It was another great weekend of rugby for Irish fans, particularly those donning the blue of Leinster. Some fine performances were witnessed, and some players shone. John Keogh gives us his top 10 Irish players for the week ending 31st March 2014.
(10) Darren Cave (Ulster)
The question of who will be Brian O’Driscoll’s replacement is one that has to be answered. Darren Cave put his hand up for selection with an impressive try scoring display for Ulster. If he continues to perform at this level, then Schmidt cannot ignore him.
(9) Simon Zebo (Munster)
The Corkman had a lot to prove against Leinster and delivered under pressure. Zebo was Munster’s best player. He threatened with ball in hand all game and will surely be back in Joe Schmidt’s plans for the tour of Argentina in the Summer.
(8) Conor Murray (Munster)
Ireland’s first choice scrum half was outshone by his closest rival, Eoin Reddan last weekend. Murray’s all round game will have to be at its best versus Toulouse.
(7) Peter O’Mahony (Munster)
Peter O’Mahony has emerged as a major injury worry for Munster’s huge Heineken Cup quarter-final against Toulouse this weekend. He was a major loss to his province and his side’s task will be more difficult if the Corkman fails to recover by Saturday.
(6) Rory Best (Ulster)
Although Best sat out Ulster’s defeat to Cardiff, there can be no doubting that he earned his week off following his superb Six Nations displays.
(5) Cian Healy (Leinster)
Healy also did not play last weekend but remains the top loosehead prop in Europe following his displays this season for club and country.
(4) Paul O’Connell (Munster)
It was not one of O’Connell’s best games in the red of Munster. Like his teammates, most of his time was spent thwarting Leinster’s constant attacks. He did this superbly but will be disappointed that he had no impact going forward.
(3) Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster)
What more can be said about BOD at this stage? It was no surprise that the high profile derby was effectively decided by Ireland’s greatest ever player. O’Driscoll was on hand to finish off a sweeping Leinster move that made sure they stayed top of the Rabo Direct PRO 12 Table.
(2) Rob Kearney (Leinster)
The Irish and Lions Full Back was immense for Leinster in their victory against Munster. His fielding of the high ball was imperious and he was a constant attacking threat.
(1) Jonny Sexton (Racing Metro)
Sexton was superb as Racing Metro beat Stade Francais in the French Top 14 clash on Saturday. The Irish out half kicked 17 points as Metro rose to 5th place in the table.
Pundit Arena, John Keogh.
Simon Zebo By Fearless Fred [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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