Rugby

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Fiji

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Fiji

1. Tom Robertson

Robertson-2017HeadshotPerformed well against the underdog Fijian scrum, quiet elsewhere with only two runs for 6 metres, tackled well with zero misses. A couple of penalties conceded away from a solid game. 5

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau

PolotaNau-2017HeadshotSolid as ever in the scrum, faultless throwing and the same disregard for his own wellbeing (as he’s known for) in the contact area. Looks to be down on pace but Fiji has a habit of making a lot of players look a little slow. 6

3. Allan Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa-2017HeadshotVery solid at the set-piece and a high work-rate. Brought the hard running and great short passing game that has seen him be put into the same sentence as Kepu this year. He made twice the amount of metres as the other front rowers and three times the amount of passes. The stats have chalked him up as only tackling at a 5/10 clip which will be a bigger worry against higher ranked opponents. 6

4. Sam Carter

Carter-2017Headshot50 minutes, 9 of 9 tackles, 2 runs for 9 metres and part of a well functioning lineout and scrum. He is used to playing the whole game of super rugby, so is he the right fit tactically if he’s going to be playing little more than a half? 6

5. Adam Coleman

Coleman-2017HeadshotTopped the tackle count with 16 and only 1 miss. Made 8 runs for 9 metres beating one defender. A few handling errors, a couple around receiving the restart was a blemish on what was a physical 80 minute display.  7

6. Ned Hanigan

Hanigan-2017HeadshotOK debut, looked handy around the park apart from a poor kick chase leading to the Fijian’s first linebreak. Solid carries and adequate defence but, along with the rest of the starting back row, failed to offer much presence in the Fijian breakdown. 5

7. Michael Hooper (c)

Hooper-2017HeadshotWorked hard with the good results as we  have come to expect from Hooper, 13/16 tackles and 49 run metres from only 7 runs. Respected the Fijians as captain by taking throw over penalties much to the boos of the crowd (damned if you do damned if you don’t). Limited breakdown pressure on Fijian ball. 6

8. Scott Higginbotham

Higginbotham-2017HeadshotA rare tight game from Higgers saw him with limited space on attack and he was okay in this role. He shined on defence though, out-tackling Hooper and falling one short of Coleman with 15/16. The classy offload to DHP was just enough sparkle. Is this his spot to lose or will there be experimentation? 7

9. Will Genia

Genia-2017HeadshotGot his first box kick charged down… Genia’s crisp passing was the highlight for him this game and it was a good hitout for what will no doubt be a long international season for him. It was great to see him chance his arm on the snipe even if the space closed down on him each time. Just too many missed tackles 2/5 for this to be seen as anything other than an average performance. 5

10.  Bernard Foley

Foley-2017HeadshotFoley had a superb game with his decision making on both on attack and defence. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t take his intercept the whole way with the headstart he had and someone else should kick for touch. 8 – GAGR MOTM

11. Henry Speight

Speight-2017HeadshotA busy game and a couple of great tries from Speight glossed over being on the end of a terrible pass and a couple of fumbles in and around the contact zone. Still always looked dangerous and was always in a position to finish. 7

12. Karmichael Hunt

Hunt-2017HeadshotA Will Skelton-like debut, looks like he’s played 12 his whole life. His interplay on attack with Foley and his rock solid defence with Kuridrani was unexpected and welcome. Made one less tackle and missed one less than Hooper. Distributed well except for one pushed poor pass in the first half. Can’t wait to see how he progresses here in the next two test matches. 7

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Kuridrani-2017HeadshotA solid game, for once didn’t top the tackle count in the backs but still made 9. On attack was his usual self and carried well with the second most metres to the fullback (who gets cheap metres). A classy offload or a foot-in-touch away from a higher mark. 6

14. Dane Haylett-Petty

HaylettPetty-2017HeadshotThe ball didn’t seem to come to the wing he was occupying a lot but he still did enough, his poor pass in the first half came up trumps and he still beat defenders with his footwork and made all his tackles. Like Foley I would have liked to see him try the after burners instead of a kick or a pass when presented with fast cover defence. 6

15. Israel Folau

Folau-2017HeadshotAn attacking masterclass in almost all measurable areas, but the stat that stands out is the big naught in TC (turnovers conceded). Two tries and an assist, which included gathering a cross kicked bomb in the 4th minute set the tone for a big win. But a slice of cheese for a bad tackle saw Fiji make massive confidence gaines and a much closer result. 8

Finishers

16. Stephen Moore

Moore-2017HeadshotCame on and scored a try off the rolling maul. Dropped a couple of balls cold and fell off a tackle, looked really slow when running to follow the play. 4

17. Toby Smith

TSmith-2017HeadshotOkay in the scrum, poor elsewhere missed 2 tackles of his 5 attempted. 4

18. Sekope Kepu

Kepu-2017HeadshotSimilar to the other two front row replacements but made all his tackles and didn’t drop the ball. 5

19. Rory Arnold

Arnold-2017HeadshotPlayed half an hour replacing Carter but arguably didn’t offer more than Carter was providing and was easily outplayed by Coleman despite being fresh. Made 2 tackles and missed two. 4

20. Richard Hardwick

Hardwick-2017HeadshotStole the ball from the ruck inside the first minute of his debut. 8 tackles and 7 runs with 2 defenders beaten, played the finishing role properly. 7 

21. Joe Powell

Powell-2017HeadshotGot over early jitters to put in a decent shift to finish off the game. At least his box kick wasn’t charged down. 5

22. Quade Cooper

Cooper-2017HeadshotMade a tackle in the 10 spot then defended out on the wing, didn’t really do anything wrong. 5

23. Reece Hodge

Hodge-2017HeadshotVery similar to Quade except he got to miss the final conversion, both were holding their tees but neither looked like they wanted to take it. 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

Player Ratings – Wallabies v Fiji

Rugby

Brumbies supporter now living in Melbourne. Rugby and Larkham fan ever since he de beered de Beer. Never shy of controversy because when I say it it's cute.

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