Here is how we rated the Ireland heroes after a huge win over England 8 years ago

Here is how we rated the Ireland heroes after a huge win over England

A huge, 19-9 win over England and a Grand Slam in our sights.

Here is how we rated the winners.


Rob Kearney - 8

Did well to hare over and shepherd a Jack Nowell kick out as he threatened to score. Did well under the high ball and made some good carries. Stood up to Nowell and Anthony Watson when they came his way. Lovely snare of Alex Goode, on 64 minutes.

Tommy Bowe - 8

Tommy Bowe 1/3/2015


Ireland's restart tyro. His defence was great, and committed again. Spilled one pass to spoil a dangerous Irish attack and should have backed himself to test Nowell on the outside shoulder after the half hour mark.

Jared Payne - 6

Another quiet enough game from the Kiwi, who was eclipsed by Henshaw beside him. Made every tackle he was supposed to and carried well for those three and four-metre gains that are vital to a team seeking that front-foot advantage.

Robbie Henshaw - 9


His coming of age game. Immense in defence and a real attacking threat. Won Ireland a penalty with a huge hit on Luther Burrell. Tigerish in the tackle and hungry for carries. Made line breaks and worried the English all afternoon. Oh yeah, what about that try too? Superb take and score to drive home Ireland's superiority.

Simon Zebo - 8

It was Zebo versus England, or so it seemed, for the first 15 minutes. He was everywhere. Huge tackle on Anthony Watson had the crowd roaring. His best game of the championship today, without being perfect. The kick-chase is Ireland's bag this year.

Johnny Sexton - 8


World-class performance again. One miss from the kicking tee but otherwise solid. His running and kicking game was excellent and played a part Henshaw's try. Defence was excellent. Taken off after 53 minutes, seven minutes after taking a big bump from Billy Vunipola.

Conor Murray - 8

Conor Murray tackled by Chris Robshaw 1/3/2015

Kept his team humming all day after a sloppy (poor box-kick and passing radar off slightly) start. Controlled a pack that had parity and was part of a couple of sweeping backline moves. His dink set up Henshaw's try.

Jack McGrath - 8


Scrum held up under stern English pressure and McGrath looked the equal of Dan Cole. Looked for work in the loose and tackled well.

Rory Best - 9

Another player that produced his best when it really, really mattered. Even the scrum-cap came off at one stage! A menace on the ground for England, found his lineout jumpers all day and carried bullishly. Almost had a first half try under the posts. Ankle-grabbing hero, on Nowell.

Mike Ross - 7

K.I.S.S. That was the motto for the big man as he did the scrum basics well and hit any white shirt that dawdled near him.

Devin Toner - 8

Two lineout steals but he did spill one of our own on the English 22. His clearing out at rucks was much improved and he was another that tackled like his life depended on it.

Paul O'Connell - 8

England had his card marked and zeroed in on him whenever he got the ball. Kept going for the full 80 again and made one great charge down on Ben Youngs that got the crowd yelling. Huge, crucial tackles in the final minutes.

Peter O'Mahony - 9

Conceded one penalty that George Ford landed but otherwise brutish and brilliant. Made the big carries he had failed to previously do in the championship. Put down a lot of charging Englishmen. Looked spent near the end.

Sean O'Brien - 6

Had enjoyed himself out there until he took a concussive blow to the head, on 24 minutes, and had to be replaced.

Jordi Murphy - 8

A big game from the Spaniard. Targeted soft shoulders and consistently punctured the English line. Feverish tackles - he was up with the top tacklers on the green side. Clear-out and breakdown work was impressive.

Alex Goode is tackled by Robbie Henshaw 1/3/2015


Tommy O'Donnell - 8

Came on early for O'Brien and played like a man possessed. Huge tackle count and slick handling in a number of Ireland's best moves.

Ian Madigan - 4

Extremely sloppy when he came on. Forced passes and kicking the ball dead.

Marty Moore - 5

Conceded a penalty in his very first scrum but improved thereafter.

Cian Healy - 6

A vital player to spring from the bench. Forced one turnover with a big hit.

Iain Henderson - 5

Added brio to the defensive tacklefest at the death.

Felix Jones - 5

On for Jared Payne in the final 10 and looked tidy.

Sean Cronin - 5

Came on to help shore up after Rory Best staggered off.