Leinster player ratings: Centres stand out in shock URC defeat to Munster

Charlie Ngatai for Leinster Credit: Alamy
Charlie Ngatai for Leinster Credit: Alamy

Following Leinster’s shock 16-15 defeat to Munster in the United Rugby Championship semi-final, here are our ratings for the Dublin side.

15 Jimmy O’Brien: Managed the backfield for the most part during his 40 minutes on the field but failed to make any significant impact on the game. Kicked well out of hand otherwise but did not impact the game as much as his replacement Ciaran Frawley did. 5

14 Tommy O’Brien: Slipped the most tackles out of the Leinster players but really came into the game in the final stages when it looked as if the Dublin side was going to steal the win. Was neat in back play in a solid outing. 7

13 Robbie Henshaw: Sent Jason Jenkins in for his try with a lovely offload and looked the most likely to crack the defence in tandem with his centre partner. Like most of the side, he defended pretty well. Should be proud of his efforts in a big performance. 8

12 Charlie Ngatai: One of the shining lights for his team. The centre ran hard all game long and when he didn’t he was distributing well. He also defended relentlessly and kicked effectively out of hand when required. 8

11 Dave Kearney: Looked quite good with ball in hand and beat a few defenders. Was always looking to make something happen when he got his hands on the ball and covered the backfield fairly well. 6

10 Harry Byrne: A difficult match for the fly-half who spent most of the contest in the defensive line. He did get the attack going with great intensity late on when the game was theirs to take. A decent effort but a fixture he will take a lot from. 6

9 Luke McGrath: Distributed the ball well and kicked cleverly during the first half. In fairness, he did not have much ball to work with as the visitors dominated possession. 6

High tackle counts

8 Jack Conan: Put in a monster shift on defence making over 20 tackles. Did not get much chance with ball in hand but carried well when he did. A workmanlike performance. 7

7 Will Connors: Was unfortunately injured in the opening minutes and had to leave the field. N/A

6 Max Deegan: The flank was another who put in a huge defensive effort and had some key interventions that directly prevented a try in both halves. Can be proud of his outing despite the result. 7

5 Jason Jenkins: The second-row scored a good try thanks to a beautiful support line. He also made a key tackle on his line to force a knock-on. A committed effort in a big game. 7

4 Ryan Baird: The star was denied his brilliant runaway try early on that could have changed the tone of the game. Was quiet otherwise on attack but defended well. Operated effectively in the line-out and in maul defence. 6

3 Michael Alaalatoa: Decent enough in the scrum without setting the world alight. The same applies to his contributions on both sides of the ball. The prop was solid but never really made a significant impact on the game. 5

2 Ronan Kelleher: The hooker was another player who made over 20 tackles with several of those being key interventions. One of his throws was not straight but apart from that had a neat enough game. 7

1 Michael Milne: Not overly dominant in the scrum during his 46 minutes on the field. Completed his other tasks decent enough but his replacement, Cian Healy, was more influential. 5

Replacements: Superstar Josh van der Flier played practically 80 minutes and made a ridiculous 28 tackles with three turnovers amongst some very good carries in one of the better performances in the team. Frawley brought some energy into the backline whilst Joe McCarthy and the other forward replacements almost won Leinster the game. 8

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Munster seal famous win over Leinster as trip to Stormers awaits

The article Leinster player ratings: Centres stand out in shock URC defeat to Munster appeared first on Planetrugby.com.