So near but yet so far for Ireland as they battled back from 25-15 down but couldn’t quite land the killer punch at the death, writes Rugby World writer Katie Field


Luke Fitzgerald 65

Some good moments, including a disallowed try in the first two minutes, but often too lateral in attack.

Fergus McFadden 60

Took the first try well, and helped create it, but mishandled a couple of times in the hurly burly of Test rugby.

Brian O’Driscoll 70

Some great touches and good leadership to rally his troops after they fell behind.

Gordon D’Arcy 58

Some good contributions to Ireland’s attacks but D’Arcy (below) missed a tackle which let in France for their try.

Keith Earls

First half mistakes were counter-balanced by a fine attacking run and chip late in the game.

Jonathan Sexton 75

Slick passing, running and linking in open play but missed a relatively simple conversion just before half time.

Tomas O’Leary 60

Scored a good try but was let down by a few individual errors and was occasionally ponderous at the base of the ruck.

Cian Healy 67

Good in the set-pieces and won some notable turnovers.

Rory Best 64

Solid in the set-pieces.

Mike Ross 70

His break helped create Ireland’s second try and his set piece work was mostly efficient.

Donncha O‘Callaghan 62

Gave away the penalty which gave France the lead for the first time but also contributed well at scrum and lineout time.

Paul O’Connell 62

A solid performance but nothing spectacular.

Sean OBrien 71

Great handling skills and provided plenty of go-forward.

David Wallace 70

Helped create Ireland’s first try and always made a few yards and recycled possession successfully.

Jamie Heaslip 73

An eye-catching return to the Ireland team – sound under the high ball, strong in the tackle and scored the final try.

The Scorers

IRELAND – Tries: Fergus McFadden, Tomas O’Leary, Jamie Heaslip. Cons: Jonathan Sexton, Ronan O’Gara. Pen: Sexton

FRANCE – Try: Maxime Medard. Con: Dimitri Yachvili. Pens: Morgan Parra (five), Yachvili (one).


0 – Should never play for this team again

10 – Shocker – lucky to get picked again this season

20 – Out of his depth

30 – Did one or two things right – must improve

40 – Willing but woeful

50 – Minimum requirement for a professional – average

60 – Solid effort and a decent performance

70 – Made key contributions and guaranteed his place for next time

80 – Superb – should give himself a pat on the back

90 – A personal best – his greatest game ever

100 – Faultless – no one could play a better game in this position