Peter O'Mahony and Cian Healy suffer as English media rate Ireland players
'Whisper it in Munster... '
Peter O'Mahony has ramped it up so many times against England that it was strange to see him so muted at Twickenham.
The Munster captain had a decent game in the home win over Italy, and was retained to the starting XV for Saturday's game against England. The 2017 Lion kept 2021 Lion Jack Conan on the bench, and was selected with the strong England lineout in mind.
In our ratings, Hugo Keenan (9/10) and James Lowe (8) got our highest scores. On the flip side, we handed out four 5/10 marks to Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Bundee Aki and O'Mahony. All four put in solid, honest shifts but all four will have flown back to Ireland somewhat frustrated by the individual efforts.
Scanning the English media player ratings, Healy and O'Mahony are the two Irish stars that got the roughest ride.
Tough ratings for Peter O'Mahony and Cian Healy
Over in The Guardian, England lock Charlie Ewels got 2/10 for his 82-second outing that culminated in his red card for that high tackle on James Ryan.
Cian Healy did not fare much better in those same ratings by Gerard Meagher. In scoring the veteran Leinster loosehead a meagre 3/10, he wrote:
'Struggled against Sinckler at the scrum and taken off early. Not his afternoon and Ireland badly missed Andrew Porter.'
Tadhg Furlong only scored 4 in the same ratings, as did Peter O'Mahony. The outlet described the flanker as 'largely anonymous before he was hooked'. Hugo Keenan was the top-rated Irish player in The Guardian.
O'Mahony received a 6 in the Sky Sports ratings, while Healy got the lowest rating from the Ireland starters, with a 5/10 as he 'struggled on his first Test start in a year'.
Stephen Jones was tasked with Ireland player ratings for The Sunday Times, and while O'Mahony and Bundee Aki scored 5s, it was Healy bringing up the rear with a 4/10. The loosehead was criticised for Ireland's scrum troubles which were 'a black mark' against him.
On O'Mahony, Jones returned to a suggestion that he has made previously. He wrote:
'You can't even whisper this in Munster, but Ireland will surely improve with Tadhg Beirne on the flank and bigger locks.'
In isolation, the Munster man may not be entirely pleased with his performance at Twickenham. He has had a very good season to date, though. It will be interesting to see if Andy Farrell sticks with O'Mahony in the No.6 jersey for next weekend's visit of Scotland to Dublin.
Beirne could be an option at blindside, as could shifting Caelan Doris back from No.8. With James Ryan a concussion doubt and Iain Henderson leaking penalties like a sieve, on Saturday, Beirne may be kept in the second row until the end of the championship, at least.