Player ratings: Wallabies versus Wales - Green and Gold Rugby

Player ratings: Wallabies versus Wales

Player ratings: Wallabies versus Wales

It was an absolute belter of a match and the Wallabies  – who played the majority of the football  – managed to hang on until the donger. This one match went a long way to determine the success of the season. How did each of the players fare?

Australian Wallabies HeadshotsJames Slipper

With no scrum until the 45th minute, it was all about effort around the park and he certainly put in, cleaning up loose balls and stepping backs. 7

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsStephen Moore

He’s always been a strong performer in the ‘tight loose’, but this season Squeak has turned into one of our more devastating wide runners. Got through a power of work  

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsSekope Kepu

Has progressed from passenger to contributor this tour. His throwdown of Hibbard was matched by his presence whenever the handbags came out 7 

Simmons wallabies profileRob Simmons

Another  developer on this tour; his ability in the air for both lineouts and restarts is a real asset. He stood up in the tough stuff and the brain fades seem to be fading. 7 

horwill wallabies profileJames Horwill

A very solid defensive effort from Big Kev but he’s still lacking that dynamism. Hopefully a rest will help re-discover it.

Australia Wallabies Headshots SessionScott Fardy

From squad bolter to Wallaby star in one season. A bold statement, but is he starting to make a claim as one of the better blind sides in world rugby? Who’s bested him? Can’t blame Sully for giving him MoTM  8

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsMichael Hooper

All that effort and not even a yellow card! He now adds so much to the Wallabies in so many facets of the game – tackles, runs, breakdown, kick chase – it’s hard to see how leave him out of it.    

MOwenBen Mowen

On re-watching the match I thought he got bit of a raw deal from Barnes at the breakdown. Having said that Ben deliberately pushes the boundaries there which was key to disrupting Welsh momentum. He as also a menace in the air. 

genia wallabies profileWill Genia

The skills are getting sharper – the box kicks, the accuracy of the passes – but the speed of delivery is still losing us a metre. Great defensive effort this match as well – if only he hadn’t spilled that pill!  

CooperQuade Cooper

Quade certainly put on a show at the Millennium Stadium – George North will be having nightmares over those flick passes. What was great to see though was the pace at which the backline hit the Welsh in attack, forcing them to make decisions. His kicking game was also excellent – if he’d nailed that drop goal, who knows what his score could have been!  9 GAGR Man of the Match 

nick cummins wallabies profileNick Cummins

More than just a great aftermatch interview, the Honey Badger continues to put in bullocking performances whenever he takes the field. Energy like his lifts a team 7 

Christian Leali'ifanoChristian Leali’ifano

Did the little things well on Sunday – backed up, tackled slotted his goals – just not tearing it up at the international level, yet. 6

aac ashley-cooper wallabies profileAdam Ashley-Cooper

Finished off in style what must be his best rugby season in terms of consistency of performance. Straightened the attack, contested re-starts and made turnovers. If only he hadn’t gifted North that try! 7 

tomane wallabies profileJoe Tomane

He must have one of the most powerful set of jet shoes over the first ten metres going around – broke the first two tackles with ease on Sunday and showed great handling skills to field Quade’s passes and Izzy’s pill for the try. 8

folau wallabies profileIsrael Folau

By the look in North and Cuthbert’s eyes, they were on the verge of filling their shorts whenever he came near the ball – and rightfully so as he tore them a new one. A slightly earlier pass every now and again wouldn’t hurt though. 8

Tatafu Polota-Nau HeadshotTatafu Polota-Nau

A strong cameo but not at 100% pace. 5

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsBen Alexander

Not scrummaging suits him perfectly! Injected energy at a difficult point in the match. 6

Wallabies Headshots 140313Kane Douglas

Did some solid grunt but could have done with some more impact. 6

dave dennis wallabyDave Dennis

Struggled to make impact from the bench. 5


mike harris profileMike Harris

Stood out in his bench contribution – tackled like a demon and ran powerfully. 7

nic white profile wallabiesNic White



Bernard FoleyBernard Foley

Not a lot of time, but scrambled hard

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


As you can see from the scores – a top all round team effort. You on board?

  • Sam

    Are you sure it was AAC that let North through, I thought it was Leali’ifano rushing out of the line? Great to see a good team performance!

    • smthwitty

      I’m guessing he’s referring to AAC’s botched attempt to kick the ball into touch, gifting North the first try.. I think he was in two minds, whether to pick it up or kick it out, and ended up doing neither..

      • Sam

        Sorry, I forgot about that one.

      • Braveheart81

        I don’t think he was trying to kick it in to touch. He just got a bad bounce and it cannoned into his shin and allowed North to score.

        He probably needed to commit to dive on it but that would have been risky as well.

        • smthwitty

          Yeah I think initially he wanted to pick it up, and then tried to stop it with his foot, which shoots out a bit after the rotten bounce, making it a bit worse. Overall just a bad bounce for AAC

    • Braveheart81

      He’s talking about the first try where AAC got a dodgy bounce and ended up kicking the ball back towards the Wallaby tryline for North to pick up and score.

      • Nat

        Yep, that was a deft little nudge from AAC

      • Yup

        • The Rant

          Just spoke to AACs mums (yeah I didn’t realise there were two of them as well either) – was definately an unlucky bounce. There was no pre-spoken agreement with the ball on where it should bounce but he’s prepared to cop that. But they are adamant that one bad bounce of the ball tarnishing his reputation is unfair.

  • Merv Hughes

    Totally agree with all ratings – well done!

    Given it’s the end of the season, I think Link deserves a rating too. In a short period of time every aspect of our game has improved, particularly the physicality at the breakdown which has provided the show ponies some space to work their magic (Folau & Cooper – wow!). The highlight for mine was his decision to discipline the players. Seems to be a guy with a long term strategic mindset and a real straight shooter. Rating of 8.

    PS – how good is it that the guys are belting out the Aussie anthem now? (and how they dispensed with that stupid prelude razzle-dazzle music (DA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA) introduced at the 2003 RWC.

    • A. Fox-Russell

      Agree with this re the anthem. I reckon it makes a massive difference and it’s an area we have been arguably poor in for…well, maybe as long as I can remember. Maybe since the Eales era.

      “Who cares about singing a farkin song before the game” I hear some ask. Well, it’s part of the mindset and pride in the jersey. If I was lining up beside Kev/Mowen for the anthem (I have hung up the boots now, so the Wallabies have missed their chance) I would be pumped to see the captain belting that thing out like it actually means something to be out there representing Australia. Mowen even went for the hand on the chest. Farkin right on if you ask me.

      • Patrick

        And I’d be bloody belting it out for my part too.

    • mistermouse666

      I’d give Link a 6, up from a 2 at the end of the RC – solid performance and showing signs that next year could be a 7 or an 8.

  • TommyTudehope

    Anyone else notice Simmons shove Quade Copper away late in the game?

    • Douglas

      Yep, saw that too – was expecting a video replay of it but never came. I’m guessing it was in response to Cooper telling him to settle down at bit.

    • I think it was QC chastising him over a dodgy offload that spilt the pill

      • Known Rugby

        Could be, but Simmons had just pushed Lydiate in the same manner a couple of rucks back. (crappy quality)

        Probably just a general “pull your head in”.

    • Timbo

      It came directly after Simmons tried to charge down a Philips box kick and then pushed Philips over. QC gave him a good chest poking and I like to think he told Simmons to pull his head in and not jeopardise a win with useless penalties.

    • Known Rugby

      Sorry for the crappy quality

  • theotherrugbyStu

    Only 2 points between the highest and lowest rated forwards speaks volumes.
    Looks like the 2 fat Australians in charge of 2 of our national teams have the players enjoying themselves again

  • Davy

    Can we initiate a special “knobometer” scale for Mike Phillips please, he’s worth a 10+.

  • wilful

    How many penalties did Rob Simmons give away in the end?

  • Roscoe Tims

    Where are the Quade haters now???

    • Mostly in NZ.

      There were plenty of others of us just pointing out he’s not perfect!

      • Hugh Cavill

        Nah Matt u eat ur wordz bruz. U give Quade a 2 now you wnat to suk him off. U and the other haterz should just fuk of, you never played a game in ur lyf so what wud you now.

        • Honibal

          Excellent input Hugh, possibly the worst piece of written word I have ever read.
          I was a massive critic of Quade earlier in the year, mainly due to the poor quality of his game. The fact that there are no negative comments regarding his game now is testament to the way he is now playing.
          Well done Quade, please continue to impress us.

        • RubberLegs

          Almost every other #10 in world rugby is on the injury list every other week. Quade knows how to create space for the people who cannot play 5/8. Why do some people insist that he run the ball. Imagine how well the Tahs would have gone if QC had been working with Izzy during the super season. The whole poor form thing is a myth. He recovered from his world cup knee injury and has taken the Reds into three successive Super finals series. Justin Marshall said the field gold attempt was a good option and Fox’s Timmy said it was a poor option… it all depends on what station you are watching.

        • Hugh Cavill

          Thx bruz.

    • Roscoe Tims

      + KB’s going to make a great bench player when he returns …

      • Bill

        If he returns, it looks to me like KB is making the decision to just be talented instead of a professional. Hopefully that isn’t the case.

    • mistermouse666

      Perhaps all those people weren’t haters, so much as people who were pointing out the obvious flaws in his game and maturity?

      Maybe, just maybe, they’re just as happy that he’s improved as all the people who were blind to his flaws.

      I can’t speak for all of them – just me. I am certainly happy!

    • Number_Four_Newcastle

      Speaking for myself Mr Tim’s, in a word: converted. At a point in time & for good reason I just didn’t think he was up to it. So very happy to be proved wrong. Congrats to him.

  • Jets

    It was one of the better team performances from the Wallabies in quite a while. I was really impressed with the backline as all the players seemed to step up. It looks really balanced at the moment as they all seem very comfortable and know what the others are going to do.
    Also Quade is at his best when he runs the ball. Hopefully he starts from this level in 2014.

  • Robert

    Well done Link and the WBs. My unrequited love has finally been re payed!

    What a great way to finish the year. An interlude with some Ashes, maybe even some physicallity in white flannels, just enough time to settle down a bit, regather the hunger, and then a cracker of a S15!

  • brumby runner

    From my viewing, Rob Simmons’ brain fades are unfortunately not fading. Seemed to be plenty in this game but not all picked up. If he could lose them altogether he would make a much better player – his line out work is top notch and his defence and ball running are improving. And he doesn’t need to be seen pushing his acting captain. Maybe a case of familiarity breeding contempt (rather a lack of due respect I’d guess than contempt for Quade).

    Christian Lealiifano made quite a few telling tackles in this match. He has been off in his defence a bit lately, but back to par again here. Almost Toomua-esque at times. Could have been given a 7.

    • Phil

      Agree with you about CF.I thought it was the best game he has played in gold.

      • Phil


    • Klaus

      One of Simmons main jobs is work the breakdown, which he does well. He is a genuine pest around that area and like anything in rugby if you can get away with then keep doing it. So if things he is doing that disrupt the opposition aren’t penalised from what you are saying is he should stop because they aren’t in the rule book so they must be a brain fade? Can’t say I saw the Quade thing so I can’t comment on that.

      • mistermouse666

        I thought this game was Simmons’ best at the breakdown this year (perhaps longer but the memory isn’t what it used to be).

        However, he still has major discplinary issues and they aren’t so much the “going too hard” variety but the “man, why was he that dumb” variety. When/if he can eliminate those he’ll be a definite starter.

        • Bill

          I’m a fan of Simmon’s but while solid this game I thought he was a little off his recent form. I had to laugh when Horwill or Fardy gave a penalty away and they just automatically blamed Simmons. Poor bastard can’t catch a break.

    • AJ

      You can’t give Christian a 6 and Harris a 7. That’s just plain wrong.
      CL nailed the hardest of kicks all night…and scored one of the best team tries I’ve seen for years. At least a 7, if not an 8.

    • Hendo

      Since Simmons has started wearing the scrum cap he’s started playing better. I alsways thought he played like a pretty boy and needed more grunt, perhaps the cap has given him more reassurance in contact…

  • Giles Gibbins

    Why The Badger needs “every other bugger to fall over” for him to get a start i don’t understand. he may not be a ‘5 tools guy’ but he is absolutely outstanding every time he pulls on the Gold! never lets the team down.

    • handles

      Sorry Giles, I think you have the wrong end of the badger-stick. He came straight in the first time he was available post injury, and has played every game since. Or am I mistaken?

      • Giles Gibbins

        yeah you’re probably right… i just mean in the past there always seems to be people in front of him in the pecking order. JOC, Digby, Folau, Mitchell… maybe not so much this year.

  • markjohnconley

    2015 is looking a lot less depressing as it did 6/12 ago.

    • The Rant

      6/12? I get it, but is that a thing?

      • RR

        Telltale sign of a doctor, nurse or ambo.

        • markjohnconley

          ..or allied health, apologies, meant “during the Lions series”

  • mistermouse666

    I’d have given Genia and Simmons each a 6.

    It’s tempting to either make some of the 8s 9s or Cooper’s 9 an 8 but either way, wow there were some good performances.

    Made my month.

  • The Rant

    While I follow your argument. Seems a bit harsh that the guy who scored 20 points and kicked 100% (6/6) which was key to our win gets equal lowest score of the starting 15. Have we forgotten how recently kicking 4/6 would have been considered a good night for the wallabies.

    • Rebel Rouser

      Yup, glad someone else picked it. It’s both the best and worst thing about Australian rugby. By and large, we believe rugby is all about scoring beautiful tries. Whether we like it or not, a great kicker is an absolute necessity that win games and should be ajudged as one of the most important skills on the park.

      If lealiifano had missed even one kick (such as the tricky one he potted from the sideline) Wales would have been able to overtake us with the penalty kick at the 76th minute. As it was, they were 4 points out, had to go for a lineout and the rest is history.

    • whogivesakick?

      Well said. Can’t imagine what his rating would have been if he actually missed a kick or didn’t score a try. Give the guy some credit!

  • I’mAnIdiot

    We have lost the Last 2 Rugby World cups via penalties. True or False? Mortlock missed the penalty kick vs England n Wilkinson drowned us via A penalty kick. Look here Bitches, I’m not losing again. Perfect those kicks or go play cricket. Lealiifano is gr8 but he’s gotta b more than just an accessory. I wish he was like a dick. Penetrate is the word of the day.

  • markjohnconley

    Cooper loses a few points for that finger on Simmons chest incident, unnecessary, OTT, childish.


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

More in Rugby