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Ireland v Wales; Player ratings

RugbyBy Roy Curtis
How did Roy Curtis rate O'Connell, Fitzgerald and Earls?
How did Roy Curtis rate O'Connell, Fitzgerald and Earls?

Our man Roy Curtis runs the rule over the Irish team following their 16-10 defeat the hands of Wales.

ROB KEARNEY:  A typically classy return. Authoritative under the high ball, there were glimpses of his counter-attacking potential.  7
 
DAVE KEARNEY:  Booked his squad place - and maybe even a first XV slot - with a display of trademark efficiency and dependability.  8
 
LUKE FITZGERALD:  A quiet afternoon and another injury scare;  faces an anxious 24 hours before learning his fate.  6
 
ROB HENSHAW:  Flashes of his line-breaking potential, plus one huge hit on Toby Faletau . A key figure in weeks ahead  7
 
KEITH EARLS:  Brave defensively,  but too easily turned over in possession.  Stretchered off, he will hope for concussion all clear.  6
 
JONATHAN SEXTON:  Was seen icing his arm after a low-key 60 minutes, but Schmidt, mercifully, dismissed fears of injury. Irreplaceable. 6
 
CONOR MURRAY:  If the lack of go-forward ball reduced his impact, he remains one of Ireland's World Cup leaders.  6
 
JACK MCGRATH:  An afternoon which emphasised that Cian Healy remains a class apart. Schmidt needs his ball carrying colossus fit. 5
 
RICHARDT STRAUSS:  Some early line-out difficulties, Best and Cronin are unquestionably Ireland's go-to World Cup hookers. 6
 
NATHAN WHITE:  Veteran Kiwi hardly had the impact he needed.  His World Cup hinges on Marty Moore's fitness.  5
 
IAIN HENDERSON:  Outstanding.  An athletic, abrasive freak with huge game intelligence.  Making a serious bid for first XV status.  9
 
PAUL O'CONNELL:  Will be glad to have the Dublin farewell gig behind him and will look to drive a big improvement this week.  6
 
PETER O'MAHONY:  The most conspicuous of an outplayed Irish back row.  Typically physical without ever dominating. 6
 
JORDI MURPHY:  Totally outplayed by the sensational Justin Tipuric, he finished in midfield as injuries wreaked havoc.  5
 
JAMIE HEASLIP:  If he sets standards of consistent excellence, this was a rare dip below his influential best.    6