Compiled by JOHN O'SULLIVAN
1 CIAN HEALY
One or two collective glitches in the early scrums that were rectified emphatically after the interval. His work around the pitch, with and without the ball, was voracious.
14 FERGUS McFADDEN
The ebb and flow of Ireland’s attacking play rarely came his way but he offered a willing presence in defence. Would be nice to see him get more ball in space.
15 ROB KEARNEY
He wasn’t afforded much of a chance to show off his aerial skills but defended with conviction and worked hard and productively to get on the ball.
3 MIKE ROSS
Considering his lack of game-time and injury problems it was quite a feat to have the impact he enjoyed over 80 minutes plus: one silly penalty.
4 DAN TUOHY
It’ll take him a little while to acclimatise to test level but he was more conspicuous than last week. Another to concede a needless penalty but shows promise.
10 JONATHAN SEXTON
He kicked five from five before dropping short with a long-range penalty. Dialogue with referee Nigel Owens about that kick was instructive. Very good again defensively.
13 BRIAN O’DRISCOLL
One or two minor defensive aberrations but he carried the ball powerfully and to excellent effect, invariably making metres and providing go-forward ball.
5 DONNCHA RYAN
The mantle of responsibility sits easily on his shoulders in terms of the lineout. Ireland might look to be more competitive in this area next week: prominent overall.
8 JAMIE HEASLIP
For me he was Ireland’s best player on the occasion of winning his 50th cap. He applied brain and brawn to everything he did and the results were excellent.
2 RORY BEST
One overthrow at a lineout aside, he had a monstrous game in every facet. He put in thumping tackles, cleaned out, carried – consistently high performance levels.
6 KEVIN McLAUGHLIN
Epitomised Ireland’s performance on the night, gritty, abrasive and wholehearted in terms of attitude. Few carried or tackled more in those opening 60 minutes.
Four players came on to the field with Donncha O’Callaghan, Ronan O’Gara, Eoin Reddan and Peter O’Mahony all contributing positively to the team effort.
11 ANDREW TRIMBLE
He was used off his blindside wing and almost broke the tackle for a try in the All Black 22. He’s got to be used more often to avail of his attacking qualities.
7 SEÁN O’BRIEN
A very rounded performance in terms of quality – one avoidable penalty the only blot – and his appetite for the hard slog was impressive.
9 CONOR MURRAY
His game management continues to improve and he took his try sharply. He offers physical presence in defence. He is still learning but crucially shows the aptitude to do that.
12 GORDON D’ARCY
There was a massive improvement in terms of Ireland’s midfield defence and the defensive line. The line speed was more aggressive. He played a key role.