Wallabies v. Azzurri: player ratings

Wallabies v. Azzurri: player ratings

So, we’re world beaters again. Right?

A few good backs’ tries in the second half were nice to watch. Our scrum, lo and behold, bettered that of the Italians by a fair margin. Our forwards were still pretty soft. It was okay, but we need more from this squad.

Here’s how I saw it:

slipper-wallabies-headshotJames Slipper

The scrum started well – and stayed that way. Got inverted once, but it was an aberration. Busy around the park and in support. Might have confused the No.1 on his back for an 11 – spent a bit of time on the wing. 6

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsStephen Moore

Effective as always but a little quiet in patches. Near-perfect in the lineout. Great flick pass for Tomane’s try.

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsBen Alexander

Was good in the scrum, and had the better of his opposite man (who couldn’t handle the shove). Quiet around the park.

horwill wallabies profileJames Horwill

A better game from Kev. Got stuck in. Made a number of runs, secured two turnovers and an offload for good measure. Some good tackles too.

timani wallabies profileSitaleki Timani

Went missing after 20 minutes, never to be seen again. Made a few pretty soft runs. 3

SimmonsRob Simmons

Gave away two silly penalties, but otherwise a nice first game at No.6. Topped the tackle count and ran (and passed) well. Always packed on the tighthead side on our own scrum feeds; Alexander might have a bruised arse cheek tomorrow, cos he never moved backwards.

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsMichael Hooper

A typical Hooper performance. Very busy with some nice linking play, though you still get the feeling he’d be too small against any greater foe. Kept his shoulder on the scrum. Took a stupid option to quick tap a very kickable shot early on; Italy scored 60 seconds later. Otherwise, pretty good.

MOwenBen Mowen

Scored the first try, but had no real impact. Was busy in defence, but missed a few. 4

genia wallabies profileWill Genia

The man needs a holiday. Passed off the ground for a bit early, but soon gave up on that. Another poorly timed and executed box kick led to an opposition try, this time killing our attack. A few moments of good vision, reversing the play, but nowhere near his best. 3

CooperQuade Cooper

We’re starting to see a very mature Test five-eighth emerge. Mixed it up, invariably choosing the right option, and he kicked pretty well to boot (ha!). Rightly lauded for his long passing game, but his short game wreaked havoc this match with some very nicely weighted balls in close. 7

nick cummins wallabies profileNick Cummins

Must’ve been greased up in some local olive oil, because they couldn’t seem to get a hold on him. Took his chances and made some terrific runs in no space at all. Two tries, and nearly a third.Went hunting for work, and smashed it. 8 – G&GR MOTM

ToomuaMatt Toomua

Fantastic game. His combination with Quade was excellent and gave us great width. Distributed well, but proved again that he can take on the line with aplomb when appropriate. Reeled off the meters with some booming kicks for touch, but miscued one in play. Didn’t miss a tackle and earned a couple of turnovers. A bee’s proverbial from MOTM. 8

KuridraniTevita Kuridrani

A nice game. Trademark hard runs kept the Azzurri on their heels, and bagged a nice try to reward his good support play. 7

aac cooper douglas wallabies profile

Adam Ashley-Cooper

A little quiet by his own standards, but didn’t put a foot wrong and looked good when he actually did get ball in hand. Ran a sublime line for his try in the second half. 6 

folau wallabies profile

Israel Folau

Was quiet in patches, but still produced a number of bustling runs. Fell over the line for a try late. 6

… wasn’t it nice to see the bench get a solid run?


saia faingaa wallabies profileSaia Fainga’a

Made some pretty dominant hits, and plenty less dominant ones in his minimal time. 6

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsBenn Robinson

Defended nicely on the line, but gave away two penalties in a few minutes. 5

Australian Wallabies Squad Headshots

Sekope Kepu

Didn’t make any impact, and the scrum looked dodgy on his side. 4

DennisDave Dennis

Made three tackles in 23 minutes, and nothing else. Has to do more off the bench. 4

Wallabies Team and Headshots - AugustLiam Gill

Made a number of tackles and was pretty hard on the ball. Would’ve been nice to see him start. 5

nic white profile wallabiesNic White

I hadn’t noticed him come on, but his first pass rapidly ended that patch of ignorance. His speed of service was a revelation. Conceded an unlucky penalty. Would’ve been nice to see more of him. 6

Christian Leali'ifano

Christian Leali’ifano

Made a heap of tackles off the bench, and kicked some nice goals. Will keep heat on the starting No.10 and 12. 6

tomane wallabies profileJoe Tomane

Ran hard and straight for nice try on his first touch. Didn’t have to do a whole lot. 5

The patented G&GR ratings guide:

10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Outstanding performance: Man of the match shoo-in
8 – Excellent all-round game
7 – Good game with a few sparkles
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke


So, how’d I go?


Old rugby fan but infant journalist. Doing analysis and other video-related work for all sorts, from individual players and low-level club teams, to major school teams, significant club competitions, and elite teams and comps, including the NRC, the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies. On Twitter @DoubleTakeQLD or find me at

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