Player Ratings: Wales v South Africa

Lee Byrne – 6/10

Delivered the solid performance Wales were hoping for at the back. While Bryne’s left boot gained plenty of field-position, he rarely threatened to spark into life in attack.

George North – 8

The debut dreams are made of. The eighteen-year-old took his two tries very well and created the break that led to the second Welsh try.

Tom Shanklin – 6

Ran the ball tirelessly, but offered little cutting edge in attack. He blotted his copy book with the poor decision-making that led to two potentially match-winning opportunities going begging.

James Hook – 7

Showed exactly why Wales have to pick him in a playmaking role. He was instrumental in everything that was right for Warren Gatland’s team.

Shane Williams – 6

A significant improvement from last week and was a handful every time he got his handson the ball. His substitution seemed to signal a change in the momentum of the game. His replacement Chris Czekaj offered little in contrast.

Stephen Jones – 6

Ran the game in a positive fashion, but as time wore on the 32-year-old began to run out of steam and ideas.

Mike Phillips – 7

Phillips produced a suitably physical display, using his 6’3″ frame to full effect. His service gave Wales a great deal of attacking impetus in the first-half, but he became subdued as the Welsh forwards fell onto the back-foot.

Paul James – 6

James was quiet in comparison to the normal performances of the man he was drafted in for, Gethin Jenkins, having little impact.

Matthew Rees – 8

The captain led from the front with some valuable close-quarter ball carries, and near perfect lineout delivery.

Adam Jones – 8

A very busy day at the office for the tighthead, popping up all over the park, especially in defence.

Bradley Davies – 8

Another ball-carrying performance from the 23-year-old lock, that was all about the hard-yards.

Alun Wyn-Jones – 6

While superb in the lineout, Wyn-Jones was subdued by the physicality of the Springoks, failing to demonstrate any of his normal dynamism.

Andy Powell – 7

Like Paul James,  Powell was drafted in as a late replacement and justified his first start since Buggy Gate. Easily Wales’s best ball carrier – both in terms of metres gained and in offloads.

Martyn Williams – 7

The veteran making his 100th test appearance was the catalyst for the way in which Wales were able to break the game up and was also Wales’s busiest tackler. However Williams was ineffective when South Africa were on the front foot.

Jonathan Thomas – 7

Thomas made the most ball carries of any Welsh player, but was out played by his opposite number Spies, who made nearly twice as many metres.

by Paul French

5 thoughts on “Player Ratings: Wales v South Africa

  1. Again your ratings are ridiculously high. Shanklin was the worst performer of the day, his head-down approach cost Wales scoring changes time and time again and his lack of pace exposed. Phillips was poor and indecisive all game. James was basically anonymous. JT is not an 8. He’s hardly even international standard, but gets a 7.

  2. In hindsight I think I was very generous to Paul James, who having looked at the stats, didn’t get his mitts on the ball once.

    However I don’t think my marks for Shanklin et al were as high as you say. You could perhaps take one mark off them each, but I think we will have to agree to disagree if you think they are ridiculously high.

    Phillips only dithered because of the lack of options he had available to him, in my humble opinion.

  3. We hear a lot these days about match fixing but not too much about rugby union, which I’m pleased about as I’m an avid rugby union supporter, previously having played, reffereed and coached.

    However after the Wales v S.Africa game shouldn’t someone at least look at Steve Walsh’s bank account. I don’t think we’ll see a much more biased performance in any sport. I can ‘t believe he’s that incompetent which leaves only one conclusion.

    I fear for our game with so much inconsistency from referees. When do we see the crooked feed penalised during a match, maybe once and thats it. There are more and more inconsistencies creeping in during each match. The referee seems to want to be the star and is either too involved or ignores certain team transgressions. The southern hemisphere seem to think they have a GOD GIVEN RIGHT to get away with more than the opposition.

    As for Steve Walsh, a referee who lives for controversy, who has already been banned by his own Union, is he thinking of the good of rugby or his future outside of the game. How many times have we seen the controversal figure become popular after a blighted career! I think if players can receive fines and bans for their transgressions do should these ‘shady’ refereeing ‘tactics’!!!

  4. Completely agree about the inconsistency of refereeing nowadays. Rugby is a professional game, with professional players and supposely professional referees. Players often get cited after matches for incidents that occured within a match, and IMO, I feel clubs/national teams etc etc should be able to do the same to referee’s. By this, I don’t mean if there are a “few mistakes” made, that is human nature, but when referee’s are consistently poor and making what appears to be bias decisions I do feel they should be investigated, and suitably punished if found guilty. Also, the IRB needs to take a grip on the whole “interpretation” of the laws and regulations of rugby. The laws and regulations are clearly set out, and if referee’s can choose to “interpret” them, then why penalise players for doing the same, and then call it cheating. How are players meant to be consistent, if the standard refereeing and “interpretation” of the laws change ever game they play due to these so called “professional” referee’s?

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