Wallaby player ratings: Sydney Bledisloe - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallaby player ratings: Sydney Bledisloe

Wallaby player ratings: Sydney Bledisloe

I finally subjected myself to the replay and here’s my stab at the player ratings. Tally with what you saw? Scoring system at the bottom.

1. Benn Robinson: Steady, but not spectacular. Has lost some edge in the loose. 5

2. Stephen Moore: Early head nock took it’s toll, but also a little anonymous. 5

3. Al Baxter: By his own admission he can’t keep attracting this heat. 3

4. James Horwill: Still hasn’t clicked back to top form, but worked away 5

5. Nathan Sharpe: Goes to ground far too readily (as Jimmy Cowan proved) but did throw his body around the park. 6

6. Rocky Elsom: Two penalties in the first 7 minutes, weren’t the plan, but even injured he brought back some much needed physicality. 7

7. George Smith (c):
Was competing at every breakdown as well as playing the linking role and doing Brown’s job. 8 G&GR’s Wallaby man of the match

8.  Richard Brown: Second major brainfart in two tests. Also just doesn’t have the presence for number 8. 3

9. Luke Burgess: Strong game around the park, although more accuracy in service still required. 6

10. Matt Giteau: Only one word for his control of this game; shithouse. I seriously hope his kicking was some sort of deliberate misguided tactic as it was a key factor in the loss. Currently getting worse with each game. 3

11. Lachie Turner: A few lapses in the containment of Sivivatu. 4

12. Berrick Barnes: Is obviously now key to the Wallaby attack, although injured again. What a surprise. 6

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper: Dangerous in attack and defence. 7

14. Drew Mitchell: His greatest talent on Saturday was for creating “Campo” style horror moments. Surely a casualty. 2

15. James O’Connor: Looked sparky, if a little out of depth before limping off. 6

Bench
Tatafu Polota-Nau: A presence around the field. 6
Ben Alexander: Did enough in the scrum, but not much else. 5
Dean Mumm: Usual toil 5
David Pocock: Anonymous. The ‘Bring back Waugh’ campaign gathers momentum 4
Will Genia: Inoffensive, but not much more. 5
Ryan Cross: A couple of incisive runs. 6
Peter Hynes: Made a strong case for re-call 7

Rating system:
10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Man of the match worthy performance
8 – Outstanding
7 – Good game, great in parts
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.

  • Springbok

    What really surprises me, looking at the ranking of each player above, is how the Boks are given a tongue lashing by the Aussie media for their style of play. I don’t believe the Bok team would have been given such low scores as above for any of their matches thus far. Maybe if our rivals didn’t spoil everything at the breakdown we would score more tries and kick less penalties……..

    • Newb

      a side that wins usually does garner higher ratings….

      it ain’t rocket science.

    • @Springbok, I agree with you in regards with the spoiling tactics at the breakdown. Even in this game, look how the All Blacks went off their feet at every ruck, or just used general illegal play.

      Both the Wallabies and the All Blacks have used spoiling tactics at every opporuniy during their tests against the Springboks this year.

  • Northern Lion

    A little rich a bok complaining about spoiling with Burger and Botha both world leaders in the lie all over the ball championship.

    Simple evidence is the quick ball( and result) in the third Lions game.

  • Joe Blow

    Ratings are pretty accurate. Very sad when your pack rates so lowly.

    Horwill has been missing all year. What happened to his 2008 form?

    Giteau had a bit of an armchair ride early in his career slotting in between Larkham and Mortlock. Didn’t he learn anything about leadership and performing under pressure?
    It is pretty tough for Smith to arrange a field goal attempt when his head is buried in a ruck trying desperately to secure the ball.
    Giteau, being the most experienced member of the current backline, needs to embrace his leadership role and show a cool head when the pressure comes on.
    Barnes shows the qualities of a leader but goes down early in just about every test.

    Suck it up sunshine. You are playing for your country.

    • Gits could have nailed that drop goal in the last few mins of the game no excuses whatsoever. But they all decided to run it and try and get a 5 pointer. This is where the smart rugby part comes in. The wallabies needed only 3 points to win it.

      The abs held on to finish the game and what a relief on their faces when they won it. Its simple, you play to win. And close games like this one, you should take the easiest option to score points. Barnes could have taken that field goal too.

      I am looking forward to the game in Hamilton. The abs have a score to settle with the boks. DC is back and has boosted the morale in the team by wining it with that penalty kick.

      The wallabies, I feel will be up to it in Perth. Forget about last weeks result. They have it in them to pull of one of the biggest upsets in Tri-nations history. Smart rugby is the key and less mistakes.

      • Robson

        Mate I don’t like telling you this in the hearing of our Oz cuzzy bros, but the player ratings we just saw indicate only one thing. The Wallabies aren’t up to it now, have never been up to it this season and won’t be up to it in the remaining 3 matches of the season.

        The losses they have had and the way they have lost them is now idelibly ingrained in their phyche and sub consciously, deep down, they don’t believe they can win. Which is the reason why so many grunty players like Horwill, Robinson, Brown and Alexander are becoming more and more like shadows of themselves.

        The Northern Hemisphere tour where they will encounter teams that play the game a bit differently to the ABs and Boks is the best chance they have for redemption in 2009.

        I’m a strong supporter of Wallaby rugby, but it’s pure hell supporting them at this present time when you’re a Kiwi.

        So I’ll watch the remaining matches, but will be anaethetizing myself with something a bit stronger than the usual Steinlager. At least I will have something to giggle about when the ref blows full time.

      • Barnes went off at half time with an injury, hence our positional kicking went to shit in the second half and we lost the game. Gits still should have tried a drop goal

    • beeza

      yeah, barnes should know that every time he goes off during a game other teams are going to target him more. He definately has the best composure and smarts though, they should bandage him up larkham style for some much needed protection.!

    • wannabprop

      Agree with everything you say here Joe, except that Smith shouldn’t be let off lightly for the non field goal attempt (along with Giteau) – the call should’ve been given long before he had his head buried in a ruck. The leadership group appear collectively clueless.

  • CanadianRugby

    Disagree with Sweet Az, I think this year’s tri-nations is done. The Wallabies seem to have totally run out of answers and I just don’t see the ABs putting it back together in time to beat the Boks. The Bok pack is just too good. Dan Carter is a truly gifted player, but the ABs and Wallabies are neck and neck right now, and either has even come close to approaching the boks. I desperately hope I’m wrong, but I can’t see it.

    As for people trying to slow down the ball at rucks. I have terrible news for everyone, ALL teams try to do it. Its a skill that involves beating the other team’s forwards and playing the ref. If you think any single team anywhere in world rugby thinks “We’ll just let them have the ball and hope it works out” you’re insane. The boks, ABs and Wallabies all try to do it, just happens the boks are best at it. If you want to beat the Boks, figure out how to win at the breakdown.

  • Good stuff Gagger.

    Those who stood out for me:

    – Ser George
    – Lord Ashley-Cooper
    – Buster Barnes
    – “I’m a leopard” Hynes

    Those who should be benched (for many reasons):

    – Pony Gits
    – Never Sharpe
    – Brainy Brown
    – Hair Mitchell

    Those who should be in the squad:

    – Captain Blood Waugh
    – Palu OR Hoiles
    – DIGBY .. just give him some miracle cure or something, we need him like a piece of toast needs vegemite.

    • Seb V

      was wondering when some1 was going to mention digby!… we need a spark like him in the backline.

  • Robson

    And the latest on the injury front is not great either. Sharpe out and Barnes out. We can do without Sharpe (I think), but not Barnes.

    So my team for what it’s worth (which is probably nothing) is Mumm in at lock, George back to No. 8, Waugh at 7 and Genia at half.

    Hynes in for Mitchell, Cross will have to play now and keep AAC at 12. Maybe take a risk and play JOC at 12 with AAC at fullback.

    Yeah take a risk Robbie and try something different for God’s sake or at least Australia’s sake.

    Something very different needs to happen and now is the time. There is nothing to lose except the test and that was a goner anyway.

    • Nashi

      That would be my plan Robson, don’t forget JOC played outside Gits at Force, so there is a combo there. He could interchange with AAC at 15 on defence.

      • Seb V

        yeh JOC at inside centre would work. Actually i think that would be his best suited position. AAC is good anywhere really lol

  • K Dog

    Aaah the pain of being a Wallaby supporter. I love the wallabies but I feel they ain’t got it this season. Have been saying for a time now put Barnes at flyhalf. He controlled the game well in SA when 2 players were off the field. Gits is not up to it. Put Hynes back on bring in Ben Mowen.
    Gotta to hand it to the ABs they know how to work for field position to win. I think the Bokke are going to blow the Wallabies off the park. no hunger left in the tank for the Wallabies i am sad to say.

    • put Barnes at flyhalf – Injured
      Put Hynes back on – i rekon this will happen
      bring in Ben Mowen – injured.

      Cattle is getting a little thin on the ground to do much at all…

  • Ed

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why they put Barnes to instead to begin with. I don’t think anyone else could either, but we were all dazed by the robbie’s honeymoon I guess.

    At the RWC Barne’s was our shining light. He was Larkham-eque and the fear I had for the wallabies after Larkham’s depature had been cured.

    As his battered body may indicate it doesn’t seem has the physical presence or agility to handle 12. BUT he has the best hands in the wallabies so Robbie bloody-well put him back at 10.

    • Seb V

      i agree, gits its good and i dont want ppl to think we ae just saying put barnes at flyhalf cos he’s having a bad few games. But seriously barnes would be better suited as i believe he is a much better tactical kicker and has the best composure n hands of the wallabies pack. put gits back at inside where his explosiveness can still be used.

  • gee

    you cant praise giteau previously for his performance at flyhalf and all of a sudden turn on him for some crappy performances. Granted he is not at his best, but im sure even dan carter could not win with the present wallabies team.

    • Gee a comedian…ha ha lol lol

      Mate, DC will never ever play for the Wallabies. And it takes 15 blokes to win a game of rugby union. Go back under your rock for another 50 years….

      Gits is the best fly half the wallabies have. But I guess he was up against the best the abs have in DC.

      If gits wasn’t thinking of taking that drop goal, so what, at least he slotted in 6 from 6. How good is that. The blame is not solely his but the whole team and the coach.

      The wallabies just need that hunger and that good old wallaby never say die passion to get them back to their winning ways.

      Before the Tri- nations, the expectations from the wallaby public was full of positives. An example….. The wallabies beat the French without a problem but the abs lost to France and just managed to win the 2nd game.

      You all thought that the wallabies would smash the living daylights out of the abs. But twice you all were proved wrong. The later hurt much more because it was a closer score and the game was played at one of your favorite venues.

      What a bunch of sore losers. If the wallabies win against the boks this weekend you will all be full of praisers for the team. Get your acts together and support your gladiators, no matter what the situation.

  • I’m not convinced we need massive sweeping changes. It’s not like we’re losing these matches by much, had Smith acted like a captain and told Giteau to take a drop goal then the same 22 could well run out in Perthfontein next week unopposed.

    Still, I’d like to see Palu/Waugh come in for Brown/Pocock, and a few changes to cover the injuries.

    • Good point Mosebru. It hurts to lose – like it should – but these haven’t been thrashings (yet).

      Perhaps more importantly, there isn’t a whole lot to choose from to make any real impact.

    • mel

      how was capt George supposed to make that kind of decision when he had his head in a ruck??????

    • Who Needs Melon

      Giteau isn’t some rookie who needs to be told what to do is he?!?

      If he’d walked off the field and Deans asked him “why didn’t you drop goal?” and he’d said “nobody told me to” how do you think that would have gone down?

  • Springbok

    Barnes at flyhalf would do a lot for this wallaby side. When he moved over to replace Gits after the (non-cited!) elbow to the smallest Bok on the field, he was brilliant.
    He has an unbelievable kicking game and a great eye for the drop. As a Bok supporter I would fear this current Wallaby backline if 10 and 12 swopped around. Gits with more space and Barnes dictating with the boot. Could be scary for the opposition.

    • Seb V

      totally agree

  • Joe Blow

    Mumm has been doing a good job late in the game, particularly against the Boks.
    Think Deans will go for Chisolm to start alongside Horwill in the 2nd row with Mumm coming in early in the second spell, maybe at blindside as Chisolm and Horwill should be good for the full 80.
    It goes without saying that Alexander should start at TH and Baxter on the bench (Maybe Cowan should be on the bench?).
    Palu should come in at 8 with Brown to the bench for a late cameo.
    AAC went well at 12 for the second half in Sydney and they should probably leave him there and Cross at 13 for least amount of disruption. Cooper comes onto the bench.

    Hynes starts in place of Lachie Turner, who still looks out of his depth when it gets tough.

    If we are going to have a decent chance in Perth we need Moore, Horwill, Palu and Giteau to really pick it up and show the form we know they are capable of.
    C’mon boys, time for a big performance.

  • I think in the 3 losses so far, I think AAC has been the most consistent Wallaby player over those matches, and agree that he played very well this past weekend.

  • Henry

    I really dont think Mitchell deserved a 2. That one terrible kick…
    Everyone saying how many meters Hynes made, rugbystats says he made 69m with 6 touches while Mitchell made 51m in 4 touches. (Turner 32m with 5 touches)

    The line break made by Hynes- (not the people inside him?)- i can’t help but think if it were either Mitchell or Turner they would have backed themselves, shown some pace and got to the line if they had been in the same situation. Not done some rubbish grubber into Sivi’s foot…

    • I really dont think Mitchell deserved a 2. That one terrible kick…

      I was more thinking about the fuck up in the bottom right corner that led to the final penalty that gave the ABs the game.

  • piggies 7

    In terms of overhaul before Perth, Barnes is injured, which fucks things up. Therefore my humble 22 would look something like:

    1. Robbo
    2. Squeaky Moore
    3. Le Fuse?? or Big ben?
    4. Jimmy Horwill
    5. Mummy
    6. Rocky (if he is indeed fit)
    7. Jorj
    8. Persist with cliffy once again , let him play himself into form
    9. Luke Durj
    10. Gits (If Barnes was fit, swap em around)
    11. Peter Hynes
    12. Acca-Cooper (mr fix it)
    13. Ryan C.
    14. hair mitchell or lakkie?
    15. JOC, i guess. the back three is looking pretty thin all of a sudden.

    bench: MAKE SURE WAUGH IS ON THE BENCH. None of this two opensides shit on the bench, as we lack physicallity all ready. Chisholm can cover lock/back row, and man of waugh can cover the back row.

    • I really don’t think 12 is AAC’s best, what about we drop him to 15 and put JOC at 12. if nothing it gives them some force familiarity with gits, JOC and cross in the midfield.

      Also firms up the back three.

      Another thing I wouldn’t mind is putting George to 8, playing waugh at 7 with rocky at 6. I think it adds a good balance.

      • I agree that AAC is better from the fullback spot.

        • Seb V

          i agree, JOC at inside, AAC at fullback. changing the forwards around like that would be a good idea. Smith should be played more often at 8. He has potential to do great there.

  • Robson

    I agree with any Wobbly team that is going to win.

  • Paul

    The Wallabies are just not up to the mark.
    In the last game against the All Blacks, I heard the commentator say that the Wallabies were “tired”. What is tired ?
    If you are tired — YOU ARE NOT FIT ENOUGH !!!! If you play for Australia and you can’t play 100 mins – you are simply not fit enough !!!. Get a new team that is fit !!! Tired is not an excuse !!!
    Get fit or get them out of there. We lost the last two games by ONE point, and in both cases we were in front of the posts of the all blacks, and NOBODY was ready to kick a field goal in the last two minutes. THAT IS SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH !!!!!!! This is not Kindergarten it is Wallabies v All Blacks. The only thing is, is that the Wallabies are “tired” – GIVE ME A BREAK !!!!!!!

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