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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006, 19:02 GMT
Ireland v Wales player ratings

IRELAND:

Geordan Murphy - 7:
Not at his best for Ireland recently but returned to form with a solid display. Produced some fine clearances from hand.

Shane Horgan - 8:
Given the man-of-the-match award and deservedly so, carried the ball powerfully, linked well with O'Driscoll and cut in nicely for his second-half try.

Brian O'Driscoll - 8:
Again the 2005 Lions skipper lived up to his world-class reputation, his work in defence and attack could not be faulted.

Gordon D'Arcy - 6:
Quieter than his illustrious centre partner but was always looking for work.

Andrew Trimble - 6:
Made a blistering break in the opening half that helped swing the game in Ireland's favour. Did not see a lot of the ball after that but justified his recall.

Ronan O'Gara - 7:
Threatened to be overrun by his opposite number Stephen Jones early on but regained his composure. Missed only two of his eight kicks at goal.

Peter Stringer - 7:
An annoying sniping presence at the base of the scrum, just ask Michael Owen, and capped an impressive display with a late try.

Marcus Horan - 7:
Stretchered off the pitch with a neck injury after showing typical endeavour in trying to secure a loose ball.

Jerry Flannery - 7:
A menace around the park and only a desperate Lee Byrne tackle prevented him from scoring a first-half try. Line-out throws were solid with just one lost in 18 attempts.

John Hayes - 6:
Had trouble containing the Welsh scrum early on but together with the rest of the front row, recovered to produce a strong platform.

Donncha O'Callaghan - 6:
Played his part as Ireland's pack came back from a tough start to put his side on the front foot.

Malcolm O'Kelly - 7:
Put in plenty of hits and was his usual brooding presence around the park. One of the leading tacklers in the match.

Simon Easterby - 7:
Did the ugly, unseen work around the fringes and on the floor and gave the Welsh back-row plenty to think about.

David Wallace - 7:
Made a telling contribution with a first-half score that started the Irish fightback, never took a backward step.

Denis Leamy - 7:
Gave his side go forward and was denied a pushover try in the first half by the video referee. A late sin-binning for stamping blotted his copybook though.

REPLACEMENTS:

Simon Best - 6:
The Ulster prop maintained Ireland's powerful forward effort after replacing Horan with 11 minutes to go.

Mick O'Driscoll - 6:
In the thick of the action after replacing Easterby and added his weight to the pack as Ireland tried to bundle their way over in the closing stages.

Johnny O'Connor - 6:
The Wasps flanker came on for Wallace with three minute to go and added fresh legs to the Irish pack.

Rory Best came on too late to make an impact while Eoin Reddan, David Humphreys, Girvan Dempsey did not feature.


WALES:

Lee Byrne - 7:
Filled Gareth Thomas' boots well, made a fantastic tackle on Flannery to prevent a certain score and looked lively in attack.

Mark Jones - 7:
The wing took his try well and was always prepared to come inside looking for work.

Hal Luscombe - 5:
Solid performance but was made to look flat-footed by a rampant O'Driscoll and rarely got over the game line.

Matthew Watkins - 6:
Good vision and clever chip for Mark Jones' opening try and stood up to D'Arcy well.

Dafydd James - 5:
Turned inside-out and left on his backside for Horgan's try and was anonymous in attack.

Stephen Jones - 7:
Showed a running threat with ball in hand but missed two kicks at goal, admittedly in very difficult conditions, before limping off injured after 19 minutes.

Dwayne Peel - 7:
Never less than lively, usual excellent distribution and his sharpness kept the Ireland back row honest.

Duncan Jones - 7:
Gave John Hayes a torrid time in the scrum, carried the ball into the hard contact areas and put his body on the line in defence before being substituted early in the second half.

Rhys Thomas - 6:
Decent throwing under pressure in windy conditions and tackled his heart out around the field.

Adam Jones - 5:
Enjoyed himself in the scrummage but needed to show a bit more around the paddock.

Ian Gough - 6:
Came off second best against the Irish locks but never stopped trying.

Robert Sidoli - 6:
Wales' best line-out option and never afraid to carry the ball into contact.

Colin Charvis - 6:
Tried his best to stem the waves of Irish forwards before tiring.

Martyn Williams - 7:
Made the usual nuisance of himself at the breakdown but struggled to keep up with opposite number Wallace.

Michael Owen - 5:
Wales needed their stand-in captain to lead by example but this was not one of the number eight's better games for his country.

REPLACEMENTS:

Mefin Davies - 6:
The veteran hooker provided a good link as Wales tried to run their way out of trouble.

Gethin Jenkins - 5:
Not yet back to the form he showed on the Lions tour and it was his shoulder charge at a ruck that contributed to Horan's neck injury.

Gavin Henson - 5:
The scene seemed set for the Osprey's return to Test rugby after his early introduction for Stephen Jones, but was unsurprisingly rusty following his seven-week ban.

Gareth Delve - 7:
Added a much-needed dynamism after coming on for the last half-hour.

Barry Davies - 5:
Introduced late on and had little chance to make his mark.

Jonathan Thomas and Mike Phillips were not used.

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SEE ALSO
'Inept' Wales frustrate Davies
26 Feb 06 |  Six Nations


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