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Ireland Player Ratings: What Went Wrong For Ireland In The Loss To Wales?

Ireland Player Ratings: What Went Wrong For Ireland In The Loss To Wales?
By Conor O'Leary
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It was one of those days, so what went wrong?

15. Rob Kearney 6

It's what he wants, so why not give it to him? Although, he was evident a lot in play, both being beaten in the air, and making big tackles when chasing. I'd like to give him a good bit more than a 6, probably more than a 7, but...

14. Tommy Bowe 7.5

Ireland looked the most threatening in attack when Tommy Bowe was coming in from his wing running inside lines.

13. Jared Payne 7.5

Still improving in the green jersey. Busted the gainline on numerous occasions and gave Ireland a lot of front foot ball. Four defenders beaten and one clean break shows he's getting used to the international stage and the outside centre.

12. Robbie Henshaw 7

Possibly his worst performance in an Irish jersey, but that's only because he's been so good so far. Lead Ireland in tackles again despite all of the Irish possession.

11. Simon Zebo 6.5

Unlike Bowe, Zebo didn't get involved as much. Zebo's performance was exactly what Kearney said Joe Schmidt loves, so credit is given to him for that.

10. Johnny Sexton 5

Not his best performance. The kicking errors are one thing, but he made the wrong decision on countless occasions. Often passed to the wrong player, like the inside running Jared Payne instead of an outside running Tommy Bowe when there was space outside and defenders on the inside. I will not understand why he didn't take a drop goal in Ireland's dominant period just after half time after Wales didn't allow any ground or penalty. Points there would have given Ireland momentum and that was the winning of the game in the end.

9. Conor Murray 6.5

His kicking in the first half wasn't the best, and Reddan gave some impetus when he came on. Ireland adapted to Barnes' refereeing the defensive teams by running the ball more, which limits Murray's effectiveness.

1. Jack McGrath 8

Absolutely beasted the Welsh scrum in the first half.

2. Rory Best 5

His lineout throwing was awful, and he didn't seem to be his usual self around the park.

3. Mike Ross 7

Like McGrath, Ross was a standout in the scrum and played very well.

4. Devin Toner 6.5

Like Henshaw, this wasn't his best game of the championship. He put himself about, and made a eight tackles with none missed which represents a decent showing.

5. Paul O'Connell 100

God forbid anyone give him a 6. Except that anything short of 100 is nonsense. He stood up and lead.

6. Peter O'Mahony 6.5

Gave away two penalties which proved costly, and couldn't get into his usual breakdown effectiveness.

7. Sean O'Brien 6.5

Took him until the second half to start to effect the game, but his attacking clean outs were crucial much like Toner last week.

8. Jamie Heaslip 7.5

The standout of the Irish backrow, but they were outplayed by Warburton. Looked good with ball in hand.

16. Sean Cronin 7

Improved things in the lineout, which shows how bad Best was. His play in the loose is the best for a hooker in the world.

17. Cian Healy 5

Two knock ons and going on his own cost Ireland dear.

18. Martin Moore 6

Stood up well in the scrum which is all that's asked of a tighthead. Not on long enough to do a huge amount.

19. Iain Henderson 7

Ireland played to his strengths and it showed. The big man is devastating with ball in hand.

20. Jordi Murphy 6

Didn't reach the heights of Italy and England, with his only noticeable contribution on first viewing that knock on.

21. Eoin Reddan 7

Reddan does well when he's asked to up the tempo from the bench, and that's exactly what Ireland needed to do.

22. Ian Madigan 6.5

Not on long, and got away with a missed kick to touch when Barnes asked him to retake it.

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