Ireland player ratings: Dave Kearney and Tommy Bowe show contrasting fortunes

Leinster winger shines but Ulster star’s struggles continue at Twickenham

Ireland winger Dave Kearney catches a high ball under pressure from England’s  Anthony Watson during the World Cup warm-up at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland winger Dave Kearney catches a high ball under pressure from England’s Anthony Watson during the World Cup warm-up at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

 

15 Simon Zebo

Some nice left-footed clearances, he made 41 metres in attack without threatening, but was caught out a couple of times defensively and out-jumped on a cross-kick for Anthony Watson’s try. Rating: 6

14 Tommy Bowe

A poor afternoon for a player who normally enjoys a pivotal role when Ireland are at their best. Five missed tackles, one of which that led directly to a try. Current form is a real issue. Rating: 4

13 Jared Payne

His defence was intelligent and assured in marked contrast to some of his teammates. He also demonstrated how to take and give a space while preserving space. Conceded one penalty. Rating: 7

12 Robbie Henshaw

He carried strongly and was a match for the English players physically in the collisions but there has to be more nuance to the way Ireland use him. Careless basketball dunk forward stopped a promising move. Rating: 6

11 Dave Kearney

Ireland’s outstanding player, this was a high calibre performance in every aspect of the game. He ran powerfully, using his footwork, tackled aggressively and caught one re-start. Rating: 8

10 Johnny Sexton

He took a while to find his rhythm forcing a few passes and his kicking lacked direction, but when he got to the pitch of the game, he had more of a positive influence. Ireland’s back play is limited at the moment. Rating: 6

9 Conor Murray

Plenty of box-kicks as part of Ireland’s exit strategy from both inside the 22 and the half. He was brave in defence, exemplified by picking up the head knock that forced his early departure. Rating: 6

1 Jack McGrath

Ireland won two scrums against the head so he deserves huge credit for that first. But it was his carrying and tackling that merit special praise in a tireless, high quality contribution. Rating: 7

2 Rory Best

He missed a coupe of straight-up tackles but the lineout went well, just one aberration, while he cleared out superbly for Paul O’Connell’s try: rusty. Rating: 5

3 Mike Ross

He also takes plaudits for his work at scrum time but like McGrath his contribution around the pitch deserves praise, not least one great line on a carry and an important one-armed tackle. Rating: 6

4 Devin Toner

He missed a couple of early tackles on Joe Marler and Ben Morgan – three in total – but to his credit he worked tirelessly afterwards. Rating: 5

5 Paul O’Connell

He capped a performance choc-full of hard graft with a try. He needs to fight a little harder to stay on his feet in contact and use the leg drive he showed for the try. Rating: 7

6 Peter O’Mahony

He gave away one penalty towards the end but his work-rate was exemplary, especially in defence where he made 11 tackles. Supported the ball carrier well and was Ireland’s primary option (four times) at the lineout. Rating: 7

7 Seán O’Brien

He was Ireland’s joint leading tackler with 14, missing none, but four turnovers from handling errors will have been annoying. He was Ireland’s primary ball carrier and did superbly in cluttered corridors. Rating: 7

8 Jamie Heaslip

It was a curate’s egg of a performance, some good, some sloppy by his standards, which to be fair are pretty high. He was one of only two Irish players to effect an offload in the tackle during the game. Rating: 6

Bench

No one really had a massive opportunity to shine. Eoin Reddan was busy and effective. Rating: 6

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