Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Ireland v Australia: How the players rated

Rob Kearney
Rob Kearney - 6
Mixed day with the boot, comfortable under the high ball but little counter attacking. Should have made a better attempt to stop Elsom from scoring
Tommy Bowe - 8
Pick of the Irish backs, scored a great try, was unlucky not to score a second and also looked to inject pace every time he got hold of the ball
Brian O'Driscoll - 7
Once again captain fantastic came up with the crucial try when his country needed it most. Flashes of brilliance in the first half, solid defending
Paddy Wallace - 6
Quiet day for the centre. Offered little going forward and his passing was poor at times. Vital slip opened the door for the Wallabies' first try
Luke Fitzgerald - 5
Struggled to deal with the probing Australian kicking game as the visitors looked to turn him. Offered no threat in attack and day ended by an injury
Ronan O'Gara - 6
Came into the game under huge personal pressure and just did enough. Goal kicking was 100 per cent but his game management lacked direction at times
Tomas O'Leary - 7
Crisp passing and had to work hard behind a beaten pack for most of the game. Tried to get Ireland going forward at every possible opportunity
Cian Healy - 5
Did well in the loose on his debut but is picked for his scrummaging ability and was woefully exposed as the Ireland scrum just fell apart
Jerry Flannery - 6
Showed his character by getting through 80 minutes despite carrying a knock. Lineout throwing was good, tried his hardest in the loose but had a bad day in the scrum
John Hayes - 5
Another who got through 80 minutes despite playing little rugby in the build up. Quiet day in the loose and couldn’t steady the shaky scrum
Donncha O'Callaghan - 5
Did a lot of the unseen dirty work but didn't dominate in the lineout. Posed very little ball carrying threat in the loose or rampaging runs
Paul O'Connell - 6
Took a lot of ball in the lineout but lacked his usual inspirational performance in the loose. Carried much more ball later on in the game
Stephen Ferris - 6
Lost his personal battle against Elsom, outgunned at the breakdown by the quicker Aussie back row, had a few trademark barnstorming runs but was well marshalled
David Wallace - 7
Was restricted to a defensive role in the first half as Ireland were on the back foot. Started to carry more ball as the home side attacked late on
Jamie Heaslip - 7
Fielded most of the re-starts and looked to give Ireland front foot ball. Couldn’t get his running game going but made a lot of defensive hits
Keith Earls - 7
For Fitzgerald (53 mins). Had a couple of decent runs and ball carries. Sparked the Ireland attack when he came on and looked sharp throughout
Denis Leamy - 6
For Ferris (75 mins): Didn't have much time to make an impact but was still involved in both of Ireland's late drives, one of which led to O’Driscoll's crucial try

How each individual in the Irish team fared against Australia at Croke Park.

>>Click the image to launch gallery

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