Wales & Australia Player Ratings – 3rd Test

15. Leigh Halfpenny – 8

Ended a fine tour with another excellent kicking performance, missing just once from long range. Has to play for the Lions but where is a different matter.

14. Alex Cuthbert – 6

So eager to perform at this level but sadly just hasn’t seen enough of the ball to make a big impact.

13. Jonathan Davies– 7

Strong runner and key to the defence – some blame can be left at his door for rushing out in the build up to Rob Horne’s try.

12. Ashley Beck – 6

Did well for a first tour at international level, but you feel that Wales have missed the influence of Jamie Roberts in the red 12 shirt.

11. George North – 6

Much like Cuthbert, Wales have failed to make the most of him. Has so much more to give but needs to be given the ball.

10. Rhys Priestland – 5

Better than the previous week’s performance but rarely seems to dominate from the 10 shirt. Whilst Berrick Barnes stood out dictating play, Priestland looked subdued.

9. Mike Phillips – 7

Found his form, providing the assist for Ryan Jones try and running hard at the channels when they were open.

1. Gethin Jenkins – 6

Just the 40 minutes for Jenkins after he appeared to take a knock early on and then subsequently came off, replaced by Paul James.

2. Matthew Rees – 6

Again his lineout work was far too patchy, but the scrum went well. An improvement on last week in Melbourne.

3. Adam Jones – 7

That was more like it. Jones showed just how good he can perform by giving Benn Robinson a torrid afternoon, putting him back at the number 1 spot for the tighthead Lions shirt next year.

4. Bradley Davies – 7

Mr. Consistent came good once more with a series of big tackles and powerful runs. Unfortunately gave away the penalty with time running out, but has given everything this tour.

5. Alun Wyn Jones – 6

Missed the ball too often when going to catch the restarts and had one of his more ineffective matches. Can play a lot better.

6. Dan Lydiate – 7

Exceptional in defence once more, Lydiate’s star has risen in Australia. An essential cog.

7. Sam Warburton – 6

Gave everything in the first half and as a result took a knock that forced him to withdraw on 29 minutes. All in all, not his greatest tour.

8. Ryan Jones – 7

Grabbed the crucial try in the second half and was outstanding going forward, with numerous yards under his belt.


Paul James went well in the scrum after replacing the injured Jenkins, whilst Justin Tipuric was given an extended run after Warburton’s early departure and made an impression at the breakdown. Scott Williams brought a more direct approach off the bench but there little else to note.


15. Kurtley Beale – 7, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper – 6, 13. Rob Horne – 7, 12. Pat McCabe – 6, 11. Digby Ioane – 7, 10. Berrick Barnes – 9, 9. Will Genia – 7; 1. Benn Robinson – 5, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau – 5, 3. Sekope Kepu – 5, 4. Sitaleki Timani – 6, 5. Nathan Sharpe – 7, 6. Scott Higginbotham – 7, 7. David Pocock – 7, 8. Wycliff Palu – 7

Barnes was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch for the second week running, producing some brilliant tactical kicks and holding his nerve when aiming at goal. Kurtley Beale showed some nice touches on his return but the Wallaby scrum took a real beating. In the end, Australia have come through this series with a 3-0 win but without truly hitting top gear. That is encouraging.

by Ben Coles

14 thoughts on “Wales & Australia Player Ratings – 3rd Test

  1. “putting him back at the number 1 spot for the tighthead Lions shirt next year.”

    I think not. Cole is a monster scrummager and has the workrate and engine that Jones can only dream of, he’s like an extra flanker on the pitch. Just because Wales would fall apart without Jones, doesn’t mean he’s the best around. Cole will destroy the Aussies up front, like he has done on numerous occasions.

  2. lol typical English response!

    Jones destroyed Cole in the 6 nations, and Cole commented on how tough Jones is but I suppose you know better than him don’t you?! lol

    1. Jones would not have faced Cole as they both play on the tighthead. also I don’t think he “destroyed” Corbiserio but did give him a valuable lesson in the dark arts.

  3. Firstly, they’re both tightheads, so wouldn’t have faced each other. Second, nice rewriting of history there. Wales may have had a slight nudge on in that match, but it was nothing more, and the opposite was true in the reverse fixture in Cardiff last year.

    Cole does things outside the scrum that Fatty Jones can only dream of as he attempts to waddle from ruck to ruck. Australia have nightmares about Cole ever since they conceded two penalty tries at the scrum, in the same match, in Sydney.

    Typical English response? All we hear from the Wales players, coaches and supporters is how good they are. Jones is a decent player, and Wales would fall apart without him, but Cole offers 10x more.

    1. “and the opposite was true in the reverse fixture in Cardiff last year”

      Craig Mitchell and Paul James started that match so you can’t use that in comparison.

      Cole certainly had the measure of the Aussie boys 2 years ago, but lets not forget, that was 2 years ago. I would imagine Robinson has improved since then.

      I’ll ignore your random statements about Cole having an engine ‘Fatty’ Jones can only dream about etc, as they serve no purpose to the discussion and are clearly facetious.

      I think Cole and Jones, based on current form will be the tightheads for the lions. I’d also go with Cole for the first test to see if he could repeat his domination of the Aussies. If not, i’d bring Jones in.

      A slight concern for me is the amount of penalties Cole appears to give away for England for his inability to listen at ruck time – that aside i’d still give him the run out in the first test.

      On a side note, i though Wales didnt get the breaks at scrum time in their series – I thought they were dominant but rarely got the penalties deserved.

  4. Don’t think Jones (or Jenkins) have been at the height of their powers on this tour. Being part of the huge Toulon squad may help Jenkins longevity along with higher standard of domestic scrummaging. Are there any other Welsh prospects coming through?

    For Lions I would look at recent form against the Australia, Cole has repeatedly had Aus scrum on toast, Jones was nowhere near as dominant. So Cole ahead of Jones for me at this stage, be very intersting to see how they both go in the autumn against the same opposition.

  5. A Wyn Jones lucky to get a 6 I think . If you are there as a specialist then you need to do that job three knock ons from kick offs is substandard especially when they cost at least six points and hence the game. On the same basis Priestland was better than a 5 becaause this was his best game on tour and his kicking out of hand was a lot better.

    Welsh man of the series was Halfpenny who is turning into a World class place kicker , Pity he hit the post for the one miss from beyond the halfway line although the only one who would criticise over that would be Halfpenny himself who has a bit of the Jonny Wilkinson’s about him in so far training and standards are concerned.

  6. “5. Alun Wyn Jones – 6

    Missed the ball too often when going to catch the restarts and had one of his more ineffective matches. Can play a lot better.”

    Bit generous, as Pontylad says, he was hopeless at the restart and it arguably cost Wales the win. With a 6 are you saying he was better than average? Perhaps a 4 might have been more appropriate

  7. 5 for Priestland? I wouldn’t give him 3. Should have been dropped for Hook for the last game after kicking victory away in the second test.

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