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Player Ratings – Ireland v England

How the players fared in the match

Geordan Murphy: 7

Solid under the high ball and looked sharp considering how little he’s played at this level in recent times. Weather limited his ability to counter attack.

Tommy Bowe: 9

Is rapidly becoming one of International rugby’s deadliest finishers. Bowe was a constant threat with ball in hand, his work rate and bravery chasing kicks was immense and his line for the final try was world class.

Brian O Driscoll: 7

England were determined not to let O Driscoll beat them and he was well marshalled throughout the game. Superb in defence with two turnovers and a crunching hit on Ricky Flutey early set the tone for the game. Injury looked nasty and Ireland must hope it’s not too serious.

Gordan D’Arcy : 7

Was one of few players to emerge from Paris with any credit and was a force again in Twickenham Limited possession but like O Driscoll was terrific in defence and fought for the hard yards all game despite clearly playing through pain in the second half.

Keith Earls: 8

Probably the best performance of his brief international career. One scintillating break and took his try very tidily. England may regret not testing him more with high balls.

Jonathon Sexton: 7

Missed several kicks and looked a bit nervous at times. However in treacherous conditions he managed the game well, defended solidly and his grubber kick for Bowe’s first try was spot on.

Tomas O Leary: 6

A much improved showing from his Parisian nightmare but still tends to out kick his chasers and hold onto the ball too long. Held the defence superbly for Bowe’s try and carries real menace when running with ball in hand.

Cian Healy: 6

Part of a struggling scrum and is still learning his trade at the international level. His work rate was solid and he was always willing in defence.

Rory Best: 7

Very accurate at lineout time and held his own against Dylon Hartley at scrum time. Vital he stays fit with Flannery suspended

John Hayes: 5

His hundredth appearance for Ireland and it showed. Was repeatedly penalised at scrum time and came off much worse in his battle with Tim Payne. Gave his customary effort around the fringes but has looked a little worn out in his last two appearances and made way for Buckley on the hour mark.

Donnacha O Callaghan: 7

Some questioned his inclusion given Leo Cullen’s form but he was in fine form coming back from injury rucking was good and a nuisance at line out time.

Paul O Connell: 5

Was his usually magnificent self at lineout time but several knock-ones in contact that are well below the standard he has set for himself. Coming off a disappointing performance in Paris more was expected from O Connell

Stephen Ferris: 8

A Superb performance from the Ulster man. Provides Ireland with much needed Physicality and this game brought out the best in Ferris. Put his body on the line countless times and punished any English ball carriers who dared to test him.

David Wallace: 6

Conditions did not suit his free running style but his carry in the build up to Earl’s try was vintage Wallace. Looked to carry early and often and must take some credit for Wilkinson’s poor performance.

Jamie Heaslip: 9

Just edged out Bowe as man of the match. His carrying was phenomenal considering the pressure on the Irish scrum and there are very few forwards as comfortable as him with Ball in hand in the Northern Hemisphere

SUBS

Tony Buckley: 7

Was solid in a vital scrum on the Irish line and had a fine turnover late on

Andrew Trimble: 6

Got very few opportunities once he came on due to Ireland’s lack of possession

Ronan O Gara: 7

His kicking provided much needed territory and a platform for late try.

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