Will travel as a replacement prop.

Donnacha Ryan – 6.5
Performed well in the lineout and showed amazing aggression and tenacity in defence. Will probably travel to NZ as he can provide back-row cover.

Leo Cullen – 6.5
Marshaled his pack effectively and did well at the lineout. At this stage its unclear whether he will ever displace Donnacha O’Callaghan, but so far we know that we have a decent vice-captain in Paul O’Connell’s absence.

Mike McCarthy – 6
Did well for his first cap, looked busy in defence but I don’t think he’ll go to new Zealand. Back row competition is cut-throat and I don’t think McCarthy did enough to warrant a place on the plane.

Niall Ronan – 5.5
Looked out of his depth at this level, will not make the final squad. Doesn’t have the ball-carrying abilities or physicality required for international rugby.

Denis Leamy – 6.5
Defensive work was excellent but didn’t see enough of Leamy in attack. Some huge tackles put in and the highlight of the match for me was when Leamy and Buckley carried one of the Scottish backs 6 meters back in a tackle.

Tomas O’Leary – 6.5
Not a bad performance for a player who hasn’t played at the level in such a long time. Although the pass seemed laboured at times, made up for it in defense when he made some crucial tackles.

Jonathan Sexton – 7
Decent, professional shift put in by Sexton. Mixed his game well. Will travel as number one outhalf.

Luke Fitzgerald – 7
Good return to the green jersey for Fitzgerald, looked dangerous in attack, Glad to see his has regained his mojo which was missing for a long time.

Paddy Wallace – 5
I went into this game with an open mind but still can’t find anything positive to say for Wallace. Was targeted by the Scots’ attack and did not pass with flying colours. Lacked imagination going forward and didn’t distribute the ball well.

Fergus McFadden – 6.5
Busy afternoon for Fergus, popped up all over the field, both in defence and attack. Ireland can afford to lose one of their first-team centres but demonstrated that to lose both could be disastrous.

Andrew Trimble – 7.5
My man of the match, was heavily involved in everything that was good by the Irish backline. Always looking for work and showed some excellent physicality. Could he be considered as a replacement 12? Possibly.

Rob Kearney – 6.5
Put in a splendid performance on his return to international rugby. Confident and safe under the high ball. Didn’t offer as much as usual in attack but plenty of time to work on that. Number 15 jersey should no longer be a worry for Kidney.

Flannery – Came through with flying colours, should have done enough to warrant a start next weekend.
Horan – Difficult to know if Marcus will make the final squad, deserves more game time to show what he can still do.
Hayes – The Munster veteran put in a solid 20minutes, Will almost definitely travel to NZ as a replacement prop.
O’Driscoll – Unlikely to make the traveling squad
McLaughlin – Decent performance, another player that needs some big performances to assure his place on the plane.
Boss – Didn’t offer a whole pile different from O’Leary,
Jones – Decent first cap for Jones, looked full of life and confidence, did enough to deserve more game time.

By Conor Buckley

10 thoughts on “RWC Warm-Up: Ireland Player Ratings v Scotland

  1. I still don’t understand how Paddy Wallace is getting time in the centre, he has not changed his level of play in a few years now. He simply lacks size there.
    I agree Trimble could be given a go in the centre now, we know what he can provide on the wing, he has a decent acceleration and brings physical power.
    Thought Boss was just average at best, Would like to see Murray given a chance to shine if thats possible in the games remaining.
    Mick O’Driscoll is a fine player but not at this level and surely that has been proven on several occasions now, why persist? i dont see the same lack of depth as with the centre issue.
    I think you are being kind to Buckley, he should be scrummaging better by now…

    It will be interesting to see where Earls and Bowe feature against France.
    I hope Felix jones gets another chance to show his ability, he has done well to come back from some nasty inijuries.

  2. if bod and darcy get inured it should be mc fadden 12 and bowe 13 ! if fitz was at his top form again i would put him in at 13 but not yet trimble doesn’t have the passing skills needed for 12! no need for doom and gloom we lost in the dieing seconds to a starting 15 for scotland it wasn’t nearly are strongest second team :)

  3. Whatever about the Irish performance, I would really hate to be Robinson with only one more warm up game against Italy before NZ.

    1. The Scots have quite a nice RWC schedule though, so I wonder if they’re planning to use the Romania and Georgia games as ‘warm-ups’ before taking on Argentina and England?

      Slightly risky strategy, but should help reduce injuries before the tournament.

  4. Wallace was appalling 5 too good. TOL slowed down any forward ball we had. MOD once again proven not international standard as was Ronan. Would still like to see McLoughlin get a shot as a lock but Ryan gave a good account for himself. Mushy not at the races.

  5. So you think Hayes, Buckley and Ross will all travel? A) Personally I think that’s a bad idea and B) I don’t think Kidney will bring three specialist tight-head props.

    If only two go it’s a tough call whether it’d be better to bring Hayes or Buckley. Need to see more of Buckley in the next two games to see if he warrants going ahead of Hayes although I agree his performance last Sat was reasonably good.

  6. Agreed with all except TOL and Boss, for two player that have won 1 Grand Slam, 3 Heineken Cup titles & countless Magners League & Triple Crowns yet still both could not A.) Pass at a quick and steady pace to create quick ball and B.) at times both were guilty of passing infront, low and even past Sexton causeing him to check his runs and slow down the run of play. This is taboo in the world of international rugby anyone can butter it up with oh preseason rugby and injuries but both (Boss especially) should be shoot because this is getting crazy!

    I would argue how ever Buckley might warrant a place on the plane, dare I say ahead of Hayes, Hayes is(was) a damn good player but he doesn’t offer that much more in scrumaging abilities compared to Buckley if we take a look back to the All Black game last year(May? I think) we saw a rampaging Buckley that (somehow) dodged a bullet at scrum time and smashed everything and everyone in hissight. If we could use his power and strength and even at times, abnormal pace against the the “throw away games” against the USA and Russia we can save the likes of Ross and Court for the must win games. Plus he is a man mountain at the breakdown he was going into rucks against 3 or 4 scoths and holding off the lot of them. Just my 2cent on the front row, err, front.

    Paddy Wallace…. how you have got nearly 30 caps in an irish jearsey is beyond me. Not the best 10 not even the third best 12 hell if kidney wanted to try out the best choice for inside center i’d put in Sean O’Brien ahead of P.Wallace just not an international 12. I think Kidney should start looking outside the box give Bowe, Trimble, McFadden or even O’Malley or Spence a shot at the 12 jearsey that way it will limit the headache at 11, 14 & 15 or at least should! Also i think kidney might be looking at a who is going to cover 10 if ROG or Sexton gets injured but to bring 3 specialist outhalfs to a world cup is a waste both McFadden and Kearney can kick goals and BOD’s distribution is good enough to cover for at least half a game…however if both get injured thats just down right unlucky!

    Agreed with the analysis about MOD & Ronan however i think Kidney has HAS to bring an out and out 7 to NZ Dominic Ryan or Shane Jennings spring to mind.

    I would liketo see more of Felix Jones and Kevin McLaughlin(at lock) and just see how they shapeup Kidney brought too many subs on at once.

  7. Great to see Kearney back playing on Saturday but whether he is the best option at 15 is still up in the air. I would like to see Earls get another run at full back in one of the two french games because he played well there againist England in the Six Nations.
    Trimble and Fitzgerald did well on the wings and I would agree that maybe Kidney should now think outside the box in terms of centres especially if D’arcy fails to prove his fitness. McFadden could do well againist USA, Russia and Italy but I would fear for him againist the bigger nations.For me Wallace has lost his place in the squad to Trimble now.Reddan, O Leary and Boss will travel as scrumhalves.
    Front row is very interesting now, untill Flannery manages to get 60 minutes in two matches you would be unsure if he is fit enough but if he deos he is number 1 hooker.
    The only props certain of going are Healy and Ross right now I think. If Court could only play on one side of the scrum he would be struggling to make the squad because he offers nothing in the loose and is not a great scrummager either. As for Mushy if only we could take him off at scrumtime and send on Hayes we would be in the perfect world. Buckley at his best in the loose is a phenomanal sight. I think that Court will go simply because of versatilty and then it will be a toss up between Hayes and Buckley for the other seat on the plane. I cant make up my mind right now which one it should be.

  8. paddy wallace is a good player at club for Ulster but just comes short at international level, i don’t want to totally slate him too much cause he does try and give it his all.
    I am annoyed at Kidney at times, we were all screaming out at him for a long time to give M. Ross a run in the team and steady the scrum and it took ages for that to happen, why did it take so long?? He favoured Buckley and Hayes who are not good scrumagers. Buckley will travel instead of Hayes i have a feeling.
    I feel the same could happen with T. O’leary at no. 9, who Kidney obviously prefers at his first choice but realistically has not been back to his brilliant sell since his injury before the Lions trip, I know he will get back to his best in time but Kidney is forcing it with him and not with positive effects.
    I like McFadden and i hope he gets another shot at centre, Trimble played well but he looked really poor defending that last try, not even to get a hand on the man. This France match will really tell us as a team where we stand at the moment, i’m an optimistic. Best of luck lads

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