RWC 2011: Australia Player Ratings v New Zealand


15. Adam Ashley-Cooper – 6

Not as lethal in attack as Kurtley Beale, and struggled to contain the running threats of Dagg and Jane. Better at 13.

14. James O’Connor – 7

The Wallabies most dangerous attacker made some threatening breaks in the second half, but to no avail.

13. Anthony Faingaa – 5

Struggled coming into the side faced with the attacking threat of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith. Still developing.

12. Pat McCabe – 7

Had made the jersey his own, brutal defence constantly tested, as his bloody face showed. Australia’s Jamie Roberts.

11. Digby Ioane – 7

Such a powerful runner, no wonder the coaching staff wanted him fit again. The ARU will be hoping he stays in Australia rather than moving to Japan.

10. Quade Cooper – 4

Disappointing. Ruthlessly targeted by high balls and officials alike. Grew into the game and showed some touches of maturity, but really struggled.

9. Will Genia – 7

The heart of Australia. Growing into his position, getting better every season. Potential captain for 2015 tournament.

1. Sekope Kepu – 5

Nasty eye injury and had a rough time at the scrum. Brief 20 minutes.

2. Stephen Moore – 5

Disappointing. Poor indiscipline, never got going.

3. Ben Alexander – 5

More scrum problems, but ran better in the loose. Plenty of time ahead of him.

4. Dan Vickerman – 4

Wasn’t up for the fight. Rob Simmons was far more effective when he replaced him, but it was too late.

5. James Horwill – 6

Australia’s new captain toiled relentlessly to battle the overpowering strength of the All Black pack. Will be in the engine room for a long time yet.

6. Rocky Elsom – 5

Smashed by Kieran Read in the second half, a tough afternoon for one of the Wallabies elder statesman. Left eating grass after Dagg’s break for the try.

7. David Pocock – 7

Subdued by the Kiwi backrow, though that didn’t stop him fighting at the breakdown. Ferocious and constantly good.

8. Radike Samo – 5

Couldn’t relive his heroics of the Tri-Nations match in Brisbane. You would never believed he’d play in the semi-final two years ago though.


James Slipper showed plenty of promise, Simmons was effective in the loose, and Berrick Barnes brought the solidity that maybe Australia should have started with.

by Ben Coles

12 thoughts on “RWC 2011: Australia Player Ratings v New Zealand

      1. Yeah. But then you tipped them too!

        In the post mortem of this RWC, a few articles on the coaches would be interesting. They’ve taken quite the centre stage and have made some very curious decisions along the way.

        1. Haha sorry mate, watched Gladiator last night.

          Don’t worry, they’re on the agenda for this week and next.

      2. No you are not. Quade Cooper. Being blamed for the general weakness of that team. Beale not playing was huge!

  1. Don’t disagree with the scores Ben.
    Interesting to note that the knives are really beginning to come out for Robbie Deans over here…and also Quade Cooper taking some stick (and rightly so I believe). The ex-players and coaches are beginning to come out of the woodwork and ask questions about his ability to play at 10 (Tim Horan, Farr Jones, Dwyer amongst many others).

    1. Yep, that’s what prompted my post morgen on the coaches. Forwards issues aside, I don’t know why Deans picked a defensive centre pairing that was at odds with Cooper’s abilities.

      It’s hard to give player ratings when a pass from Cooper to McCabe on the 22 results in a penalty for holding on in the ruck, because McCabe ran it up and got isolated. That’s what Deans brought him on to do.

      I’m not defending Cooper here, but trying to provide context for the questionable decisions that Deans made by picking one dimensional centres when Barnes and Horne were available. Plus the lack of a second fetcher in the squad turned out to be a big mistake. Hence Deans deserves to be under pressure.

        1. For me, he’s one of the most sought after coaches in world rugby. And also, whilst Australia went out after getting thumped in the semi-final at the RWC, they are Tri-Nations champions. They’d only ever won the 3N twice before, and it’s been done with a relatively young side. If I was the ARU, I’d keep him on till 2015.

        2. More like machetes than knives coming out for Deans, from what I have seen on some Aussie blogs.

          Will be interesting to see what they do with him (not physically). I think that Kiwis learnt from previous RWC failures that hiring and firing a coach every 4 years for not bringing home the cup wasn’t the best plan as then the coaching staff didn’t have the chance to learn from their mistakes. Henry and crew learnt from theirs and stopped with the whole rotation policy thankfully.

          Sir Woodward was also given another chance after failing the first time.

          Personally I think Deans made some bad calls but can improve. Maybe they need some complementary coaching staff instead of just throwing him right out.

          1. I agree with you both. Dingo was resigned for two more years just before the RWC. If he manages a Bledisloe series win and a victorious Lions series, I’m sure he’ll be around for 2015.

            There are plenty of learning outcomes for him to take on board as a result of this campaign. The frustrating thing is that I suspect the reason why he selected a defensive centre pairing is because he knew that our forwards were not up to the task. It’s frustrating for Wallaby supporters because that’s where we were four years ago.

            We’re ranked 2nd in the world, but since 2001 we’ve had a second rate scrum and very little depth in the forwards. That has to be our focus now.

            The good news us the players have found heart. For all the structural weaknesses, they held the Yarpies tryless and conceded only one try to a brilliant Kiwi attack.

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