Wales v Australia: Wales Player Ratings

15. Leigh Halfpenny: 6.5
Looked solid under the high ball, but for once, he was caught out of position by a few kicks and when he returned fire, he only fed the visiting back three. Made inroads into Australian territory and he looked dangerous with the ball in hand. Skinned by Cooper on numerous occasions.

14. Alex Cuthbert: 6.5
Looked eager and sharp on his return to international duties. Always willing to run the ball back at the Wallabies while his teammates kicked aimlessly. But he was given little room to manoeuvre by the visitors and they kept him quiet when Wales ventured into the Australian 22.

13. Owen Williams: 4
Anonymous with the ball in hand and there were times when he was left dazed in the face of the incredible skill and movement of the Australian backline.

12. Scott Williams: 7
He was kept extremely busy in defence and made 16 tackles without missing a single one. He showed plenty of intent in attack but never really troubled the Australians.

11. George North: 8
Showed great determination to score his first try and raw power and agility to get his second. Crashed through the Australian defence whenever he got his hands on the ball and tackled like a clap of thunder. But he was turned inside out by the trickery of Quade Cooper and caught out in the build up to two of Australia’s scores.

10. Dan Biggar: 6.5
Biggar was solid when he was forced to cover for the porous Welsh defence in the first half. Orchestrated his backline well in the face of the aggressive Australian defence after he returned from the sin bin and eventually set them in motion. But he was unable to relieve his side from the Australian onslaught, he kicked straight down the throat of the Wallaby back three and it cost his side dearly.

9. Mike Phillips: 6
Both defences’ offside advances gave the scrum-halves no time to play. However, Genia glided across the pitch untouched and unhindered whereas Philips struggled to evade the Aussie advances and get his team over the gain line for much of the first half. But he was as brutishly physical as always.

1. Gethin Jenkins: 6.5
Another industrious defensive display from the Welsh veteran. Carried hard but to little effect. One of the few Welshmen to make a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and he made a brilliant turnover to set up North’s first try.

2. Richard Hibbard 6.5
Was partly at fault for the awful state of the Welsh lineout, but the Australian jumpers were far superior to their Welsh counterparts. Put in some huge hits in defence and he tackled with tenacity. Carried with malice as he always does and frequently bullied his way over the gain line.

3. Rhodri Jones: 5
Robust in defence and looked a lot more willing to carry than he has done in previous weeks. But he struggled with the whirlwind pace of this Test match and the intensity of the Australian forwards. He was unable to impose himself on the game.

4. Alun-Wyn Jones: 6.5
Lead the Welsh defensive charge. Jones was immense in defence. He stopped the Australian runners in their tracks and carried with plenty of intent. But he was unable to win anything in a disastrous Welsh lineout.

5. Ian Evans: 6
Put in another huge defensive effort, he never took a backward step. Evans made some powerful carries and a lot of yards, although he looked sluggish against the athleticism of the Australian lineout jumpers.

6. Dan Lydiate: 6.5
Tackled relentlessly and gave everything in an attempt to slow down the Australian attack but he could not get near the Australian half backs. He was unable to impose himself at the breakdown and rarely took the ball on.

7. Sam Warburton: 6
It was a fairly anonymous outing for the Welsh captain, ferocious Australian rucking keeping him away from their breakdown ball and he rarely carried to any effect. Looked robust in defence but he too struggled to shut down Genia and Cooper.

8. Toby Faletau: 8
Trudged forward throughout, he made the hard yards Wales needed. Smashed everything in a gold shirt and top the Welsh tackle chart with 17, including an unbelievable try-saving tackle on Nick Cummins in the 41st minute. Another faultless display from Wales’ most consistent performer.

Liams Williams stretched the Australians when he was introduced, with some powerful running as he came very close to scoring. Ryan Bevington put in some big hits and Justin Tipuric looked energetic and dangerous against the tiring Wallabies. Rhodri Williams’ distribution was sharp and precise and he and Rhys Priestland got Wales moving with more pace and precision when they came on.

13 thoughts on “Wales v Australia: Wales Player Ratings

  1. The ratings for Lydiate and Phillips are way too high. I wouldn’t give Phillips more than a 4. It confuses me that he gets commended for his physicality. It is just me who wants their 9 to be picked on speed, passing and decision making skills?

    It’s even worse than hearing England fans wanting Farrell in the side for his great defense. He’s a fly half!!! His job it to get the bloody backs moving!

    It’s something that really get’s on my nerves when fans comment on attributes that should not be relevant to the position that player is in.

    Wales need half backs that control the game, kick well and distribute effectively. There’s no calming influence in the half backs there, so when things begin to go wrong, which they always will in test matches, Wales never look like winning the game.

    Lydiate as well just looks out of his depth almost against the top sides.

  2. Every rugby player should be able to do all those skills to a decent standard, just look at the all blacks. Lydiate is a wonderful tackler but he is just so useless with the ball in hand, it’s like he’s allergic to making a carry in case he gets another injury. Ryan jones should be ahead of him now in the pecking order. Once again Phillips has shown that he struggles to play a game not at his pace, just looks reckless and angry when it’s not going his way (maybe thats the physicality you were on about?)
    Can’t be too harsh though, Australia were damn good on Saturday. Most teams would have struggled against the pace and accuracy on display.

  3. Struggle to see how Cuthbert gets 6.5. Did he touch the ball? North and Faletau both had great games, both showing immense pace and putting in important tackles

  4. Don’t want to be to hard on Owen Williams taking his age and inexperience into account but it looked very much as if Wales should have taken the gamble and put North in the centre to start with Liam Williams on the wing .

    Warburton , Tipuric and Faletau should have been the starting backrow .Particularly with the gamesmanhip of the Aussies at the breakdown about 15 penalties and nary a sign of a card so they must have been doing something good/bad take your pick .

    1. Pontylad, you make a good point about the breakdown penalties. One slight gripe I had with the ref on Sat (here I go, moaning about the ref now) was he awarded us about 6/7 straight pens in or near Aus 22 for them killing breakdown. Next pen is Biggar killing ball, pretty much our first pen for ages, and Biggar gets the bin. Should have seen more binnings I think.

      Anyway, these scores indicate that when playing at a 6/10 level Wales will lose to Aus by 4 points. That’s fine. We’ll amp ourselves up to an 8 and win the match next time. Sorted.

      1. Brighty I think that works if the Aussies were operating at an 8 or 9 level and therefore don’t have far to go . In fact they might have been thinking about it .Here’s to optimism and I can see they’ve shoehorned another test against them next Autumn just for us to find out .

  5. Is Mike Phillips always so stompy or did he think that Quade was the ball? Does he have pictures of Barnes with sheep?

    Brighty, the Aussies were playing at 4/10. Next time they meet it will be the Wobblies by 14. However that does not matter as the mighty Darkness will conquer all before them. Go the AB’s

    Cry me a river Brighty.

    1. Hmm wixsy… The way I look at it

      – World Cup not in New Zealand
      – NZ no1 in rankings
      – NZ unbeaten between world cups

      … choke …

      Not a sniff of a chance of NZ winning it.

      … Choke ….

  6. I think Pontylad’s on the right lines. Australia were superb, but Wales were pretty good – 4 points isn’t much, and anyone watching knows that they were close to scoring on a number of occasions in the last quarter. So we have to take into account 1) obviously, injuries. The Welsh centres looked naive, though Scott W tackled very bravely when he could ge his hands on people. With JD and JR, things would have been different, no good pretending they wouldn’t.
    And then 2) it’s becoming clear that thebest Welsh back-row has to include Tipuric, particularly when playing against these guys, who play a really fast game.
    You could see the Wales boys were disappointed, but it wasn’t like last year which was really gutting. Things go up and down, never static; Oz have come a long way in less than 6 months under Mackenzie; things will change again.

  7. Brighty old boy. Are you sure that you are not an Aussie with the choke tag? I think that the old choke chestnut has been laid to rest…… I think that Wales have taken over that mantle. Other than last week, where Oz left plenty of points unclaimed, Wales have been choking against Oz for a number of years!

    No NH team will win WC. It will be NZ or maybe OZ. What about the Boks I hear you say. Well they may be full of steak, big and angry. However if NZ and Oz bring the running game at its full potential, the big Boks will be gasping for air and looking to punch someone

    1. It won’t be laid to rest until you show you can win a World Cup away from home. Like England and Aus can.


      1. If NZ play Eng in RWC 2015 then NZ will be bricking it, again. They know Eng have won one and run them close in another. The WC is in England. Seriously, and don’t make me repeat it, Eng have got to be feeling pretty ok right now. Just need to find some backs – you’ve got 18 months to do it. There must be some around in that pot of players.

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