15. Leigh Halfpenny – 9
Excellent. Kicked brilliantly and took repeated high balls with great aplomb. Recovering from Cooper Vuna’s tackle in the air to put Wales back in the lead was a defining moment.
14. Alex Cuthbert – 6
A great threat but sorely underused by Wales, often left out on the wing. Not his biggest game.
13. Jonathan Davies– 7
Great defence, powerful running and outstanding control of the bouncing ball at the start of the second half for his try. It was a moment where Wales swung the momentum back their way by taking the lead, and all down to his execution.
12. Ashley Beck – 6
Looked good for a first start, plenty of nice touches and grafted hard. Can only get better.
11. George North – 7
Well taken try in the opening minutes gave Wales the momentum needed. Needed more ball though to be effective.
10. Rhys Priestland – 5
Passed well and defended bravely, but some of his kicking out of hand was horrendous. Kicking is fine if the length is accurate and you don’t waste possession, but too often in the second half what Priestland produced was aimless. Hook must start the 3rd Test.
9. Mike Phillips – 6
Better than in Brisbane but erroneously conceded points to the Wallabies. Has not found the form that made him stand out in the Six Nations.
1. Gethin Jenkins – 6
Again failed to get on top in the scrum – in fact at one point he conceded a penalty in the same area to give the Wallabies the lead.
2. Matthew Rees – 5
Three poor lineout throws cost his side. Unacceptable.
3. Adam Jones – 6
Same as Jenkins, expected to dominate but failed to keep Robinson quiet. Disappointing.
4. Bradley Davies – 7
Mark Robson described him as “Mr. Consistent” and he again played well in Melbourne, bruising around the rucks and in the tackle.
5. Alun Wyn Jones – 7
Great work rate around the paddock and did well in the lineout when the ball went his way.
6. Dan Lydiate – 7
A nasty incident with David Pocock aside, was found demolishing tacklers in his now trademark manner.
7. Sam Warburton – 6
Sluggish when chasing back for the first try. Has not been himself on tour and has Tipuric breathing down his neck.
8. Ryan Jones – 7
Huge shift carrying the ball, probably the main focal point of attack. Quite the run of form he’s in.
Tipuric was not given enough time to impress, whilst Webb was under a lot of pressure to close the game out in the final stages given his lack of experience. Hibbard steadied the lineout but there was no major impact.
15. Adam Ashley-Cooper – 7, 14. Cooper Vuna – 5, 13. Rob Horne – 7, 12. Pat McCabe – 7, 11. Digby Ioane – 6, 10. Berrick Barnes – 9, 9. Will Genia – 7; 1. Benn Robinson – 7, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau – 7, 3. Sekope Kepu – 6, 4. Rob Simmons – 6, 5. Nathan Sharpe – 8, 6. Scott Higginbotham – 8, 7. David Pocock – 7, 8. Wycliff Palu – 7
Barnes went one better than his display in Brisbane with some excellent kicks to touch and a superb dummy in the build up to Rob Horne’s try. The pack held firm as expected, with Higginbotham and Pocock their typical nuisance selves at the breakdown.
by Ben Coles