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Player ratings: Irish eyes are smiling

Despite losing a number of key players to injury during the game, Ireland looked the better team throughout and will be a tough team to beat in the play-offs.

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Warren Fortune rates the Irish players!

15 Rob Kearney

Ran more metres than anyone else on the field. He was great on attack, solid on defence and he got a try as well – it was almost a complete performance by the talented fullback.

8/10

14 Tommy Bowe

Made a few mistakes and give away a penalty but overall he did more good than bad. His eye for the gap is still one of the best in the game at the moment.

7/10

13 Keith Earls

Dropped the ball with an open tryline in front of him in the first half and struggled to find space. However, his solid defence in the midfield helped stifle the French attack.

6/10

12 Robbie Henshaw

A fantastic display by the young centre who made the French defence look like sitting ducks on a few occasions. He gave his team some serious punch in the midfield and was also a brick wall on defence.

8/10

11 Dave Kearney

Did not have a lot of opportunities with the ball and did not look for work like Tommy Bowe. However, he gave a solid showing on defence.

6/10

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10 Jonathan Sexton

Was a handful in the 25 minutes he was on the field before he was injured. He was good tactically and gave his team some direction.

6/10

9 Conor Murray

Played out of skin in the first half, making 10 passes in the first minute alone. His speed at the breakdown also boosted his team's attack. He is one of the best scrumhalves in the world at the moment   

9/10

8 Jamie Heaslip

Made more tackles than any other player in his team. He gave his team power from the back of the scrum, however, he would not have been happy with his ball carrying.

7/10

7 Sean O'Brien

Carried the ball more than any other player on the field and he made more metres than any other forward. His intensity was not matched – he was a colossal.

9/10

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6 Peter O'Mahony

Took the ball up plenty of times for the 55 minutes he was on the field, but could not rack up the metres like Sean O'Brien did.

7/10

5 Paul O'Connell (captain)

Led from the front with his bravery in the collisions before his injury just before half-time. He also secured possession in a few line-outs for his team in the first half. 

6/10

4 Devin Toner

The big lock caused the French some problems in the line-outs and he also carried the ball on a number of occasions.

6/10

3 Mike Ross

Was poor in open play and gave away a penalty in the game's first scrum. He did improve in the scrums as the game went on, but overall it was not a good outing for the prop. 

5/10

2 Rory Best

He found his line-out jumpers and had a good work rate around the park. It was a satisfactory performance by the hooker.

7/10

1 Cian Healy

He carried the ball a lot for a prop and looked for work around the breakdowns. He was also solid in the scrums as well.

7/10

Replacements: 

16 Richardt Strauss (On for R Best, 73 min)

Not enough time to be rated.

17 Jack McGrath (On for C Healy, 57 min)

The prop was fantastic in the scrums where he helped his team win a number of penalties. He made a couple of good tackles as well.

7/10

18 Nathan White (On for M Ross, 65 min)

Not enough time to be rated.

19 Iain Henderson (On for P O'Connell, 40 min)

A simply awesome performance by the giant lock in the second half. He made more metres in 40 minutes than some did in the entire 80. He beat four defenders in open play and was a nuisance in the line-outs as well.

8/10

20 Chris Henry (On for P O'Mahony, 55 min)

He carried the ball on a few occasions but did not make a huge impact. He did what was expected of him as cover for Peter O'Mahony.

6/10

21 Eoin Reddan (On for C Murray, 76 min)

Not enough time to be rated.

22 Ian Madigan (On for J Sexton, 25 min)

The young flyhalf did an amazing job when he came on for the injured Jonathan sexton Sexton. He put his outside backs into space and gave the whole team direction as well. He still needs work on his kicking though. 

7/10

23 Luke Fitzgerald (On for K Earls, 62 min)

Did not make any tackles but then again he did not need to. He ran with the ball twice and made a couple of metres.

5/10

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