Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

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)

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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