Player ratings: Insipid Irish

Sat, 16 Nov 2013 21:35
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Ireland suffered a humbling at the hands of the Wallabies in Dublin on Saturday, crashing to a 15-32 loss.

Ireland suffered a humbling at the hands of the Wallabies in Dublin on Saturday, crashing to a 15-32 loss.

Tipped by many to beat the struggling Australians, who had been unable to secure back-to-back wins in 2013 heading into the game, Ireland seemingly didn’t show up.

The vaunted home scrum and pack as a collective were bullied. Their defence was dreadful, leaking four tries, and they made it even harder on themselves with numerous elementary and unforced errors.  

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Ireland players.

15 Rob Kearney
Committed but suspect under the high ball and average on attack at best.

14 Tommy Bowe

Very elusive but let the team down on defence.

13 Brian O'Driscoll

Committed to the very end but defensive lapses and little success on attack underlined his age.

12 Luke Marshall

Roamed and asked plenty of questions on attack, highlighted by his two linebreaks.  

11 Fergus McFadden

By far the standout Irish back, managing four linebreaks and racking up 108 metres in 11 runs. Backed up his attacking exploits with great defence.  

10 Jonathan Sexton

Really struggled, not only due to playing behind a back-pedalling pack. Made just one good tactical kick and missed a gift three points.

9 Eoin Reddan

Was quick to clear from the base without knocking on under pressure.

8 Jamie Heaslip

Chipped away at the gainline but didn’t have great success.

7 Sean O'Brien

A shining light in an outclassed side, he played his heart out. He passionately took the ball up an unrivalled 15 times, beating two defenders and offloading three times, made seven tackles and slipped none and won a line-out.

6 Peter O'Mahony

A bad knock-on close to the try-line and much like Heaslip, ineffective as a ball carrier.

5 Paul O'Connell (captain)

Didn’t shy away from the physical confrontations but brought little to the set pieces. Also made a poor judgement call when, at 15-25 down with 19 minutes to go, he turned down three points and went for a line-out only to lose the ball himself while setting up a driving maul.

4 Devin Toner

The main source of line-out possession and made two notable runs.

3 Mike Ross

Had a night to forget, conceding two penalties as the Wallabies humbled the hosts at scrum time.

2 Rory Best

Was dominated in the scrum and in the tight loose.

1 Cian Healy

Scrumming aside, he was everywhere on defence and won a textbook penalty on the ground inside his 22.


16 Sean Cronin
(on for Best, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Jack McGrath (on for Healy, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Stephen Archer (on for Ross, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Mike McCarthy (on for Toner, 70th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Kevin McLaughlin (on for O'Brien, 70th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Conor Murray (on for Reddan, 56th minute)
Quickened the pace a tad and tried to build backline momentum.

22 Ian Madigan
(on for Sexton, 40th minute)
Picked his spots and gained some valuable ground when he ran at the line and kicked his one and only penalty.  

23 Robbie Henshaw
(on for O’Driscoll, 22nd minute; on for Kearney, 74th minute)
Not enough time to be rated (played just 14 minutes).