Heineken Cup - Munster player ratings

Heineken Cup - Munster player ratings
Colm Kinsella rates the Munster players after their fantastic win over Harlequins in the Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Colm Kinsella rates the Munster players after their fantastic win over Harlequins in the Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Felix Jones 7

Competent display from the full-back who dealt with all ‘Quins threw at him. Very solid defensively, but didn’t get many chances to shine in attack.

Denis Hurley 7

Came in for the injured Doug Howlett and acquitted himself well. Boasts an excellent work rate and continues to be highly dependable defensively.

Casey Laulala 8

The former Cardiff Blues star posed a constant threat with ball in hand and was unfortunate on several occasions not to finish off impressive line-breaks with a try. Teak tough in defence.

James Downey 9

Downey’s most impressive display for Munster since his arrival from Northampton. Made huge yardage with ball in hand and his bone-crunching tackle on Mike Brown in the 53rd minute was massive.

Simon Zebo 8

Produced impressive comeback display in his first competitive appearance since picking up a foot injury in Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to England in February. The wing wizard posed constant threat.

Ronan O’Gara 8

Recovered well from missing two early penalty kicks to land six penalties over the remainder of the game. Distributed the ball well and made good yardage with his line kicks.

Conor Murray 8

Slotted seamlessly back into the side. Passing was crisp and assured and use the box kick option well. Could make the Lions tour yet.

David Kilcoyne 8

Did well in the scrums overall against a highly-rated ‘Quins front-row. Could be a bolter for Lions selection given his ability to carry on the top-of-the-ground conditions in Australia this summer.

Mike Sherry 8

The line-out provided Munster with an invaluable attacking platform thanks to the accuracy of Sherry’s throwing. The Garryowen clubman found his jumper 12 times during the game.

BJ Botha 7

Was penalised at scrum time on a couple of occasions early on, but found favour with referee Jerome Garces in the set-piece as the game wore on. Made countless tackles in a tireless display.

Donnacha Ryan 8

Eye-catching display from Ryan, who justified his inclusion in the second row ahead of Donncha O’Callaghan. Although he hadn’t played since Ireland’s final Six Nations clash last month, produced a power-packed display.

Paul O’Connell 10

Simply immense all through. Man of the Match O’Connell led by example in Munster’s engine room, imperious in the line-out and carried superbly. Surely the favourite now to skipper the Lions in Australia.

Peter O’Mahony 9

Produced one of the stand-out moments of the game with a 45th minute line-out steal. Hugely influential all through, powerful, abrasive and direct. A Lion in waiting?

Tommy O’Donnell 9

Continued his outstanding form for Munster this season with an immense display. Fully justified his inclusion in the side. Seems like a lifetime ago that he played in the Limerick Charity Cup final but it was just seven months ago.

James Coughlan 8

One of the unsung heroes, Coughlan worked very hard all through in a back-row which outshone their highly regarded opposite numbers. Made countless tackles and carried effectively.

Donncha O’Callaghan 6

Came on for Ryan in the 68th minute to renew his long-time partnership with O’Connell.

Damien Varley, Wian du Preez, Stephen Archer, Paddy Butler: Not on long enough to be rated.

Rob Penney 8

Could be proud of his players display in a season-defining game. Pressure was on following the drubbing suffered at the hands of Glasgow 9 days earlier. Proved correct on the selection calls he made.