Player ratings: Courage under fire
Sat, 16 Jun 2012 10:49
Jan de Koning rates the Irish players
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll was close to tears in his post-match interview, such was the disappointment of another heartbreaking loss to New Zealand.
It took a last-minute Dan Carter penalty to beat the plucky Irish, but O'Driscoll was a man among men as he literally bled for his country.
There were other heroes as well in this losing cause.
Jan de Koning rates the Irish players!
15 Rob Kearney:
His booming boot came in handy on a couple of occasions and he had the occasional one, but a slipped tackle spoilt an otherwise credible performance.
14 Fergus McFadden:
Had the occasional run, but his biggest contribution in the first half was to contribute a penalty. Was steady after the break without being spectacular.
13 Brian O'Driscoll:
Captain courageous. Strong on defence and carried well - putting his body on the line. He took a heavy knock early in the second half and looked disorientated, but bounced back to play a big role.
12 Gordon D'Arcy:
Reduced mostly to a defensive role in first half, with just the occasional run - left the field injured early in the second half
11 Andrew Trimble:
Hardly involved before the break and remained pretty much antonymous in the second half.
10 Jonathan Sexton:
Some great early touchfinders and made a much better start to the game. His goal-kicking was also on par and his options were spot on. Made some good metres with the ball in hand and solid on defence - not slipping any tackles.
9 Conor Murray:
Great options and a snipe for the opening try. His kicking wasn't half bad, but had a lot less ball to work with. High tackle count.
8 Jamie Heaslip:
Strong work on defence, with his tackle count going into double figures - winning a few turnovers. he was also immense with ball in hand in his 50th Test.
7 Sean O'Brien:
Great penalty turnover just before half-time and his usual disruptive self at the breakdown. While he slipped a couple of tackles, his equalled the highest number of tackles in the Irish team.
6 Kevin McLaughlin:
Some strong early rushes and a very high tackle count (also into double figures), but pinged for 'obstruction' at a rolling maul inside All Black 22.
5 Donnacha Ryan:
Reduced mostly to a defensive role, but had a big tackle count - equal best of the Irish (14). He took all his line-outs.
4 Dan Tuohy:
Conceded a silly penalty when New Zealand were struggling to get back into the game. However, he came up with the joint highest tackle count by the Irish.
3 Mike Ross:
Silly penalty at tackle and pretty useless in the scrums in the first half. Got better after the break and made a few decent tackles.
2 Rory Best:
Mostly did well with the basics well, especially in the tight exchanges, but was certainly not flawless - conceded a penalty and a skew line-out throw.
1 Cian Healy:
Poor at set pieces - his main job - in the first half and conceded penalties at the breakdown. Looked impressive with ball on hand on occasion and then settled down and won a scrum penalty in the second half with a powerful surge> Was later penalised for 'running around' at the scrum, but allround a good day at the office.
16 Sean Cronin:
17 Declan Fitzpatrick:
18 Donncha O'Callaghan (on for Tuohy, 58th min):
Made four tackles, but very little else in terms of a physical contribution.
19 Peter O'Mahony (on for McLaughlin, 61st min):
A few half-hearted carries and a handful; of tackles. No real impact.
20 Eoin Reddan (on doer Murray, 64th min):
No more than a link, making just one attempt at a run.
21 Ronan O'Gara (on for D'Arcy, 51st min):
He appeared to disrupt the rhythm that the Irish backs had with Sexton at flyhalf and passed almost every ball he got, leaving it up to Sexton to continue running the show ... wider out.
22 Simon Zebo:
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