Belfast Telegraph

Friday 30 January 2015

Rugby World Cup: Ireland v Wales player ratings

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: (L-R) Mike Phillips, Alun Wyn Jones and George North sing their national anthem ahead of the quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: A Wales fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: George North of Wales goes past the challenge from Gordon DArcy of Ireland during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: George North of Wales goes past the challenge from Gordon DArcy of Ireland during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: An Ireland fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: An Ireland fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Jamie Roberts of Wales charges over the challenge from Gordon DArcy of Ireland during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Wing Shane Williams of Wales celebrates after scoring the opening try of the match during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: The Wales players kineup for the national anthem prior to kickoff during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: An Ireland fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: A Wales fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Stephen Ferris of Ireland is tackled by Sam Warburton (L) and Dan Lydiate (C) of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Stephen Ferris of Ireland is tackled by Sam Warburton (L) and Dan Lydiate (C) of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Lock Paul OConnell of Ireland wins lineout ball during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Fullback Leigh Halfpenny of Wales takes a high ball as Rob Kearney of Ireland closes in during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Lock Alun Wyn Jones of Wales wins lineout ball during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Flyhalf Ronan OGara of Ireland kicks a penalty during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Wing Keith Earls of Ireland looses the ball as he is tackled by Gethin Jenkins (L) and Luke Charteris (R) of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is closed down by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Jonathan Davies #13 and Jamie Roberts (R) compete for a high ball with Paul O'Connell (L) of Ireland during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by Mike Phillips, Leigh Halfpenny and Toby Faletau of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Fullback Leigh Halfpenny of Wales takes a high ball as Rob Kearney of Ireland closes in during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland carries the ball forward in attack during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Ronan O'Gara of Ireland (R) kicks the ball clear under pressure from Adam Jones of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Rob Kearney of Ireland (L) is tackled by Jonathan Davies of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland (C) tries to break through from the challange of Luke Charteris of Wales (R) during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Wing Keith Earls of Ireland dives past Mike Phillips of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Wing Keith Earls of Ireland dives past Mike Phillips of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Mike Phillips of Wales (R) touches over the line to score their second try despite the challenge of Tommy Bowe of Ireland during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Prop Cian Healy of Ireland is wrapped up by the Walews defence during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Luke Charteris of Wales catches the line out during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 08: Tommy Bowe of Ireland (C) is tackled by Jamie Roberts of Wales during quarter final one of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between Ireland v Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

We rate how each of the players performed during the game.

WALES PLAYER RATINGS

LEIGH HALFPENNY: Kicked an important long-range penalty and provided an assured presence throughout the contest. 8/10.

GEORGE NORTH: Had few chances to shine in attack, but went about his work with relish. 7

JONATHAN DAVIES: Enjoyed probably his best game for Wales, which he highlighted by scoring Wales' final try. 8

JAMIE ROBERTS: Simply magnificent. A pile-driving midfield presence that the Irish defence just could not handle. 9

SHANE WILLIAMS: Scored his 56th try for Wales after just three minutes, and he also tackled like a demon. 8

RHYS PRIESTLAND: Did not have the greatest day with the boot, but his general play was high quality. 7

MIKE PHILLIPS: A brilliant performance by the Bayonne-bound number nine - perhaps the game of his life - as he scored an opportunist try and kept Wales ticking. 9

GETHIN JENKINS: Ensured that opposite number Mike Ross got little change out of a solid Wales scrum. 7

HUW BENNETT: Did not always find his jumpers in the lineout, but did so much quality work around the field. 7

ADAM JONES: Gave Ireland loosehead Cian Healy a difficult time in the scrums. Another impressive display by the Ospreys prop. 7

LUKE CHARTERIS: Injury forced the towering Newport Gwent Dragons lock off at half-time. 6

ALUN-WYN JONES: Gave everything to the cause for Wales, especially during a second period when Wales upped the tempo. 7

DAN LYDIATE: Returned to action following an ankle ligament injury, and it was as if he had never been away. 7

SAM WARBURTON: Wales' captain marvel again led from the front. Can he dream of holding aloft the Webb Ellis Trophy in two weeks' time? 8

TOBY FALETAU: Continues to take every challenge in his stride. Aged just 20, he could become a Wales great. 7

Replacements

BRADLEY DAVIES: Went on for an injured Charteris at half-time as Wales went up a gear. 7

JAMES HOOK: Replaced Priestland three minutes from time. 6



IRELAND PLAYER RATINGS

ROB KEARNEY: Enjoyed his best match of the World Cup. Rock solid as always, but also showed several flourishes in attack. 8

TOMMY BOWE: Repeatedly went looking for the ball and frequently broke the first tackle, but his industry was not enough. 7

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL: Quiet afternoon for Ireland's captain who made little headway against a dominant Welsh midfield. 6

GORDON D'ARCY: Influential in the first half, catching the eye with one fine break, but this was a day for Wales' centres. 7

KEITH EARLS: Fine finish for Ireland's only try, but otherwise ineffectual against a watertight Wales defence. 6

RONAN O'GARA: The stage was set for Ireland's fly-half to shine, but it was a match to forget as he failed to make any impression. 6

CONOR MURRAY: Too talented not to come good, but Murray will look back at his contribution tonight with a hint of disappointment. 6

CIAN HEALY: Given a difficult time by Adam Jones at the scrum, which Wales controlled. Ran hard but made little headway. 6

RORY BEST: Seemed to be everywhere, showing little sign of the shoulder injury that threatened to prevent him starting. 8

MIKE ROSS: Ireland's props have performed superbly throughout the World Cup but as with Healy, Ross met his match in Wales. 6

DONNCHA O'CALLAGHAN: Wales' pack produced a performance of controlled ferocity that O'Callaghan met head on. 7

PAUL O'CONNELL: Carried into the heart of Wales' defence and was always available. Strong and spirited. 8

STEPHEN FERRIS: Possibly the best blindside in the game, Ferris once again showed why he is such a feared operator. 8

SEAN O'BRIEN: Probably his quietest game in an Ireland jersey. Failed to carry with the usual ferocity. 6

JAMIE HEASLIP: Not one of his better matches for Ireland. Lateral and failed to exert the influence he would have wanted. 6

REPLACEMENTS

DONNACHA RYAN: Victory was forlorn hope when he arrived. 5

DENIS LEAMY: Late arrival had little chance to shine. 5

JONATHAN SEXTON: Injected some pace into the game. 5

EOIN REDDAN: Fine offload almost sent O'Brien over. 6

ANDREW TRIMBLE: Strong runner failed to receive the ball. 5

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