Geordan Murphy 6

A more solid and competent full-back compared to Rob Kearney's occasionly flawed genius in the position. Did everything he had to but there was little in the way of an attacking threat.

Tommy Bowe 8.5

In a game that turned into a battle between English possession and Irish creativity and threat, he made sure the latter prevailed by exploiting the pace of Lewis Moody to easily get in for the opening try and then coming from nowhere to get the dazzling second.

Brian O'Driscoll 7

If Ireland were to win a war of attrition, they needed to lay down a marker at the ruck early and the captain's brutal physicality comprehensively laid down that marker.

Gordon D'Arcy 6.5

Not a game made for his dancing. So instead he sat back in the centre and made tackle after tackle as England looked as much of a threat as the Sunday Tribune sports department is to the Wags of the World Cup.

Keith Earls 7

Having been off the pace in a slow game largely played down the middle, showed with that first-half break and second-half finish how he can go from 0-to-60 in a matter of seconds. Will be relieved that Wilkinson failed to make an issue of his 5'11" frame by kicking high to him like France did two weeks back.

Jonathan Sexton 7

Despite being very much the junior out-half on the pitch, he encouragingly looked the better dictator of a game. Part of that was down to the performance of his opposite number, but a larger part was down to the threat he offered in open play, as seen by the execution of the kick into space for that early try and his hands for Earls' try.

Tomás o'Leary 6.5

When he realised the talent he had behind him in the backs and kept the ball in Irish hands, his delivery from the ruck made England look laboured. A little too fond of the box-kick though. And a few too many of those were wayward.

Cian Healy 6

Struggled the most in that front row but that was always expected. Tireless in the open.

Rory Best 7

Cool and calculated, and didn't even draw a boot on any unsuspecting opponent due to 'concussion'.

John Hayes 6

For his 99 caps before yesterday we give him maximum marks. And his effort on the day wasn't bad either against a stronger English scrum.

Donncha O'Callaghan 7

Offered a greater presence than Leo Cullen, if not a greater performance. Helped dominate an English lineout that was turned over 33 per cent of the time in the first period and made sure they never had a platform.

Paul O'Connell 7

His hands won the ball for that crucial try but it went downhill from there on. Those same hands were sloppy on slippy ball and he even managed end O'Driscoll's game.

Stephen Ferris 7.5

The game was like a motorway pile-up and he was like an articulated lorry ploughing into the back of it.

David?Wallace 6.5

Soaked up some serious pressure and held up the play brilliantly when England were given a try as legitimate as Geoff Hurst's second goal in 1966.

Jamie Heaslip 8.5

Don't underestimate his part in Bowe's opening and crucial try. His deceptive pace played a big part and so did his perfectly-timed pass having sucked in much of the stretched English cover before realising.


Tony Buckley 6.5

Andrew Trimble 7

ronan o'gara 7

leo cullen 7

shane jennings 7


Delon Armitage 7

Mark Cueto 6

Matthew Tait 6

Riki Flutey 6.5

Ugo Monye 5.5

Jonny Wilkinson 6.5

Danny Care 7

Tim Payne 7

Dylan Hartley 6.5

Dan Cole 7

Simon Shaw 3

Steve Borthwick 6.5

James Haskell 6

Lewis Moody 6

Nick Easter 6.5


Louis Deacon 6.5

Joe Worsley 6

Ben Foden 7

Lee Mears, David Wilson and Paul Hodgson and not on long enough to be rated