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How They Played: Ireland's Player Ratings Against Wales

How They Played: Ireland's Player Ratings Against Wales
By Conor O'Leary
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Ireland got through their third World Cup warm up game today with a few injuries, and bruised egos after the loss to Wales 16-10. It wasn't a great performance from Schmidt's men, and while not devoid of positives - Schmidt will want a lot more intensity from his charges when things get real.

15. Rob Kearney 7

Began brilliantly in the air, but as Ireland faded he made some mistakes with a bad knock on and one slice into touch. Looked alright, but will want to play himself into form ahead of more important tests.

14. Dave Kearney 7.5

That was quite a performance. After seeing the younger Kearney today it's a lot easier to believe that he's been the stand out at camp. Looked sprightly and put himself about. Exactly the type of performance that Schmidt loves. Ireland's leading metre winner, and solid in defense.

13. Luke Fitzgerald 7

Got a lot more touches from midfield as you'd expect, and his stepping ability featured prominently. Did well in defense, but wasn't as threatening. Went off with a hip problem that will be concerning.

12. Robbie Henshaw 8

Grows with every game in the Irish jersey. Massive in defense and featured a bit more in attack for Ireland than usual. Will be a key player in Ireland's campaign.

11. Keith Earls 7

The ball never came his way in attack, and he was targetted in the air by Biggar but came through the test well. Defensively stood up well and can be pleased if not a little frustrated by his lack of opportunities.

Unfortunately stretchered off for what looks like a neck injury, his hopes hang in the balance.

10. Johnny Sexton 7

9. Conor Murray 6.5

Snappy service, but often decided to go the wrong way when space was available in the other direction. Box kicks were fantastic, and he'll improve with more games.

1. Jack McGrath 6.5

Unusually busy in the loose, and struggled a little at scrumtime with Joubert's interpretation. Another good performance showing that Healy's recovery isn't make or break.

2. Richardt Strauss 6.5

Mixed outing from the South African born Irish hooker. Strauss was very good in the loose, and carried extremely well. Not as secure in the line out as we was in the Millenium Stadium, but can be happy with his outing.

3. Nathan White 5

Not as impressive as his Scotland cameo, as Joubert allowed Gethin Jenkins away with a few dark tricks in the scrum. He will be disappointed that he didn't take his chance, but given the uncertainty about Marty Moore he could still be in with a chance.

4. Iain Henderson 8

Iain Henderson is a beast. From his brilliant breakdown work, to his power busting runs in the loose that got Ireland back in the game before half-time. Will have Devin Toner looking over his shoulder nervously. Lead Ireland's tackle count with 12.

5. Paul O'Connell 8

The man, the legend. Why is he so revered? That performance is one sample why. O'Connell was immense, especially in his defensive work as he almost carried Ireland on his back when they started to slump in the middle of the half. Faded a little in the second half, but will be pleased about getting vital minutes under his belt.

6. Peter O'Mahony 7

Decent first outing of the season for the Munsterman, making some key tackles. Came off directly after looking a little dodgy with a arm injury, but he should be ok. Hopefully just precautionary.

7. Jordi Murphy 6

Was exposed whilst out in the defensive line, and joins Peter O'Mahony as a backrow who has played on the wing after injuries for Ireland. He's better than what he showed today, despite his nine tackles.

8. Jamie Heaslip 6

A typical Heaslip effort. Lots of unseen work with eight tackles and none missed with 30 metres gained in the loose.

16. Sean Cronin 7

Brought an added impetus when he came on with his ball carrying and can be pleased

17. Dave Kilcoyne 6

Not on a long time, but played well in the loose as usual. Ireland will be comfortable if he goes to the World Cup.

18. Tadhg Furlong 6

Looked busy and eager to impress on his debut. He'll be star for Ireland in the future, but the 20 minutes he got won't be enough for Schmidt to bring him next month.

19. Donnacha Ryan 6

Not on long enough, and came into a fractured game. Still ahead of Tuohy in the pecking order.

20. Sean O'Brien 7

Added something when he came on with Cronin. Ireland's breakdown improved and O'Brien proved how crucial he is to Ireland.

21. Eoin Reddan 6.5

A classic snappy and up tempo performance off the bench, and Schmidt won't fear throwing him in the deep end when Ireland need something.

22. Paddy Jackson 6

It's almost unfair to Jackson to replace Sexton, and there was a noticeable difference between the pair. He kicked well, but his decision to take a drop kick attempt from a mile out was questionable.

23. Felix Jones 6

Fairly quiet, but hard working and getting more minutes on the wing. His official stats are 0 carries, 0 passes and 0 tackles.

See Also: Predicting Ireland's Rugby World Cup Squad

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