Wales vs Wallabies Player Ratings

Wales vs Wallabies Player Ratings
Get that up ya!

Get that up ya!

By Patrick

Here are my thoughts on the Australia (& Wales!) player ratings from the test in Cardiff on Saturday. Probably not what you saw since I am being purely subjective but love to know where we differ!

Rating scale at bottom.

15 Drew Mitchell – Everything was OK, except for the kicking. At least there was less of it than from AAC. Struggled to get into the line but maybe the centres’ fault. At least one great tackle and I don’t blame him for the late penalty at all. A bit more of a fullback this week. 6

14 Peter Hynes – Ineffective. A very powerful finisher and has shown himself competent under the high ball but offers less (imho) than Mitchell, Ioane, Tuquiri and AAC so is going to struggle to get regular selections. I reckon Cross would make a better winger (that way lack of passing would be less of a disadvantage). 4

13 Ryan Cross – Like Hynes just seemed flatfooted and took the wrong options (ie didn’t pass!). Is good enough defensively and turns it over or helps to a lot but was exposed by the particular demands of 13, especially against these outer backs. Would Andy Powell have sidestepped Mortlock once, let alone twice? 4

12 Stirling Mortlock (C) – Wish he had been able to continue. Showed his worth by how much we missed him! no rating.

11 Digby Ioane – Yet again looked the better of the back 3 and probably did everything he could. Maybe some room to inject himself more in close a la Tuquri, but there’s time to develop that. 7

10 Matt Giteau – Drop goal was a pearler and really a great player. Some awesome tackles including one complete wrap-up of 130kg Alun Rhys-Jones and another on the rampaging Powell. But one or two off notes in field kicking and maybe needed to chip a bit more since the centres weren’t distributing the ball. 8

9 Luke Burgess – Fast becoming usual mixed bag. Needs to take stock of everything but surely will. Got a bit lost when they succeeded in slowing down the ball and couldn’t provide the variations needed (although maybe Gits needed to bite the bullet and call for it). 6.5

8 Richard Brown – Not Palu. I see him as Smith’s long-term replacement. But worked hard and did most things pretty well. 5.5

7 Phil Waugh – Not George Smith. At least he wasn’t usually asked to stand at the back of the line-out where he is hopeless. 6.5

6 Hugh McMeniman – Nothing wrong that I saw and contributed to a generally strong scrum and line-out but like most of his teammates lacked that extra metre of drive on the gain-line that might have been the difference. Never will be the Rocky power and passion show. 5.5

5 Nathan Sharpe – Has seized the day and tour like one would not believe, especially not I who was suggesting he be sacked for over a year. 8.5
G&GRs Wallaby man of the match

4 Mark Chisholm – Beautiful run for the line and pretty good day in tight and set-pieces. Adds depth to the line-out and could conceivably displace Sharpe to partner Horwill in the near future. 7.5

3 Al Baxter -Another seizer of days with respect to whom I ought to be magnamious. As best as I could tell his side of the scrum was the slightly weaker but not by much and he even got in a couple of carries (IIRC). 7.5

2 Stephen Moore – line-out superior, scrum superior, tackled and rucked himself to death, not at all to blame for being pinned over the ball. 8.5

1 Benn Robinson – Awesome pick-n-drive which we should see more of. However he looked notably more effective pick-n-driving than on the short charge so maybe needs to improve his hit-up technique. Looked the stronger side of the scrum and all-round good game. 8

Lote Tuqiri – Good hit-out but a bit rusty and never really involved enough albeit maybe his centres’ fault. (5)
Dean Mumm – Very strong and useful but maybe slightly less so than Chisolm. 6.5
Quade Cooper – simply too inexperienced and got a bit lost. Also I would rather see him further out. 4.5 but it isn’t a reflection on his potential.
George Smith – The man. I wish he had started. (8)
Adam Freier – I still wish TPN could throw. Can’t believe he was on for 25 minutes all up, didn’t see that much of him. Scrum looked weaker with him on. (5)

15 Lee Byrne – Awesome display. The kind of player I would love Quade Cooper (or Drew Mitchell) to develop into and probably the best in the world. Whilst caught out for Chisolm’s Sunday stroll gets the excuse of obeying orders. Extra credit for the excellent kicking and catching – pity AAC wasn’t there to see just what non-aimless garryowens are. 10

14 Mark Jones – It is easy to commentate a Welsh game: Jones, to Williams, supported by Jones, … but we heard this Jones a little less than the others on the night. Not in the same class as the other two outer backs. 5.5

13 Tom Shanklin – Probably played as well as he could. Certainly a lot better than last time these two teams met when Mortlock hammered him into the turf. Then again Mortlock didn’t get the opportunity this time. 6.5

12 Jamie Roberts – Got early points draw in clash with Mortlock (his headbut-sweetspot on Mortlock’s cheek, come-on!!) but comprehensive loss on subsequent revelation that he had fractured his skull. Full points for his contribution whilst still on though including a nice feed to Bryne. 6.5

11 Shane Williams – See Lee Byrne but with less kicking and catching, hence not MoM. 9.5

10 Steven Jones – Not imho the complete article. The days when Wilkinson and Jenkins used to single-handedly keep NH teams competitive with their imperious kicking are long gone. Did any NH kicker get to 70%?? But distributed the ball with sufficient alacrity to get good marks, and probably kicked slightly better in play than Gits on the day. 8

9 Gareth Cooper – Played a great game and probably got on top of Burgess. All over the field and organized his forwards really well. 8

8 Andy Powell – Fantastic display. What a find for Wales, this guy was awesome. Even though he loses a full mark for the penalties I am confident he will work them out of his game. 8.5-9

7 Martyn Williams – Not Smith. Battled well with Waugh and played great in the loose but let his team down twice in a row with poor handling that a No 7 shouldn’t have. 6.5

6 Ryan Jones – The best Jones on the day in the field in defence support and attack. 8

5 Alun Rhys-Jones – Not that impressive to my mind. Charged around the field well and quite possibly I got mixed up with the other Joneses from time to time. Should take a big chunk of the blame for the line-out. 6

4 Ian Gough – Gets the rest of the blame and I thought he was fairly anonymous. Wales’ second biggest weakness may be the second row. 6

3 Adam Jones – Another one! I thought that the Welsh scrummed quite well on the whole but maybe he was outmuscled more often by Robinson than vice-versa. Gets credit for work in tight and for seeming to get around the field a lot because his name is Jones. 6.5

2 Matthew Rees – Outshone by Moore. As we have learnt you can’t pick hookers on the strength of their general play. Suffered in the line-outs but not certain he was the chief culprit. 6.5

1 Gethin Jenkins – Probably the better prop on the day out of the Welsh, and seemed to me (but the camera never seemed to show that side) beat Baxter more often than vice-versa. 7.5

Andrew Bishop – Solid game but centres are Wales’ biggest weakness I think and against eg Barnes and Mortlock they would struggle to use their awesome outer backs. Rating reflects the fact that he got lucky. (6.5)

Dafyyd Jones – Loses points for being called Jones and loses even more for not being called Powell. Probably the man of the moment since more penalties at that stage would have been disastrous but not the man of the future. (7)

Rating system:
10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Man of the match worthy performance
8 – Outstanding
7 – Good game, great in parts
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.

More in Wales