Munster 10-26 Saracens : Player Ratings

Munster

 

  1. Simon Zebo - 6/10

Ever reliable under the high ball, kicked well from hand but made a couple of silly decisions in the second half as he tried to create something from nothing. Was caught out badly for Chris Wyles’ try which sealed the victory for Saracens.

 

  1. Andrew Conway – 5/10

Chased Williams’ box kicks well but knocked on on a couple of occasions when he attempted to tap the ball back. Didn’t really threaten the Sarries defence out wide and could have come in looking for work a little bit more. Was caught in two minds when faced with Chris Ashton in the backfield in the second half. Was turned over and as a result Saracens went over for the decisive try.

 

  1. Jaco Taute – 6/10

As usual was the leader of the Munster defensive line, cutting down space and preventing Sarries from getting the ball wide to the dangerous pair of Ashton and Maitland. Offered little in attack but at this stage it is clear that he is not in this side for his attacking capabilities.

 

  1. Rory Scannell – 4/10

Didn’t seem to be involved in the game very much at all, which is really not good enough for a player, that many would believe to be a key playmaker in his side.

 

  1. Keith Earls – 6/10

A shining light in Munster’s attack. Should have been given the ball more as Sarries looked uncomfortable whenever he got it in his hands. Often his frailties in defence are pointed out but he stood up to the test today, hitting any runners that came down his line hard. Looked perplexed to be substituted early in the second period.

 

  1. Tyler Bleyendaal – 5/10

Ran the game well in the first half with superb kicking out of hand, which put the Sarries back three under severe pressure. Quite surprisingly he led the Munster side in metres made in the first half but didn’t keep that up in the second as virtually nothing went his way largely down to his poor decision-making.

 

  1. Duncan Williams – 4/10

His entire game was nowhere near Conor Murray’s standard. Munster breached the Sarries line infrequently and a lot of the problem stemmed from the nine, as he didn’t vary up his passing game enough, hitting the one up runners time and time again. Very slow to get the ball out and kicked poorly as a whole.

 

  1. CJ Stander – 7/10

As is expected at this stage the number eight never took a step backwards all day. Showed sheer grit and determination to go over for his side’s only try of the game after a clever tap and go.

 

  1. Tommy O’Donnell – 5/10

Quiet day at the office for the number seven. Lost the battle of the breakdown and failed to get over the gainline consistently.

 

  1. Peter O’Mahony – 7/10

The man typifies the Munster spirit, never giving an inch to his opponent. Came up with crucial steals in the lineout which stunted Saracens momentum. It was a shame to see him forced to leave the field so early through injury.

 

  1. Billy Holland – 6/10

Deputised as captain in the absence of O’Mahony and did a stellar job leading from the front. Won his lineout ball against a much younger Lions second row pairing of Kruis and Itoje. Held a cool head in a situation in which many would have crumbled.

 

  1. Donnacha Ryan -5/10

Showed good skills at times deputising at scrum-half on a couple of occasions. Didn’t have an immaculate performance as Munster lost the battle at the ruck area against a younger and heavier forward pack.

 

  1. John Ryan – 6/10

Looked promising in the opening minutes as he won a couple of penalties at the scrum. Couldn’t keep it up for the entire game as Saracens got the upper hand at that set piece but to be fair it wasn’t his side of the scrum that was being driven back.

 

  1. Niall Scannell – 5/10

Didn’t see much of his typical ball-carrying abilities and Sarries managed to rob a couple of his lineout throws. Was substituted early and couldn’t really argue with his coaches decision to do so.

 

  1. Dave Kilcoyne – 4/10

Was completely shut down in the loose as he couldn’t find a way to break through the Saracens defence. Was given a schooling by Koch at the scrum which put Munster on the back foot again and again.

 Honourable mentions from the bench

  1. Stephen Archer (64’) – 5/10

The entire replacement front row could not stop the Saracens scrum from getting the shove on despite having the advantage of fresh legs

  1. Jean Deysel (51’) - 6/10

Did well to prevent Kruis getting over for a try but didn’t make as much of an impact as would have been expected.

  1. Francis Saili (56’) – 6/10

Bought a silly dummy from Billy Vunipola but made a great break to set up Stander’s try.

 

Saracens

  1. Mako Vunipola – 8/10

Very solid at scrum time after some early Munster pressure. Carried dynamically and made vital yardage throughout. Scored the crucial try which put the fixture to bed.

 

  1. Jamie George – 7/10

Carried very effectively throughout. Posted a lineout success rate of 86% hitting 12/14. Got through an impressive amount of work at the breakdown and made his tackles when called upon.

 

  1. Vincent Koch – 9/10

Winner of the MOTM award. Very impressive at the set piece. Carried powerfully throughout the game and was an absolute menace at the breakdown securing several vital turnovers for his side.

 

  1. Mauro Itoje – 8/10

Impressive as ever. Incredibly physical at the breakdown causing Munster a host of problems. An absolute rock in defence., consistently smashing the Munster ball carriers back over the gain line.

 

  1. George Kruis – 7/10

Very impressive in the lineout, showed why he was selected for the summer Lions tour. Led the side well and put in a big shift defensively. Disappointingly knocked the ball on preventing a certain Sarries try.

 

  1. Michael Rhodes – 7/10

Very impressive in attack, ran some very intelligent lines and showed great footwork. Competed well at the lineout and posed a real poaching threat at the breakdown.

 

  1. Jackson Wray – 7/10

Very solid work rate throughout. Hit countless rucks and posed a threat at the breakdown. Was unfortunately sent to the bin for a high tackle on Duncan Williams but made up for it with a high tackle count.

 

  1. Billy Vunipola – 7/10

Carried very powerfully throughout making significant yardage for his side. Made a couple of crucial tackles and held Munster’s big ball carriers up earning vital scrum possession for his side.

 

  1. Richard Wigglesworth – 8/10

Marshalled his backline expertly and kicked extremely well throughout. Used his wealth of big game experience and high rugby IQ to set his teammates into great attacking spaces. Carelessly knocked the ball on at a key moment early in the game preventing a Sarries try.

 

  1. Owen Farrell - 8/10

Another magnificent performance from the star man. Great game management and organisation of the backline. Very accurate place kicking throughout and put in an impressive defensive shift.

 

 

  1. Sean Maitland – 6/10

Targeted aerially by Munster and was consistently beaten in the air by Simon Zebo. Put in a good shift defensively but never really managed to get going in an attacking sense.

 

  1. Brad Barritt – 7/10

Quiet afternoon from the captain in an attacking sense. Put in a big shift defensively and got through a serious amount of work at the breakdown.

 

  1. Marcelo Bosch – 7/10

Stunted Munster’s attacking momentum at pivotal moments in the game with some huge defensive tackles. Kicked well out of hand consistently pinning Munster back inside their own half.

 

  1. Chris Ashton – 6/10

Pretty quiet afternoon from Ashton. Failed to find himself any space to work in and butchered a really great try scoring opportunity.

 

  1. Alex Goode – 7/10

Safe as ever under the high ball. Called some excellent marks when Munster tried to kick in behind. Stood up defensively and made his tackles. Didn’t get many attacking opportunities with ball in hand.

 

 Honourable mentions from the bench

 

  1. Schalk Brits – (51’) 7/10

Made a very positive impact off the bench. His combinations of pace and direct running caused the Munster defence a host of problems. Posted an impressive tackle count in the 30 minutes he was on the pitch for.

 

  1. Schalk Burger – (56’) 8/10

Continued the impressive work rate of Jackson Wray when called upon. Put in a very solid defensive shift and posed a constant threat at the breakdown consistently getting his hands on the ball and slowing down the Munster play.

 

  1. Chris Wyles – (63’) 7/10

Didn’t get a huge amount of ball in hand. However, showed great awareness and speed of thought to pounce on a loose ball and touch down for a try minutes after entering the field of play.