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