Wallabies v. Lions third Test player ratings - Green and Gold Rugby
British & Irish Lions

Wallabies v. Lions third Test player ratings

Wallabies v. Lions third Test player ratings

That was not much fun at all was it? Despite a brief period of hope early in the second half, the Lions pretty well dominated the Wallabies in a 41-16 romp.

The ratings reflect the fact that basically no Wallabies managed any impact, whilst the Lions were good all across the park. Take a look:



Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsBenn Robinson

Decent in open play, but part of a front row well beaten. Knocked on at a key point when Australia was deep in attack during the second half 5

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsStephen Moore

Solid running and lineout work offset his role in the scrum issues. Tried hard. 6

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsBen Alexander

A nightmare game. Demolished at scrum time by Corbisero. Yellow carded in 24th minute and did not return after that. 2

horwill wallabies profileJames Horwill

Overall, a quiet game from the captain. Some good work in the lineouts and in cover defense though. 6

Wallabies Headshots 140313Kane Douglas

Poor for a second week in a row. At fault for the error which led to the Lions’ first try and his night did not improve much. 4

Wallabies Headshots 140313Ben Mowen

Showed great maturity both at lineout time and in the ‘tight loose’. A proponent of the dark arts Australia has been missing. 7

george smith wallabies profileGeorge Smith

Looked like his fairytale return was over very early when knocked out cold. Returned and made a fair effort. Good with ball in hand and good in contact. 6

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsWycliff Palu

Another decent game from the maligned Cliffy. Did well off the back of the scrum and hit hard most of the night. 6

genia wallabies profileWill Genia

Not as imperious as he was in the first two Tests. Looked dangerous on occasions when running. But a poor kick led to North’s try. 6

oconnor joc wallabies profileJames O’Connor

Quick feet led to a nice individual try. But he was very poor aside from that. Woeful kicking game gave away masses of field position and squandered excellent attacking opportunities. 4

tomane wallabies profileJoe Tomane

Very quiet in attack and missed key tackles in the lead up to two Lions tries. Not his best game. 4

lealiifano wallabies profileChristian Leali’ifano

Excellent goal kicking for a second straight week. Quiet in attack though and whilst solid for the most part in defence, was nowhere to be seen on the Roberts try. 5

aac cooper douglas wallabies profileAdam Ashley-Cooper

A poor game from one of our most consistent players. Silly turnovers, indecision and a really poor missed tackle that led to a Lions try. 4

folau wallabies profileIsrael Folau

One good run, before a hamstring strain saw him limp off after 27 minutes. 6

Australian Wallabies Squad Headshots

Kurtley Beale

A brilliant chip and chase and some nice runs were well and truly outweighed by the bad. Poor kicking game including his restarts and kicks for touch, plus an atrocious missed tackle. 4

Australian Wallabies Squad HeadshotsSekope Kepu

Played a lot of minutes. Never really got on top, but at least he matched Corbisiero somewhat at scrum time. 5

jesse moggJesse Mogg

Another reserve who played a lot of minutes. Generally looked really good on debut, his restarts and general kicking impressed. There were a couple of errors in his game though. 6

saia faingaa wallabies profileSaia Fainga’a

One poor line-out throw, but some nice work around the breakdown. 5



corbisiero lions profileAlex Corbisiero

Scored a try, obliterated his opponent at scrum time and ran the ball really well. A huge game. 8

Richard HibbardRichard Hibbard

A really good game. Excellent go-forward and an occasional glimpse of ball playing. 8

adam jones lions profileAdam Jones

Relatively quiet in general play. But made no mistakes and a key part of an utterly dominant scrum. 7

alun wyn jones lions profileAlun-Wyn Jones

Stepped into the leadership breach. Strong around the breakdown and good in support play too. 7

geoff parling lions profileGeoff Parling

Felled Mogg in the first half with a very important ankle tap. Aside from that, ran hard and like his captain, was strong at the breakdown 7

LydiateDan Lydiate

Strong in defence, but overall was one of the Lions’ quieter forwards. 6

Sean O'BrienSean O’Brien

Ensured the loss of Warbuton was not felt too keenly. Busy in defence, got his head over the ball continuously and played his part in the lineout. A very good game. 7

faletauToby Faletau

Possibly the Lions’ best forward. A beast when running and came up with a huge steal at a key moment when the Wallabies had a sniff early in the second half. 8

mike phillips lionsMike Phillips

Pretty quiet but did all that was required of him. Distributed the ball well. 6

sexton lions profileJonathan Sexton

Looked good taking the line on. Took some fantastic options in attack and played a very clever game overall. Bad miss on O’Connor was the only blight on a good defensive showing. 8

george north lions profileGeorge North

A quiet first half, but some fantastic breaks in the second and finished off a try as well. 7

Jamie Roberts

Jamie Roberts

The man with the Buzz Lightyear jaw continually got over the advantage line and burst through a massive gap for a try. 7

davies lions profileJonathan Davies

A really solid performance was highlighted by a couple of raking left foot kicks which put his side in excellent field position. 7

Tommy Bowe

Tommy Bowe

Did some nice things, but again they couldn’t get the ball to him often enough in dangerous positions. One bad knock-on in quality attacking position. 6

halfpenny lions profileLeigh Halfpenny

Where to even start. Was never out of position in open play, made some fantastic breaks throughout and kicked them from all over. 9

RaboDirect G&GR Man of the Match:

logo_rabohalfpenny lions profileAs good a team performance as the Lions put in, there is really no doubting that Leigh Halfpenny  was the man. Continually got to Wallaby kicks on the full, great positioning and was able to set up a couple of tries. That’s without even mentioning the goal kicking, which was super sharp as always.

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

  • p.Tah

    I’m afraid those ratings are too generous for the Wallabies last night. Many deserve 4 (below par on the G&GR scale), some deserve 3 (had a bad game)

  • Patrick

    You’ve got to punish Horwill another notch for the kicks at goal foregone…

    • SydneyTaff

      It was the same phase of play so only 3pts were given up. But after the first failed attempt, should have opted for those 3 and kept the board ticking.

  • Anthony David

    Hibbard had his best game of the tour last night. His wears his passion for his craft with pride.

  • Danny

    I don’t know how these ratings came about but when I watched the game I thought our forward pack was well beaten, I think the forwards all could be dropped a point. Frankly I don’t know how any of the front rowers ranked above ‘Had a bad game’ when our scrum was so easily demolished, I mean Alexander wasn’t the only wallaby pushing in those scrums.

    I know hes a great player and a great guy but George Smith did not put in a ‘solid performance’, I think he would have enough humility to admit as much if you asked him personally. Why inflate his ranking when it is an insult to his ability and how he has played for the Brumbies this season.

  • Graeme

    That’s a bit harsh on the back line. Other than Tomane, who was turned over, knocking on or missing tackles every time he got close to the ball, the rest of the back line can hardly be faulted for our scrum being so thoroughly demolished that it turned the game into a farce. 42 rating points to the forwards vs 33 to the backs is not a reflection of where the game was lost.

    • david baldwin

      I dont blame the players completely – its hard to play without a game plan however if nothing else you can surely defend and showing some fucking ticker!!! The way the scoreline blew out was farcical and truly horrible to watch.

  • Bulldog

    This series is the tale of 3 Refs.. Gatland was smart enough to change and Deans couldn’t/didn’t want to. It was foretold on this very website. They picked a scrummaging front row as they knew the ref would ping.

    Deans has been in the job long enough to watch some school boy games and hand pick some front rowers and send them to the squat rack and the feed trough. He can’t be excused on that.

    McKenzie will have those little suckling pigs ready to go.

    • Sydney Tom

      What better scrummagers do you suggest? We simply don’t have the equivalent of Jones, Hibbard and Corbisiero. Deans picked the best we have got. Super Rugby won’t produce those types of props.

      • Bulldog

        What about the Franks Brothers? Do they play different Super Rugby in NZ and RSA?

        The ARU can watch Beale or JOC and identify them at a young age why not with a prop.

        Sit down with some young kid and say you become a tight head and love scrums – just love them and we will make sure you are a Wallaby for 10 years. Send him/them to the UK. Props are the reverse of backs and get better with age.

        Otherwise we will always be vulnerable at an important aspect of the game.

        • Drongo

          It’s a good point by Sydney Tom. We simply don’t have the depth. And thats not Deans fault. possibly you could blame him for not developing depth, but look at the numbers of front rowers hes tried. its a lot. I’ve been saying for a long time that THP is a specialist position and our current THPs are LHPs that have been converted to THP at some recent point in their careers. Dan Palmer should have made the squad but he was injured. Paddy Ryan is future poss. but he was too green. Other than those two I can’t think of any current aussie THPs of note. The last decent one I can think of was Ben Darwin. Unless we p Ryan comes good in a few years or IRB changes scrum rules then future is not looking bright in my view.

  • bobbins

    phillips was dire, a 4 at best

    • SydneyTaff

      He was indeed. I was begging Gats to sub him at 1/2 time … from the 15th minute.

  • Parkie

    Give it a little bit more time and Sexton might be pressuring Dan Carter for the title of best flyhalf in the world. He showed just how important game management and sharp decision making is to a team’s chances of winning. My man of the match, though Halfpenny was wonderful too…unfortunately.

    • Colm

      I wouldn’t go overboard on Sexton. I don’t think he took it to the line as often as what a top fly half would. He did kick the ball away a fair bit too and even though he is pretty good defensively, he got caught a few times over the 3 tests.
      Look at this guy’s history. Since coming into the Irish test side since 2009, he hasn’t been outstanding in an Irish jersey and in some matches has been very reluctant to threaten the gain line. Let’s not forget at RWC 2011 he was dropped to O’Gara for the QF match v Wales. And I remember at the time, not many people were even complaining about his dropping to O’Gara, even though O’gara is dreadful from general play like creating space for his outside backs.
      Sexton has a lot to prove at test level yet. He does have some good core skills but needs to be more consistent over a game to be mentioned in the same breath as Dan Carter. Even the IRFU think so. They weren’t willing to give him more money and now he’s off to France and leaving Leinster.
      Australia suffered from a scrum annihalation and I certainly don’t think Sexton is twice the player that O’Connor is.

      • Christy

        Sexton 2 years ago is a very different beast to today. There were big question marks about his goal kicking which was the main reason he was out of that squad. At 10 Sexton is at least twice the player O’Connor is. Move Bieber and it might be a different story though. Sexton is easily the top flyhalf in the northern hemisphere and nothing on this tour has convinced me that Australia have anyone that can play like him. Carter is on a different planet entirely and I’m not certain if he should be counted. It should be understood that world’s best flyhalf is best aside from Carter.

        • Mukhtar

          Also, Sexton style is slightly different to Carter’s – less running and more kicking, generally. To Ireland, an in-form Sexton is as invaluable as Carter is to NZ. Now that O’Gara has retired, Sexton will assume a greater share of responsibility. Whatever Sexton’s limitations, he has utter conviction in his ability to direct a game, which is more than one can say for JoC, unfortunately. Sad to see Australia, playing without a specialist FH, in a marquee series like the BIL… What have you done, Dingo!!

        • Evan

          In fairness to Sexton, he had a 12 running the angles of a 13 in Jonathan Davies, a scrum-half not delivering him quick ball at all or on the back foot in Youngs and Philips. Only in the third test when he had a focused 12 in Roberts and go forward ball did he produce his best. That applies to Dan Carter, Johnny Sexton, James O’Connor, whoever. Sexton does need to improve his game when nobody is playing well around him, but in fairness that is the nightmare situation for any 10.

        • Colm

          When Sexton takes the ball to the line, he does actually look good but he doesn’t do it consistently. If you’ve seen enough of him in a green shirt, it’s a fair comment. In fairness though, he does get some bad service but even when he is playing from good go-forward ball, he still seems to play with an element of safety and likes to receive the ball a stride or so deeper than greater flyhalfs would take it.

          I still like him but he’s no Larkham as some seem to think in the Northern Hemisphere.

        • Christy

          Definitely, he hasn’t shown the talent he has for Leinster wearing green. However O’Connor is terrible at 10. Elsewhere he is a game changer, no question. Comparing him to all time great 10s is unfair, apart from Carter who is there, Sexton is one of the more likely to reach their hollowed ranks that is currently playing. Wilkinson too but is too old and battered to keep up regular rugby at a high standard these days.

        • Colm

          Christy – I don’t want to be too critical of Sexton but at the same time he shouldn’t be blown up as if he were an all time great like the way O’Gara used to be when they (media and fans) couldn’t separate his world class goal-kicking from his very poor general play.

          I know fly-half isn’t easy and you don’t get a lot of time on the ball but there are times off quick ball, that Sexton still waits for the ball to come to him, rather than really come on to it. Even in the Welsh match this year, as well as he did early on, he nearly booted everything away in the second half and Ireland barely won. Even in last year’s Six Nations in the whole 5 matches, he hardly once did an inside ball to keep defences guessing. Imagine.

          Even when I think of the Lions tries against Australia he wasn’t directly involved in creating any of them but did well to score his own one, coming from behind George Smith’s blind spot.

          I feel sorry for O’Connor in some regards. I get hungry too at 4am. It was always going to be a tough ask for him at 10. How many games extra has Sexton played at 10 in comparison to him? O’Connor did do well to fix o’driscoll and davies for Ashley Cooper’s try and I don’t remember him caught out defensively (Lealifano was worse in the third test – bad error at 16-22) but fair enough that 10 isn’t his best position. Putting other people into space and gaps isn’t what he’s best at. Perhaps he should be the one running off the 10 or inside backs, like his past.

        • Colm

          Christy – Sexton was in that squad that day against Wales and came on as a sub. It’s true his goal-kicking wasn’t great for Ireland at the time and this did contribute to his dropping. But goal kicking aside, his general play was poor and this element of his game still hasn’t been great in an Irish shirt. I have seen nearly all of his test matches and outside of a great performance in the Autumn International match v Argentina last year, he hasn’t really set the world alight. I haven’t seen him put too many people through gaps and he is hesitant to come on to the ball.

          I agree that he merited starting for the Lions and is definitely in the top fly-halfs in the Northern Hemisphere. But he has been a part of some abysmal Irish back play and Southern Hemisphere rugby is still the benchmark in terms of attacking quality.

          O’ Connor, I still rate, but I wasn’t comparing him to Sexton as a number 10. O’Connor still has quality but when you play at 10 for Australia which is a country that has produced greats like Larkham, they expect a lot.

          All I’m saying is, Sexton still needs to show more attacking quality with ball in hand, than what he has shown thus far.

        • Ronan Furlong

          Rubbish. Sexton looks as good as carter when playing in an attack minded side (I.e. joe schmidts Leinster as opposed to kidneys Ireland or gatlands lions).
          Also, sexton has annihilated Australia in a World Cup and murdered a grand slam seeking England the last two years. He also orchestrated the first half rout of Wales in this years 6n. The reason Ireland went to SH!t after that was because he got injured.

        • Colm

          Sexton started all 5 Six Nations matches last year. He goal kicked well but his general play was average at best. Yeah – he got dropped after the Australian match in 2011! And Ireland beat Australia at RWC 2011 due to good defence and good pressure (even got a scrum penalty) – I don’t think it was sexy rugby and Sexton.

          Sexton has done well for Leinster but needs to do more for Ireland. Even off quick ball, he still doesn’t do enough for me to be considered up with the very best. Still hesitant. And you think the Irish phase play is comparable to what you see down south?

          Looked as good as Carter! That’s a good one. It reminds me of the time when David Knox said O’Gara was not the second best fly-half in the world (after Carter) and got slaughtered after it. I think he was proved correct later.

  • dsb

    This is what happens when you do not pick a side based on performance (on &off the field), select players without match fitness and continue putting in positions where they are not particularly skilled. No real game plan. It was depressing to watch them dominated by a team passionate and skilful about winning. Time for a significant overhaul before we face the ABs and Boks etc.

  • Whinging_Pom

    Lydiate was superb. He should have got at least an 8. Superb tackling: one n Tomane got the Lions a penalty, which HP kicked over to make it 10 nil and then his chop tackle on Ben Robinson right in front of the Lions try line, caused BR to knock he ball on. He even carried well and cleared out rucks time and again. Every team needs a Lydidate type player.

  • brop

    has to be pointed out that Leali’ifano was not “solid” in defence but appallingly bad. he was responsible for both the Sexton and Roberts tries. in both cases he totally failed to read the play and ended up out of position and unable to make crucial tackles. he also made very few positive defensive contributions and was barely present in attack. there is no way that he should be rated higher than JOC and AAC who both but in decent performances.

  • A. Fox-Russell

    Firstly, well played Lions. Deserved the win, painful as it was to watch. Very painful.

    I thought we actually looked the more dangerous side when we were able to keep hold of the ball either side of half-time. Clearly the Wallabies knew they would score if they stayed in the Lions’ 22 and kept the ball, something they obviously took from Melbourne. Some brain-explosion defence lapses caused the blow out in the second half and from there we were mentally defeated, but apart from that the two areas I thought we really sucked were kicking and of course the scrum.

    Don’t get me wrong, we were pie, and nowhere close to being the better side. However I don’t think our scrummaging is as bad as it’s being made out to be. We showed that in the first two tests. We were well beaten yes, but once the ref has decided you’re the weaker side (whether you ACTUALLY are or not) and starts pinging you, it has a disproportionate effect on the score and compound-affects the mental state of the players. So we started going into every scrum under huge pressure not to give away penalties, when in reality it was not ALWAYS our fault that someone has popped up or the scrum has collapsed.

    What about this for an idea..feel free to rubbish it. Less of a hit, or even NO HIT on scrum. You’re still competing for the ball once the scrum has been packed down but there is less of a chance of instability from the enormous impact of the hit. If anything, the element of competition for supremacy would be increased as both sides would be forced to exert pressure from a “still” start. The emphasis would be on strength and technique as a pack. Not on timing to try and get the first hit on the other guy for that initial shove, which in my opinion is often the reason for the scrum going down and generally being a mess. If it was a “still” start, it would be much clearer who the stronger scrummager was, and it that case, the ref can ping away as much as he likes as rewarding the better side becomes less about his guesswork.

    • Colm

      I thought too that generally Australia looked better with ball in hand than the Lions but obviously the scrum annihalation (another scrum penalty for the Lions to go 6 up) and then that defensive lapse by Lealifano (as said by brop) at 16-22 contributed to the heavy defeat.

      No comment on scrum suggestion!

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