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Wales 19-13 Ireland, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, March 12
Wales v Ireland - How they rated
ESPNscrum Staff
March 12, 2011

There was no doubt how Ireland rated the officials' handling of Wales's controversial try during the hosts' victory in Cardiff. But how did the players rate at the Millennium stadium?

Wales

Lee Byrne: Came into the line well and was his usual self at the back. A few slips put him under pressure and his early charged down clearance gave Ireland position for the first try - 6/10

Leigh Halfpenny: Booted a mammoth penalty but was muted after one early burst down the right - 6

Jamie Roberts: Some strong carrying work gave Wales a good platform to play off, but was guilty of coming out of the defensive line for Ireland's try - 7

Jonathan Davies: Another solid outing for the Scarlets man. Fell off a couple of tackles but was strong and direct in attack - 7

Shane Williams: It did not quite happen for the Ospreys flyer as he played probably his last Six Nations game in Cardiff. Looked threatening but too often kicked ball away - 7

James Hook: Produced two excellent raking touch-finders in the early going and was an assured presence throughout - 8

Mike Phillips: Some of his tactical kicking was wasteful but he showed good pace to finish off his controversial try - 7

Paul James: Part of a strong Welsh scrum and his contribution in the loose exchanges continues to improve - 7

Matthew Rees: Led well from the front and carried effectively. Quick thinking set up the crucial try, although a couple of lineouts went askew - 8

Craig Mitchell: Had made a sound start before suffering a dislocated shoulder after a big hit on Cian Healy - 6

Bradley Davies: Another workaholic performance from the Cardiff Blues lock, A reliable lineout option - 7

Alun-Wyn Jones: His best display of the tournament so far. Excellent at the lineout, always willing to carry and tigerish in defence - 8

Dan Lydiate: Continues to impress after producing another quietly effective display. Brings balance to the Welsh back row - 7

Sam Warburton: Outstanding. Martyn Williams must be concerned that he may not reach a century of caps due to how his Blues colleague is playing. Carried aggressively and omnipresent at the breakdown - 9

Ryan Jones: Covered a lot of ground and was another ma to do plenty of carrying, also swept well behind the frontline defence - 7

Replacements

John Yapp: Thrust into the action early and did his job at the scrum, although he was too easily fended off by Sean O'Brien as Ireland poured forward late in the first half - 6

Jonathan Thomas: Replaced Ryan Jones and proved a solid presence - 6

Richard Hibbard: Given a late run in place of captain Rees - 5

Ireland

Luke Fitzgerald: Looked sharp with ball in hand but some terrible passing landed him and some of his team-mates in trouble. Some poor kicking too - 5

Tommy Bowe: His strength and speed made him a real handful throughout and beautifully sent O'Driscoll in for the opener - 7

Brian O'Driscoll: Equalled Ian Smith's championship record of 24 tries with his early score and was magnificent in defence - 7

Gordon D'Arcy: A couple of trademark surges but was generally marshalled well by the Welsh midfield defence - 6

Keith Earls: Lively and always looked capable of making things happen. The most exciting attacking threat on display - 8

Ronan O'Gara: Goal-kicking was solid but he sliced several kicks to touch and could not match his Murrayfield heroics - 6

Eoin Reddan: Being hit in the face by Lee Byrne's kick ended his involvement after 46 seconds - 5

Cian Healy: Had a tough time at the scrum but was a big presence in the loose - 6

Rory Best: Lineout functioned efficiently and toiled well - 6

Mike Ross: A solid effort but had a testing time in the scrum - 6

Donncha O'Callaghan: A manful performance and was slightly unfortunate to see his pass for a Fitzgerald try called back - 7

Paul O'Connell: The Munster man looked back to his best, a fantastic performance of prodigious defensive work and immaculate lineout jumping - 8

Sean O'Brien: Showcased some of his explosiveness with ball in hand and two rampaging surges saw him beat off a host of tacklers - 8

David Wallace: Effective carrier but was outplayed by opposite number Warburton - 7

Jamie Heaslip: Made a bright start with some strong carrying and breakdown work but eventually faded - 6

Replacements

Peter Stringer: Came on very early and enjoyed a fine game, service was crisp and kicking was accurate by and large - 7

Jonathan Sexton: Missed a straightforward penalty and put a kick out on the full within moments of coming on. Never really recovered from that - 5

Tom Court: Got a late run instead of Ross - 5

Paddy Wallace: Blew Ireland's last chance to score by coming inside when the ball should have gone wide - 4

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