Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Six Nations: England v Ireland - how the players rated

Geordan Murphy

Geordan Murphy - 7
Only just back after injury, he performed with calmness and dealt with just about everything that was thrown at him with great skill

Tommy Bowe - 8
This was the player we all knew was waiting to be unleashed and he reminded us all of his finishing ability with both tries, his second proving a match winner

Brian O'Driscoll - 8
His input to several turnovers was critical and led the line defensively before having to depart after colliding with O'Connell. He contributed another huge effort on his 99th Irish cap

Gordon D'Arcy - 7
He was rarely on the front foot during the game, but did all that was required as Ireland were forced to tackle and then tackle again

Keith Earls - 8
He needed to show his undoubted talent and did so with a well-taken try and some great running with the ball in hand He did well on the back foot too.

Jonathan Sexton - 7
Made Bowe’s first try with a great chip and provided the scoring pass for Earls. His one successful kick at goal from five attempts was disappointing

Tomas O'Leary - 7
He hit back at his legion of critics and greatly improved his distribution and presence. Super break created Bowe’s winning try

Cian Healy - 6
We know that he isn't a top notch scrummager, but Healy made a more than significant input into Ireland's huge defensive effort

Rory Best - 6
His throwing was right on the money, he made his tackles and was also central to a crucial late turnover as England rumbled towards the line

John Hayes - 4
Sadly his 100th Irish cap only showed that the end is drawing ever closer. Was penalised at least three times for his scrum binding before being hauled ashore

Donncha O'Callaghan - 7
Needed to justify his selection by bringing extra physicality and did so before running out of gas late on

Paul O'Connell - 6
Some crucial lineout takes but his error count probably outweighs the high standard he sets himself. He wanted to be more dominant

Stephen Ferris - 8
This was tailor made for Ferris. He made huge hits and used his strength to great effect but, most of all, he put his body on the line at collision time

David Wallace - 8
Ball-carrying was rarely on the agenda but what an awesome effort at tackle time, snaffling ball and slowing possession

Jamie Heaslip - 8
The key man as Ireland played on the back foot. He produced awe-inspiring tackling

Ireland got their Six Nations campaign back on track with a thrilling victory over England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Here, we rate how each player on the Ireland team performed.

>>Click More Pictures to launch gallery

Do you agree with our ratings? Leave your comments below

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