HOW the Munster players rated in Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 final defeat to Glasgow warriors at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast.
Felix Jones 6
DID really well to block DTH van der Merwe’s chip in behind after 12 minutes which prevented an almost certain try. Looked lively in attack, but made a few errors in defence
Keith Earls 6
Quick-minded scramble defence helped Earls prevent van der Merwe from touching down in the corner on 18 minutes. Opted to cut back inside rather to back himself to go outside the Glasgow defence in a rare opportunity to shine with ball in hand on 20 minutes. Remains one of Munster’s main attacking threats with ball in hand.
Andrew Smith 8
The departing Australian was one of Munster’s best players on the night, continuing his fine end of season form. Bagged his sixth try of the season when touching done on 37 minutes as Munster racked up 27 phases of possession.
Denis Hurley 6
Formed a solid midfield partnership with Smith this season, but had few opportunities to showcase the off-loading skills that proved a key element of Munster’s strong finish to the regular season. Will be interesting to see if Hurley remains first choice starting inside centre next season.
Simon Zebo 6
Was an injury doubt before the game and didn’t look at his sharpest here. Having said that, Zebo didn’t get too many chances to impress with ball in hand as he spent most of his time defending.
Ian Keatley 5
Keatley’s goal-kicking was much improved on his below par showing against Ospreys in the semi-final. However, his kicking from hand was poor at times. Was replaced with 24 minutes to go and will be interesting to see if he remains first choice out-half next season with Tyler Bleyendaal’s return to full fitness
Duncan Williams 6
Williams turned in a competent display starting at scrum half in the absence of the hugely influential Conor Murray. Passing could have bene better on occasion, but proved a threat sniping around the fringes.
Dave Kilcoyne 6
Part or a Munster front row which dominated at scrum time, earning good reward for the side. Carried effectively, but got isolated in defence on a number of occasions when he was a target for Glasgow backs running at him.
Eusebio Guinazu 6
Argentine hooker Guinazu had a mixed evening with his line-out throwing. Scrummaged impressively however. Overall, his time with the province has been a success.
BJ Botha 6
Justified his selection to start the final with a dominant display at scrum-time. Didn’t get to carry ball as much as he would have liked in his 100th appearance for the province.
Billy Holland 6
Turned in his customary hard-working display in Munster’s engine room. Will have benefitted from the experience of starting in such a big final. Faces battle to retain starting post next season once Dave Foley is fit again.
Paul O’Connell 7
After 14 seasons, 174 appearances, including 64 as team captain, O’Connell’s Munster career came to a disappointing end on Saturday night. The Munster defeat wasn’t down to lack of effort from their talismanic second row, however.
Donnacha Ryan 6
PLAYED at number six with captain Peter O’Mahony ruled out through injury. Got through a fair amount of work as he works his way back to full throttle. Looks set to take on the mantle of line-out general next season with O’Connell’s departure. Will hope to feature in World Cup squad and remain injury-free.
Paddy Butler 6
Another departing player having his last outing in the red of Munster. Never hit the heights of his display the previous week against the Ospreys, but his stock is one the rise after a strong finish to the season.
CJ Stander 6
Munster’s Player of the Year was not as influential as he had been throughout the campaign, mainly because he didn’t get his hands on the ball as often as in previous outings Has made huge strides in 2014/2015, however.
JJ Hanrahan 6
Interesting that head coach Foley turned to the Northampton-bound playmaker to try and ignite the province’s challenge with still over quarter of the game to run, given Hanrahan’s limited amount of gametime in recent months. Realistically, the game was up for Munster by the time the 22-year-old was introduced.
Ronan O’Mahony 6
The winger will look back on 2014-2015 as a hugely significant, breakthrough season, despite Saturday night’s defeat. O’Mahony made 20 appearances for Munster this season, including 12 starts. His star is on the rise.