Player Ratings - Wallabies vs Argentina - Green and Gold Rugby

Player Ratings – Wallabies vs Argentina

Player Ratings – Wallabies vs Argentina

1. Scott Sio

A solid set piece display from Sio and flawless on defence with a 10/10 tackling clip. A few stronger runs would have seen him get a even better rating. 7 

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau

A quiet game from TPN, part of a dominant set-piece but really struggled to get his hands on the ball in tight. His head knock early in the 2nd half wouldn’t have helped. Like Sio, perfect on D with 9/9 tackles.

3. Sekope Kepu

The pick of the front rowers, did everything the two others did but also busted tackles in tight and went over for an important try that he made look easy. Was guilty of a dumb maul penalty early, that and a missed tackle were about the only blemishes on a sound performance. 8

4. Rob Simmons

Brought into the team for his superior work rate but was missing at times. Not a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination. Was lucky we had a penalty advantage as one of his linking passes was an absolute stinker, contrast that with his superb offload to Genia for Folau’s 2nd try and that sums up his mixed bag nicely. 5


5. Adam Coleman

The pick of the starting locks, but Colemans aggression was inaccurate at times. Was good to see him mix up his game a little on attack with some linking play. A bit of unnecessary stink after the final whistle could probably be left out next game too. 6


6. Ned Hanigan

Performed well in the lineout and as always tackled well. Overcommitted as the ruck pillar even if he was unfairly held to concede a try. Struggled like others too to accurately clear out in the first half. 5


7. Michael Hooper (c)

18/18 tackles on defence and busy on attack without being too wide. A little more breakdown pressure would be handy but this is a team problem not just Hooper’s.   8

8. Sean McMahon 

Amazing in the tight/loose on attack, did the simple things right and just got better and better as the match wore on. A team high 19 tackles and only second to Folau in metres gained. Please don’t leave us. 9 – G&GR MOTM


9. Will Genia 

A great passing and running game from Genia, his try off the back of a scrum and his long accurate pass to Folau were highlights. ESPN stats having him missing 2 tackles and not making any, he also ran it from the in-goal for some reason. 7


10.  Bernard Foley

Perfect from the tee (6/6) and solid but not spectacular elsewhere, fell off a couple of tackles on the wing, which he would be disappointed with. 6

11. Reece Hodge

Similar to Foley, Hodge wasn’t spectacular but contributed nicely, his tackle busting kick return in the 2nd half was the turning point in the match, it went from an even arm wrestle to Australia largely dominating. 6

12. Kurtley Beale

A hard one to rate for Beale, he was solid mostly, a few inaccurate kicks but played his unique role well. 6

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Tackled at a good clip and bent the line when necessary, a dropped pass and an offside penalty were blemishes as he was one of our best in a quiet first half for the backline. 6

14. Henry Speight

Rarely got the ball and apart from one good run was very quiet, replaced early in the 2nd half.  5


15. Israel Folau

Finished off two great tries each side of half time, the first on the right wing and the second on the left. Always dangerous with ball in hand and also made a huge tackle on someone this game. Dropped a high ball, which is a rare occurrence for him.  8


16. Jordan Uelese

Didn’t put a foot wrong in his two bursts on the field. Managed to get our only ruck steal and a try after the final whistle. 8

17. Tom Robertson

A few minutes at the end for Sio, didn’t do too much wrong. 5

18. Allan Alaalatoa

A few minutes at the end for Kepu, didn’t do too much wrong. 5

19. Izack Rodda

Replaced Simmons and played much of the same. 5

20. Jack Dempsey

Good involvements and added some spark off the bench. 6

21. Nick Phipps

Came on and played his usual (and somewhat inaccurate) hand well, sped up the game and contributed well to our finishing flourish. 6

22. Samu Kerevi

A couple of runs and some defenders beaten. 5

23. Marika Koroibete

Came on early in the 2nd half to replace Speight and had a solid debut, made his tackles and looked fast and dangerous. 6


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 vs Argentina


  • Adrian

    Generally on the money Bobas. I’d have given Foley, Beale and Speight one more each, but no big deal.

    Fair comments too re Hanigan, who is being criticized far and wide. I wouldn’t have him either, but he’s not a complete dud by any means.

  • John Miller

    Fox Sports employees must have a competition to see who can say Michael Hooper’s name the most – with bonus points awarded for over-the-top voice inflections and gratuitous hyperbole for innocuous plays.

    “Michael Hoo-per! What an amazing shoe-lace-tie prior to that last scrum. Let’s see that in replay for the 5th time. Oh Hooper – so well executed, the pace the power. Michael Hooper. Rod?

    “Yes thanks Greg. That shoe is destined to remain on today. You’ll see Hooper loops that second knot into place and there’s few athletes in world rugby able to execute so accurate a lace tie. Michael Hooper really is exception. Michael Hooper. The Hoops. Outstanding. Michael Hooper folks. Hooper.”

    Meanwhile, first minute of the second half: Hooper is smashed in a tackle and knocks the ball on. Not one Fox Sport commentator can remember the bloke’s name.

    When the Wallabies breakdown is so fundamentally outpointed by the opposition, the openside flanker simply can not be awarded an 8.

    Cracks. Meet paper.

    • Pedro

      Do you think this is Fox Sports?

      To your second point I don’t think the backrow issues could be blamed on Hooper. It’s a balance thing for mine.

      • John Miller

        Definitely not just Fox. Fairfax is almost as cheerleader-like parochial.

        Hooper’s selection will always mean “it’s a balance thing”.

        Scott Allen said it best: “Your No.7’s most important role is to be first into attacking rucks.

        “Hooper, for all his positives around the field, isn’t ever going to be the type of player I’ve described – he is a primary ball-runner and is better suited to playing that little bit wider.

        “That does mean someone else in the forward pack has to fill the role I’ve described.”

        Hanigan’ selection is flat out ridiculous. But 100% blame for the Wallabies breakdown deficit does not rest on his shoulders.

        McMahon, Dempsey, Korczyk, Hardwick are all 6.5’s at best. Each of them would be better test 7’s but, like Pocock before them, all are accomodating the bloke in the openside jersey and copping the lions share of the blame for our abject, continuing ruck and maul failures.

        The Wallabies openside flanker can not escape blame for the continued lack of effectiveness in the breakdown contest. Hit every second attacking ruck or wear a jersey with a double digit number on the back. 90% of offence starts at that ruck. Get your @rse there and do some big boy stuff (or let someone who will wear the 7).

      • John Miller

        Not just Fox. If anything Fairfax are almost more parochial.

        Hooper was a mid-field casual bystander as the Pumas drove a a rolling maul 15 metres towards the Wallabies tryline. He was a meerkat in Bledisloe 2 when the scrum was struggling in front of him (and still failed to lay a hand on Aaron Smith as he skipped between the sticks. He was given a loose forward schooling by both Kriel and Kolisi whilst being ragdolled at the rucks last week.

        A prominent rugby journalist said it best: “Your No.7’s most important role is to be first into attacking rucks.

        “If your openside can get into as many of your attacking rucks before the opposition arrive, then you’ll deny the opposition the opportunity to disrupt your ball.

        “Hooper, for all his positives around the field, isn’t ever going to be the type of player I’ve described – he is a primary ball-runner and is better suited to playing that little bit wider.

        “That does mean someone else in the forward pack has to fill the role I’ve described.”

        Hanigan’ selection is plain ridiculous but he can’t wear 100% of the blame for the breakdown deficit.

        McMahon, Dempsey, Korczyk and Hardwick are all 6.5’s at best. Each are better suited to the 7 jersey at test level, but – like Pocock befor them – are accommodating Hooper, are shifted out of position and wearing the bulk of the breakdown blame.

        The Wallabies openside flanker cannot be insulated from accountability for the continuing ruck and maul fiasco. Hit every second attacking ruck. 90% of attack starts at the breakdown – go protect the pill, or step aside and let someone who will wear the 7.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The person who should take the blame for the breakdown effort is Michael Cheika.

          It isn’t Hanigan’s fault that he isn’t up to it, I honestly believe he is doing the best that he can, he is just a fringe SR level player and shouldn’t be in the international side.

          If you’re going to select Hooper you have to be aware of the fact that he isn’t strong at attacking rucks. Therefore, you need to select two other back-rowers that will compensate for this weakness.

          McMahon is another 7 who, like Hooper, struggles at attacking rucks but is a strong ball runner. Hanigan is just out of his depth and is really, really ineffective at the breakdown.

          Cap’n Cheika selects a horrible unbalanced back-row and so of course we get smashed.

          Hooper’s best periods in gold were 2013 and 2015. In 2013 he had Fardy and Mowen, two other backrowers who like to play tight, attacking the rucks and in 2015 he had Fardy and Pocock, two other backrowers who liketo play tight, attacking the rucks.

          Cheika had Fardy to select but told him his serves weren’t needed so he went overseas. Pre-injury he had Ross Haylett-Petty but showed no interest. He has Dempsey but hasn’t selected him. He has Timani but hasn’t selected him. Even Higgers, who isn’t great at the breakdown, is better than Hanigan and I think McMahon too, and he hasn’t selected him.

          Cheika 100% needs to wear the blame for the breakdown. However, it can be easily fixed, select Timani at 8, Hooper at 7 and either Higgers, Tui or Dempsey at 6.

        • John Miller

          I don’t disagree for the most part DB. Cheika is absolutely the main culprit. But the Wallabies openside flanker clearly doesn’t enjoy a free pass from a review of the breakdown disaster. Can’t just shift blame like Cheika shifts backrow jerseys. 9 and 22. It ain’t working.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          John, I agree with you.

          However, also, as Scott Allen said, Hooper isn’t fulfilling the primary role of a number 7, however, he isn’t really being selected as a 7.

          The Wallaby coach – whoever it is – needs to decide if they are going to select Hooper at 7. If they are then they need to go for a back-row that will make up for his weaknesses.

          That being said, I agree with you that if the team is being smashed in the breakdown Hooper should change how he is playing and play tighter. That being said, I get the feeling that Cheika expects total adherence to his game plan, and that his strategy is the opposite of ‘play what’s in front of you’.

        • John Miller

          And therein lies the issue, “Hooper isn’t fulfilling the primary role of a number 7 [and]we need to select other players who make up for his weaknesses.”

          Do we? I’m not so sure. Without even looking further than the starting side, Hooper has been outplayed by McMahon all season. Pick a 7 who plays 7. An 8 who plays 8. And a 6 who plays 6. Oh, and pick a 12 who defends in the line.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          John, if I had been Cheika I would have been selecting Pocock at 7 for the last 3 years and put Hooper on the bench.

          I would also take Liam Gill over Hooper.

          Unfortunately, those two are gone now, McMahon has done very little this year and Faingaa has outplayed Hardwick. McMahon also plays a similar game to Hooper and suffers from the same limitations.

          Are we really going to play Faingaa over Hooper?

        • John Miller

          Agree completely on both Poey & Liam. I think McM has been better than Hooper this year (but I think generally Hooper is a better player). I don’t necessarily think Hoops shouldn’t adorn the 7 (until Poey’s return) but definitely not against grinding, forward-centric, central running, breakdown focused opposition packs. Horses for courses.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I friggen wish mate

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The problem is who is the other option now? Pocock is overseas, Gill is gone, McMahon plays a similar game to Hooper, just worse and less consistent, Hardwick hasn’t been super impressive, Faingaa has been better than Hardwick, but are we seriously going to play Faingaa?

        • John Miller

          Well, George Smith totally schooled Hooper in this season’s Tahs / Reds match. It was a classic openside flanking masterclass dispensed by our greatest ever Wallaby. And if Hooper ever needs a lesson in securing an attacking ruck with aggressive authority, let him watch a few Reds videos from last season. It is an artform barely noticed and with little acclaim, but Smith is still the best in Australia.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Smith was the best in Australia in 2009 too, I think, as great as I think Pocock is and was. Having the two of them, with both being able to play a half each like Deans originally planned, would have been incredible.

          Agree that he’s the greatest Wallaby and greatest Australian rugby player of all time.

        • Ian

          Bit harsh on Hardwick. First involvement in an international game and he has his head over the ball winning a breakdown penalty. I don’t understand why he slipped off the radar……..with Hanigan on the pitch? Makes no sense to me.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Ian, I think Hardwick is very good and would not be surprised if he surpasses Hooper in the next year or two.

          However, I do not think he is there yet, and I think he needs some more S&C work. Faingaa, in a horrible side, got the points against him last time they played.

        • jamie

          I know it’s late, but it’s actually fairly easy for a traditional 7 to look good in a losing side. Easier for a traditional 7 in a losing side than a winning side. Faingaa might’ve looked better because he was in defensive breakdowns and poaching ball.

          I also don’t think Hardwick is much like Hooper. Their strengths are polar opposites.
          A 7 debuted in England the other night, 24 tackles in 60 odd minutes. Why can they make 7s but we can’t anymore?

        • Rob Hill

          I would think it has something to do with not fitting the game plan.

          How can he run the ball when hes busy tangled up at the breakdown.

          Running the ball is the only thing that a rugby team needs to do right?

        • Craig Waring

          And similarly a 15 who plays 15

        • McWarren

          John I’ve been banging this drum now for nearly a decade in oz rugby. If it’s not our 7 it’s our 10 or 8 or 12 or 15 or even our props. Apart from trying to shoe horn players into different positions we have developed an appreciation of utility players over specialists, mixed with a love affair of league converts. And we wonder why our skill level and rugby brains are lacking!!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, Hooper can’t play tight. He hasn’t got either the technique or build to get in tight he’d just get smashed.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’re not wrong, but I just don’t see any of the alternatives being better now that Gill and Pocock are overseas.

        • Pedro

          This isn’t Fairfax either.

          All I can say to your second point is that Hooper will selected roughly first under cheika’s system. He’s a cardio freak and strong for his size. While Hooper can get over the ball it’s not a priority for cheika. His focus is fitness and trying to burn the opposition down.

        • John Miller

          And smashed at the most important and frequent battleground on a rugby pitch we are, yet again.

          My 5 year old is also strong for his size. He is also rubbish at the breakdown.

        • Nutta

          I’m not saying if you’re right or wrong.

          But I am applauding the 5yr old Breakdown analogy.


        • first time long time

          Just vote YES Nutta, he’s right!

        • Pedro

          My point is, it’s not that Hooper is a bad seven, it’s that Cheika is instructing him to play the way he does. He has the ability to be an on ball fetcher, but Cheika prioritises other things.

        • John Miller

          Hooper certainly has the ability to better fulfil an openside flanker’s core mandate and, I completely agree, it is Cheika’s fault. But if we then had the Wallabies 7 actually undertaking 7 duties, Hooper isn’t the best exponent.

        • first time long time

          Then Cheika needs to go….
          Hang on Pedro I already knew that ; )

        • McWarren

          Hang on Hooper has played loose his whole career. Even at the Brumbies and then in Links Wallabies he was unseen at the breakdown. So it might be Cheika’s fault for picking him to play the role he does but I’m not so sure Hooper is capable of the more traditional 7 role at test level.

          Still 18 from 18 is a good tackle rate, I’ll give him that.

      • John Miller

        Come on GAGR, nothing infringing your editorial rules in my response. Can you please let the comment through?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Pedro you are correct in the lack of balance and it is the biggest weakness in the pack. TBH I reckon it has been bad for years and even the Pooper wasn’t a good balance. I find Hooper hard to judge. Personally I think as far as a 7 goes he’s one of the most ineffective in the top tier of rugby nations but you have to admire his hard work and enthusiasm which I think is unsurpassed. I just don’t get the wallabies game plan for him. Looks good at times, especially when in space but goes missing when needed at the breakdown and doesn’t dominate in the contact in either attack or defence. At the same time his fellow looses are even less effective and so the whole combination just fails.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    I think 9 for McMahon is perhaps a bit high. His second half performance was magical, but first half wasn’t as good in my opinion. That being said, the rest of them are pretty on the money.

    One thing I might suggest, however, is that I think we need to give credit where it’s due in regards to our front row. Sometimes I think we (and I include myself here) are too harsh when marking our front rowers, and are unwilling to give them credit.

    I think all three of the front row did a wonderful job. They dominated the scrums, did well in the line out lifting, carried well around the park and made their tackles, and made them dominantly.

    Overall, a hard game to review. First half, so poor. Second half, fantastic.

    Hopefully we are building into something. Good luck to the team for next week.

    • Kepu got the MOTM in the game review and an eight here, the others got quite good marks. What more should we have done?

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Didn’t read the game review, mate, just going off what I read here.

        Absolutely not criticising Kepu’s score, or any of them really, I can totally see the arguments for all of them, I just think that as a collective 21/30 doesn’t really show how dominant our front row were. Maybe it is a matter of the three together being more than the sum of their parts?

        I get that it is 100% subjective, but I probably would have put +1 on TPN and maybe even on Sio too….

        It’s good to see our front row doing so well. How different is it from the Sio-Moore-Alaalatoa front row?

        • Brumby Runner

          Or is it just the different interpretations of the particular referees? Seem to recall some posts from those with some expertise in front row shenanigans suggesting that Owens failed to pick up illegal scrummaging by the Bokke front row last week.

  • Jimmydubs

    Simmons 5 and Hannigan 5
    One did his job and a bit more. One couldnt do his job. Should be 7&4 or 6&4.

    • Steve

      Just checking first, are you saying Simmons or Hanigan should have been 6 if not 7?

      • Jimmydubs


        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I’ll pay that. I would have had a 6 for Simmons and a 4 for Hanigan.

  • Hoss

    Fair call overall Bobas – like my favourite solicitor, Mr Dennis Denuto says ‘it’s the vibe of it’

    A few selection headaches coming – I see enough in Koribete to start him next run, love how he accelerates into contact – for me Speight has been trialled more than a North Korean nuke and gets found out to often in D, badly. Hodge has been solid and has the bonus of a cannon boot and next outing is at altitude he could kick them from his hotel room – be interesting when Sefa is fit again – some good wing options, size, pace and power.

    Looses balance, I get the feeling we are in a holding pattern awaiting Poeys return, be great I’d Macca stays on at 6 and doesn’t chase the sushi, but !! The second lock spots up for grabs with no clear favourite, I would like to see more of Tui and Rodda and see if someone icanake it there own like Coleman has. The front row seems obvious, Squeaks probably played his last test, although sentiment will probably see him get a run in Brissie. Dempsey was good, Timani seems to have dropped down pecking order and hanigan is ok, but 6 seems wide open

    A lot to like and if ‘ifs and buts’ counted we would be three from four in the RC. Maybe two weeks away from Aussie press and us fans might be just the tonic the boys need to put together a spanking 80 minutes

  • Greg

    On a completely different note…..

    I just watched the All Black game. I thought Sth Africa offered a lot and were unlucky on a few tries…. but 57-0 is in the books. The ABs were as usual very strong, very fast and did the basics well.

    Something that really frustrates me about the ABs is that, in spite of how good they are – and they are great -, they can’t resist cynical play. Holding down players away from the ball, cleaning out players that aren’t involved in the ruck, giving away a penalty when under pressure.

    I really wish that they could stop this. It detracts from their performance and makes them look like poor sports.

    Away you go @KRL.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate, I obviously disagree that they do it any more than any other team.

      • Greg

        I think they probably do…. but the point I was trying to make was a bit different. Their need to do it, imo, is zero.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate 2 things. Everyone does it and having referreed for about 8 years quite often what you see on the Rv isn’t quite the same as what is seen up close by the referee or the players

  • theduke

    Good job on the ratings. Acknowledged the contributors and not too generous because of the victory. I wonder if the Hooper, McMahon, Pocock backrow will be the right mix. Pocock’s pilfering with McMahon running could be the right balance.

  • RedSheep1989

    Love your work Bobas, keep it up!

  • FucktardStorm

    Thanks for the ratings, always look forward to them.

    Not sure how you can give the replacement props only 5 each. They were on when the opposition prop got yellow carded, and then followed that with a dominant driving scrum that led to Genia’s try. If that’s not what you want from your props, then maybe league is more your game.

    Also, Uelese didn’t win the only ruck steal, Hooper got one in the second half too.

    Apart from that, good job, and thanks!


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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