Player ratings: Welsh heartbreak

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 13:30

Wales were left heartbroken as a famous victory slipped through their grasp with the last kick of their battle against Australia in Melbourne.

The visitors performed well as a team, which was shown in the determined defensive effort they managed against a dangerous Australian side, but ultimately came up short in the most agonising fashion.

There were not many star performers as it was an effort built on their committed attitude as a collective, which almost got them the massive scalp of the Tri-Nations champions in their back yard.

The Six Nations champions showed plenty of fighting spirit, and although the defeat will sting for a while they should be encouraged by a good performance in the southern hemisphere.

We rate the Welsh players:

15 Leigh Halfpenny:
Another impressive match for the dependable fullback. He was good under the high ball and also added some creativity when he joined the backline.

14 Alex Cuthbert:
Got involved by coming off his wing and looking for work, and stood up well to Digby Ioane despite his lack of experience. Handling errors let him down at times but he will have worse games for Wales.

13 Jonathan Davies:
Showed a host of different skills by competing for the ball on the ground, asking questions of the Australian defence and shutting the Wallaby midfield down. displayed good composure to control the ball for his try which was just reward for a good all-round effort.

12 Ashley Beck:
Linked well and made his tackles but did not stamp his identity on the match as he continues to find his feet at this level.

11 George North:
Showed great strength to force his way over for the opening try, but a few basic errors crept into his game and he was caught out when he let the ball bounce just outside his 22.

10 Rhys Priestland:
He bombarded the opposition with high kicks of varying quality, but on the occasions he did not put boot to ball he showed some good touches and carried the ball up well.

9 Mike Phillips:
A mixed display as although he posed a threat as a runner from the base of the ruck he was caught in possession too often and can also improve the accuracy of his kicking game.

8 Ryan Jones:
Carried it up well, thundering into Australian defenders tirelessly and gave the Welsh pack some vital grunt with his physical commitment.

7 Sam Warburton:
Not his best game, he worked hard and slowed the Wallabies' ball down but got exposed in midfield by Barnes to set up the Australian try and did not manage to make as much of an impact on the game as his opposite number Pocock.

6 Dan Lydiate:
Tackled his heart out and showed that he can be a handy line-out option, but also got penalised for not using his arms in a clean-out.

5 Alun Wyn Jones:
A determined performance which saw him at the forefront in the tight-loose. Posed an aerial threat at restarts and line-outs as well.

4 Bradley Davies:
Got stuck into the tight exchanges in a hard-working performance and provided a solid option in the line-outs.

3 Adam Jones:
Put under pressure at times up front by Benn Robinson but got stronger as the game went on and provided a typically solid presence for Wales.

2 Matthew Rees:
His line-out throwing was horribly erratic and although he put in a strong showing in open play he needs to sharpen up considerably in the set-pieces.

1 Gethin Jenkins:
He was a threat at the breakdown and had the better of Australian tighthead Kepu at scrum-time, although he did give away a penalty late in the match.


16 Richard Hibbard:
(On for Rees 66th minute)
Blown up for collapsing the maul at the death which gave Harris the opportunity to snatch victory, but otherwise added some energy.

17 Paul James:
Not used

18 Luke Charteris:
(On for Wyn Jones, 68th minute)
Injected some urgency to the Welsh forward play, but did not get much of a chance to assert himself.

19 Justin Tipuric:
Not used

20 Rhys Webb:
(On for Mike Phillips, 66th minute)
Did the basics well and provided good service without trying to do too much on his own.

21 James Hook:
Not used

22 Scott Williams:
Not used