Ratings - Les Bleus v Wallabies - Green and Gold Rugby
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Ratings – Les Bleus v Wallabies

Ratings – Les Bleus v Wallabies

1. James Slipper

A game Slipper will probably want forgotten, mainly due to his efforts in the scrum, as he ended up conceding three penalties. Was OK else-ware, tackling at a good clip and trucked it up with only occasional success. Replaced after 64 minutes. 4

2. Tolu Latu

Took about 20 minutes to get into this game, making multiple errors early, including a slightly not straight line-out throw and a breakdown penalty that cost us three. He was able, however, to put it behind him and successfully turned around his starting debut with solid involvements from then on. Unlucky not to score his first try but the team got it and a throw-over-conversion. 7

3. Allan Alaalatoa

Very solid at the set-peice and a high work-rate. Kept trucking it up all night and secured the go forward required. Almost an error free performance reminiscent of an in-form Kepu. It would have taken a lot of guts to replace him with that game in the balance at 70 minutes. 7

4. Kane Douglas

A quiet game from Douggie, which is not a bad thing when the stats have you at a 13/13 tackle clip. However, didn’t offer the go forward of Coleman, or even Arnold for that matter. Was penalised for collapsing a maul in the first half and made way for Skelton with ten to play. 6

5. Rob Simmons

An incredible work-rate over the full 80 minutes saves Simmons from a glaring error and a few ineffectual runs. Ended up topping the team in runs (but not metres) and tackles, making an astonishing 17 of 19. This often allowed our pilfering back-row opportunities to steal the ball. The attacking and defending line-out also functioned well.  6

6. Scott Fardy

A bit of a mixed bag from Fardy, he was in the line-break footage for France’s 2nd try although both breaks weren’t due to his misreads, and the first break was his only missed tackle. He got through a lot of unnoticed work at the ruck and line-out, especially disrupting the opposition ball. His cover tackle putting the winger into touch was right out of the Dean Mumm highlight reel and he snared a Poey-esque clutch forced turnover at the 63 minute mark. He also seems to have fixed up his red-zone penalty problems. 6

7. David Pocock (c)

He was very strong on the ball which meant he gave away three penalties, however that was all worth it as it had little scoreboard effect. His handling and running game was on song and was only one of a couple of wallaby forwards to shed tackles. He also saved our bacon a bunch of times this game with a vital tackle on the French fullback at the 73 minute mark and at least two forced turnovers defending in our own 22, the latter, at the 76th minute mark helped secure the game.  8 – G&GR MOTM

8. Sean McMahon

The other forward to shed tackles, running more than double any other Wallaby forward in his 67 minutes. He had an uncharacteristic quiet first 20 minutes, however stepped up his involvements shortly after forcing two turnovers with his breakdown presence. 7

9. Will Genia (vc)

His early catch of a touch-line up-and-under set the tone of a great Genia game, or is it (Jenny-yah). Every aspect of his game was direct, confident and almost error free. Slowing the ball down when needed, quick tapping and speeding it up like he did in the couple of phases to put Foley over. His snipe to line-break ratio (1:1) suggests maybe he needs to throw a few more snipes into the mix next hit out, and maybe play 3 more minutes. 8

10.  Bernard Foley

Foley (or Folly as my commentator liked to call him) had a good game and it was interesting to see him try and mix up some attacking kicking at the start of the game, only to shelve it and focus only on inside balls. Scoring an important try and kicking 4/5 off the tee in a game we won by 2 was very important. Missed an important penalty touch finder and was too easily beaten on the wing for my liking, one bad miss directly resulted in a French try. 7

11. Henry Speight

A busy game from Speight, solid and willing on both attack and defence, although not supported by team mates on several occasions in the first half. Still hasn’t got his timing quite right into contact, but apart from Morahan no Wallaby really did this game. 6

12. Kyle Godwin

Great debut! Looked to take a bit of time to get used to the pace of the game early, but adapted like a duck to water underplayed his hand perfectly early on and came into his own later in the game with some fantastic involvements. 12/12 tackles, 3 defenders beaten and a beautiful inside ball (the order of the day) to put his centre partner through the line. 7

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Another match winning try! That’s three for the Wallabies by my count. Talk about being resourceful with little sideline, one of the best finishes I’ve ever seen! A calm, experienced operator in the back-line was what was needed with all the relatively new players and last minute changes and he provided that as well as the second most run metres from outside centre. 8

14. Sefanaia Naivalu

A hard game to judge for Naivalu as the ball rarely found him, except for when he got a simultaneous tackle with the line at his mercy. Managed to bust tackles with his three runs and was trying to put a real sting in on defence, often to his own detriment, missing three tackles. Was lucky not to go to the lottery of the TMO with a late clean-out after the Wallabies had conceded a penalty. 5

15. Luke Morahan

Dangerous! His initial run was good and his second touch was even better. Ended up topping most of the attacking stats, with 66 run metres, two line-breaks and three tackles busted. Unlucky not to have a kick-try assist, and was possibly a little too unselfish early in the second half with the line a couple of metres away. 8

Finishers

16. Stephen Moore

On at 65 minutes, part of a shaky scrum that I thought was going to lose it for us. Great else-ware though, with a brilliant cover tackle when close to conceding at 76 minutes. 5

17. Scott Sio

On at 64 minutes, scrum was going well initially, but like Moore, part of the crumbling scrum at the end. 5

18. Tom Robertson

Probably should have been kept on the bench instead of being thrown in with ten to play with. The scrums weren’t being held up and a lottery for most of the game, his inclusion gave France the dominance that needed to prove they were the team going forward before the collapse. 3

19. Will Skelton

Played the last 9 minutes. Smashed some poor cheese-eater who didn’t have time to surrender, didn’t do much else, except give away a penalty. 5

20. Dean Mumm

Played the last 13 minutes fairly anonymously. Made one tackle, one run, one metre and one pass. 5 

21. Nick Phipps

3 minutes, and no involvements. NA

22. Jono Lance

Unused replacement. NA

23. Taqele Naiyaravoro

Unused replacement. NA

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

Ratings – Les Bleus v Wallabies

  • SuckerForRed

    I actually don’t think Mozza would have made that try. He had a Frenchman fairly firmly attached to his foot.

    Our scrum seems to have taken a step backwards.

    • Sharon

      Seems the natural thing to do in France… retreat…

    • The Big Lebowski

      I think the difference with the pack is not the props, but the locks. Coleman and Arnold can actually scrummage. I’ve never been too sure about Simmons, although he and Douglas scrummaged well at the RWC.

      But Skelton is a terrible scrummager. Poor Tom Robertson…

      • Simon

        Simmons is a solid scrummager. Reds scrum the last few seasons has been nigh-unstoppable, first with Simmons and Horwill in the engine room and then Simmons and Neville. What I have never been able to work is out where all Simmons’ leg power goes when he leaves the scrum.

        And you’re right, we saw the same in the RWC. Cheika shuffled the starting props a few times then and in the RC before it. I paid very careful attention to the combinations and I noticed it didn’t matter which props were on, when Skelton was locking it deteriorated noticeably.

        • The Big Lebowski

          Yep. I saw an improvement in Douglas’s all round game and Simmons is improving his work rate.

          So we have Douglas, Simmons, Arnold and Coleman. Skelton is fifth choice, at best. And there are guys coming up the NRC on his heels.

        • I thought simmons’early season scrummaging geld us together. I know these guys would have trained but i cant see them having much other time together. An unfortunate symptom of 12 new players for this test?

      • Who?

        Simmons’ scrummaging has, on pretty good authority (he’s worn a gold jersey with Rob located directly behind him), always been excellent. Ahead of Skelton (by miles!), ahead of Douglas…
        And ‘improving his workrate’? Simmons’ workrate’s never been an issue – the issue’s been impact, not workrate. The one who needs to improve workrate is Douglas (especially since his impact isn’t always of the highest quality – big hits mean big risks of missing). Douglas should be 4th choice at best now – Coleman’s locked in a spot, Arnold’s played a few good Tests, Simmons covers core roles better (and against Scotland, of the locks on the field for meaningful time, he was, surprisingly, the most effective ball runner by statistics (gain line and recycle time)). And there’s a few more guys who could push to join Coleman with a little more time, thanks to the NRC.
        I do wonder what Ledesma’s doing… Our scrum hasn’t improved, and its weaknesses seem to have been dissected over the past 12 months.

  • Simon

    Felt a bit sorry for Slipper. The French were never straight for any of those collapses, the overhead cam showed it clearly. The only time they were straight was when we had a scrum on their 5m line, and they knew they couldn’t risk the 50-50 calls of Ref Scrum Lotto.

    So then they were straight as parallel lines, the scrum stayed up and we marched them backwards. They were lucky to clear it.

    The scrum falling apart at the end I suspect might have been due to Skelton, combined with French desperation. Our scrum never seems to function well when Skelton is locking.

    • Is it just me or did our tight 5 not look at all tight in the scrum? A number of times the telecast showed the top scrum view and it looked very messy.

      • USARugger

        Things were very sloppy.

      • Haz

        Could be a tactic. I’ve seen other teams do that on occasion.

        • USARugger

          What’s the possible benefit of packing a loose scrum? It’s dangerous and a good way to lose possession or get a goal kicked on you

        • Haz

          It can be used as part of a very offensive technique. Your locks bind very loosely and everyone angles ever so slightly. This means that, when executed properly, the force from all 8 players can be targeted at a single second rower in the opposite scrum.

    • MattL

      Spot on re the French front row.. Their tight head clearly and unambiguously boring in on our 2. Frustrates me no-end that ref’s generally, and this one in particular, are oblivious to this and award penalties the wrong way.. I just don’t get it…

    • McWarren

      Spot on Simon, at one point Jackson says to them both, stay straight, they reset, Slippers side goes down, French tight head hits the deck facing the touch line and Slipper goes down with him facing directly at the French goal line. Jackson awards the penalty to France. Slipper was hard done by in all but one scrum and very hard done by with this rating.

    • Fatflanker

      I was inclined to blame Robertson for that Dunning tribute scrum but you’re right – he wasn’t helped at all by Skelton.

  • LoveThePoop

    Nice point about simmons work rate and tackling creating opportunities for our back rowers to pilfar… If he could break tackles he would almost be world class

    • SuckerForRed

      I see Simmons & Skelton have the same problem – the minute they are tackled they stop & lie down. Skelton in particular if he just kept pumping his legs imagine how many tackles he would break……..

      • USARugger

        It drives me crazy how these guys are career pros failing to execute skills taught at the first contact session any rugby player participates in.

  • The Big Lebowski

    Harsh on Naivalu. I thought he was resolute in Defence and, while he didn’t get much ball, he looked dangerous with it (more so than Speight).

    I wished Godwin had a more assured debut, but he got better as the game went along. For mine, he needs to be in the 23 as back up to Foley.

    By the way, did Quade twist his ankle at training trying to run straight?

    • Big Ted

      Very harsh on Naivalu. In no way did he deserve a 5. He may not have had many opportunities in attack ( not all his fault) but he shut down 3-4 promising French attacking raids and had good go forward any time he did touch the ball. Would be more ham happy for a speight/Naivalu switch against the paddy’s

      • Bobas

        The right TV and TMO combination sees people yellowed for much less, he would have been 6 apart from that. I really thought he was going to the bin and we’d lose if that happened.
        He’s worth persisting with, huge potential, if he stays fit he’ll be a superstar and his tackling stats don’t tell the whole story of his defensive abilities.

        • PeterK

          the tackle on him near the line was early, they grabbed his arms from behind before he got to the ball, another YC missed

        • Big Ted

          Which act did you think warranted a yellow card?

        • Bobas

          I don’t think Sefa’s late clear out warranted a yellow card. But it was a dumb thing to put to chance, we were penalised, then he gave away another penalty and could have been binned for foul play (away against SA, ENG or NZ and I think he’d have walked).
          As it turned out, we didn’t even get marched 10 and only the initial penalty stood.

      • Nick Gregory

        SN outplayed HS by 150%

        • Big Ted

          My thoughts too

    • Parker

      Also cannot agree that the tackle on Naivalu was simultaneous. It was premature. His arms were impeded before he could catch the pass and therefore was tackled without the ball.

  • Big Ted

    Not that our scrum was great at any point throughout the match but I’m concerned that when our so called “starters” entered the match our scrum seemed to get worse. I think Moore is a huge part of this. Whenever TPN used to come on we always looked 25% better in our scrums. I thought Latu was good on debut and added a bit more around the park than Moore does.

    • Bobas

      my take on it is that Moore seems to have trouble striking the ball.

    • Steve

      BT think it’s important to remember Robertson and Skelton came on at the same time so difficult to pin down the cause; or scrums never been strong with Skelton packing down

  • The Big Lebowski

    James Slipper.

    Watching current form, he doesn’t even look like he wants to be there, let alone scratching towards 80 test caps (really, that many?).

    And a quick search on Google images, what the hell has happened? Seems like he was a lot bigger and a better shape for prop (big shoulders, no neck etc) and now he looks like a slow backrower with a pot belly.

    • Simon

      Seems he has never really recovered from his injury, in either form or physique. I wonder if it’s actually still not fully resolved, as that would go a long way to explaining why he hasn’t been able to get back into shape.
      As I said elsewhere I’m not convinced he was wholly responsible for the scrum shambles this game, I think the French knew he’d been struggling and deliberately didn’t pack straight to target him.

    • ozrugbynut

      I had similar thoughts, lamenting the slipper of old. He looks very trimmed down which i just dont think the oz scrum can afford at present.

    • MattL

      I’ve a different view on this: as a loosehead, no matter how big, technically good you are, if the opp tighthead is also strong and technically good AND is allowed to bore you have no chance.. Particularly when the ref pings you not him….

    • jamie

      Twin shoulder reco’s were never going to be easy to come back from. Shouldn’t be there on current form.

    • SuckerForRed

      As others have said – I just plain don’t think he has fully recovered and regained his strength from surgery over 2015/2016 off season. Might have been better to leave him home & give him some time in preseason to build that back up again. This would also give young Tom & Toby a run through the international mill to see how they go.

  • Bobas

    Harsh on Godwin, the French ran at him all day and he came out smelling like roses, haven’t seen a game where Kuridrani has had to do so little on D.

    • The Big Lebowski

      I thought the same. And my main complaint of TK is that he doesn’t pass. Yet this game he did pass it – a hospital pass. Oh the irony!

      • Bobas

        Mumm threw a sick (literal meaning) pass too, thankfully we had penalty advantage at the time.

      • jamie

        I actually think it might be worth persisting with TK on a wing. He has serious try scoring ability, limited distribution skills and the 13 jersey is Samu’s.

        • USARugger

          Distribution at 13 isn’t really a major facet of the Wallabies current attack pattern – it’s confirmation bias. He has no issue with distribution at the Brumbies.

          Besides that, his qualities as both a defensive organizer and individual defender in the 13 seam are his biggest points of difference/reasons he should be in the side anyway.

      • Who?

        Good 13’s don’t always pass that much. I don’t remember Snorky passing that often. But he was still a true legend.

        • Steve

          Yeah im not really a buyer of the TK distribution bashing Who.

          Frankly I’ve seen him throw some absolute pearlers for the Brumbies over the years so it’s not like he doesn’t have the ability.

          All you hear from Cheik about him is that he wants him running harder into contact.

          This game he was an absolute gain line monster, highest backline metre-earner and scored a magic match-winner; I believe he’s doing exactly what Cheik wants him to do.

  • The Big Lebowski

    Back row was interesting this match. There was a fair bit of expectation around Picamoles dominating the breakdown, but Pocock – in his preferred position – absolutely dominated.

    Alas, there is the problem at the moment. Hooper adds a dimension that Pocock doesn’t, but Pocock surely is needed at 7.

    I’m a Tahs man, but I would probably like to see Pocock retained at 7, even if only to end that infernal ‘Pooper’ nickname.

  • NickBrisbane

    You didnt mention Genia’s stupid box kick directly led to their last try

    • Bobas

      I get most people aren’t fans of box kicks, and he did a few, most of them were OK. I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call their last try a direct result of it.

      Allow me to explain it with sarcasm:

      Genia’s box kick, Mcmahon’s complete miss of the catcher, Fardy’s missed tackle for initial line break, poor defence on the right wing leaking metres and allowing offloads (again), Morahan running sideways and not looking at the play in front of him leaving a giant hole off a close range ruck for a Frenchy to score under the sticks without being touched.

      So direct it should have really counted as a try assist to Genia.

  • Nick Gregory

    I don’t know what Byrne is feeding the boys after training, but holy f*cking Jesus our basic skills looked 50x better this match. I can only recall one or two knock-ons, tactical kicks actually looked purposeful, and there were significantly fewer 50:50 offloads and missed tackles.

    While the scoreboard perhaps didn’t reflect it, that was one of the most cohesive games I’ve seen them play in a couple of years

    • The Big Lebowski

      Skills up a few notches for sure. Even the flat passes stuck most of the time.

      We got smashed this year but I’m starting to see where this team is heading.

      • Jasper Sapien.

        Yeah it doesn’t help having to play New Zealand three times at least every year.

  • The Big Lebowski

    Anyone else think that Morahan actually may cause a selection headache a 15?

    I thought his decisiveness at the kick return was excellent, and he’s a more powerful runner than I realised. Defence solid too.

    Didn’t see enough under the highball but that’s not his fault.

    Folau still an amazing footballer but I can’t shake the impression he’s not sure what to do from the back. He’s much better when he’s in the line.

    • McWarren

      I still think Morohan is better on the wing. But he showed last night how valuable he could be. I reckon at this stage the best he can hope for is a bench spot, and I think I’d be a fan of that.

    • Parker

      Morahan impressed. Next week have him on the wing at 11, DHP at full back and Folau at 13. TK at 14 and Kerevi at 12.

  • DReido

    Pocock at 7 and MOM. Coincidence? I think not.

    • Haz

      It’s almost like he’s a world class 7

  • USARugger

    Naivalu is the first Wallaby winger I’ve seen successfully shut down an overlap since AAC and he gets a 5?

    I need to rewatch the scrums but probably harsh on Robertson too considering Skelton was packing a mile high and loose on the scrums where Robertson’s side got absolutely mullered. I couldn’t tell on the live broadcast but either the LHP got under him almost instantly after the feed or Skelton wasn’t providing much behind him which is why he got driven straight backwards through our own scrum.

  • McWarren

    I wasn’t convinced by KD, yes the finish was brilliant but elsewhere he let us down a few times in attack with his passing and link play. At one point we had a 4 on 2 overlap, he had to either pass quick or dummy and pass to make it work, instead he gave it Foley just as the first French defender hit Foley. It these things that hold him back from being truly world class. Sometimes he just looks like a converted winger.

    I think your 6 for Simmons is harsh. I thought he had his best game in a while. I can’t recall though what the glaring error was. But overall he was heaps better than Dougie.

    I blame Dougie for Fofana’s try. One phase before instead of holding his ground Douglas charges out and across field to SMASH a Frenchman, the very next play Fofana dances right threw the gap he left. He went for the big hit, didn’t trust his defenders and left a hole.

    I thought Naivalu did everything I wanted Speight to do. I think his late clean out was only marginally late and not dangerous.

    All in all I thought they were superb for a bunch of guys who have never played together as a unit. The coaches should take a bow.

    I’d like to see Morohan given a bench spot this weekend and maybe Godwin if Coopers injured. Though I suspect a 6/2 bench against Ireland.

  • dane

    I love how all the players have stanard mug shots except for Fards and Mumm.

  • Dalai Ninja

    Surely it was Sio struggling with Slimani in the final scrums, not Robinson?

  • Nutta

    Thanks for the effort Bobas.

    Credit where it is due. I thought Kane D would stand head & shoulders above Simmons in this game and whilst he did well-use his physique, Simmons had a really high work-rate to match. Pretty good games from the Locks

    Timani is nudging ahead clearly in the No8 battle

    Well played Alanalatoa. Really well played I thought. Whereas Mr Slipper… good lord. Also nice to see Latu mature, play a solid game and not give away the raft of penalties he seems to when playing in blue.

    Great to see Kyle get a shot and play so well to alongside a resurgent K’drani. A good centre-pair that.

    Foley is playing very well, although I thought we began our plays too far behind the ad line again. We can’t be doing that against the English or Irish.

    And what else can you say about David Pocock and playing him at 7 that hasn’t been said already (ummm, playing a guy at what he is right?)?

    The elephant in the room – the scrum – was simply an education of the naive for me. There we saw a philosophy of rugby where gamesmanship up front is considered a respectable art vs basically a bunch of school-boys expecting a fair fight. And guess who won? The pity is that we didn’t have more test players on the park to wrap their heads around it and thereby what to expect from the English especially. It’s a confidence issue to have the fortitude to take the rot from an opponent and dish your own back but it only comes when built on culture and years of hard-nosed practice as opposed to the 2yrs renaissance we are in.

France

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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