RWC 2011: Wales Player Ratings v Namibia

15. Lee Byrne – 8.5

A try scoring return from the out of form and out of favour full back. Dependable in defence and threatening with ball in hand, Byrne may just be back in Warren Gatland’s selection plans.

14. Leigh Halfpenny – 8

No try to his name, but the scrum-capped flyer caused Namibia all sorts of problems in a busy display.

13. Jonathan Davies – 8

The Scarlets’ player looked much more at home partnering his regional teammate in the centre. Doubts may remain over his suitability as an outside centre, but Davies produced some excellent link play and showed his class with a well taken try.

12. Scott Williams – 9

20-year-old Williams has not even been a regular feature at regional level, so this was a vindication of Warren Gatland’s decision to include him in the World Cup squad. Showed pace and precision in claiming a hat-trick of tries.

11. Aled Brew – 7.5

Although unlikely to displace those above him in the Welsh wing pecking order, this was another positive display, from a player who is very much on the up. Brew got his just deserves, with a well taken try.

10. Stephen Jones – 7

A solid return from injury, becoming Wales’s leading cap holder in the process. Due to how the game panned out, because of the weakness of the opposition, it is hard to see how Jones could have displaced Rhys Priestland, in the race for the Welsh number ten shirt.

9. Tavis Knoyle – 7

Struggled at times, particularly with his service, in the first half but grew in stature as the game progressed, keeping the Namibians on their toes, with a handful of darting breaks.

1. Gethin Jenkins – 8

An almost surreal individual try capped off what was a very welcome return to the welsh starting line-up. Not quite his best scrummaging performance, with a few penalties going against him, but more than made up for it in the loose.

2. Lloyd Burns – 6

Still trying to regain confidence after the disastrous performance he had against England in August, Burns demonstrated all too infrequently his credentials to be an international class hooker.

3. Craig Mitchell – 5

The one real weak link for Wales. Struggled in the scrum and anonymous in the loose.

4. Bradley Davies – 7.5

After a string of relatively below-par performances, Davies showed glimpses of form, more reminiscent of a season or two ago. Powerful in contact and set up Aled Brew’s try excellently.

5. Alun-Wyn Jones – 7

This was the type of loose game that the lock is best suited for. Jones’s offloading game was excellent, but arguably could have been more impactful when carrying into contact.

6. Ryan Jones – 7.5

Another player making his way back from injury. Jones will be happy with his World Cup debut, getting through a lot of work.

7. Sam Warburton – 7

Warren Gatland will just be pleased that his captain came through unscathed. Replaced by Andy Powell with half an hour remaining, Warburton was in cruise control for his time on the pitch, but still above average.

8. Toby Faletau – 8

The young number-eight continued to add to his already impressive test rugby reputation. Namibia struggled to live with Faletau’s power and dynamism, typified by his try.


16. Ken Owens – 6.5

On for the final quarter and made two impressive carries.

17. Ryan Bevington – 6.5

Also played the final twenty-minutes, and impressed with his ability in the loose.

18. Luke Charteris – 6.5

Another late sub, and another player who took full advantage of the game breaking up with some carries.

19. Andy Powell – 7

Namibia were tiring and struggled to cope with the power and pace Powell has.

20. Lloyd Williams – 7

A fairly untested player at this level, Williams’s introduction was well timed, as the young scrum-half prospered as the game loosened up, with his returns including a try.

21. Rhys Priestland – 6.5

Only quarter of an hour for the outside-half, but still impressed with his vision.

22. George North – 8

Absolutely terrorised the Namibians late on, and touched down two very clinical tries in the process.

by Paul French

2 thoughts on “RWC 2011: Wales Player Ratings v Namibia

  1. As usual, the wannabe flanker Jenkins gets all the headlines for being a showpony in the loose as his deficiencies at his primary job (the scrum) are totally overlooked, again. Three penalties against Namibia?

    Proper ratings, taking into account the opposition:

    Jenkins, 5/10: “He clearly wanted to make a statement to the Welsh coaches, and many would point to his 35-metre run for a try as a standout moment. As fun and entertaining as that was, I tend to look at his high penalty count in the scrums against a man who plays for a Cape Town club’s second team – which suggests he is no good.”

    1. ‘Proper ratings, taking into account the opposition’ Personally I feel that article blurs the line between being realistic and being overly cynical for cynicism’s sake, to the point where it is just plain disrespectful. I would hardly say that two penalties is a high penalty count. The tighthead Jenkins was up against has spent a lot of his career playing provincial rugby for Boland in South Africa.

      You can only play what is in front of you, and Wales played quite well on Monday night. I don’t think anyone suddenly believes that they have become world beaters on the basis of a performance against a clearly tiring team of mostly part-timers.

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