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Player ratings: Oz scrape through

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 08:15
Pocock---north630

The Wallabies were made to work hard, but they did enough to scrape another win over Wales and claim a series whitewash.

Wales have forced Robbie Deans' team to show some character on this tour, and they delivered once again as although it was not entirely convincing they showed good mental toughness to edge another narrow victory.

The Tri-Nations champions battled to get any meaningful momentum going on attack, and fought hard considering how they struggled to take advantage of their opportunities.

They will want to show greater fluency in the future, but will be very pleased with the composure they showed under pressure, which will be valuable experience heading into the Rugby Championship.

We rate the Australian players:

15 Kurtley Beale:
A bit of a shocker on his return to Test rugby. He made numerous errors which overshadowed a few glimpses of brilliance. His handling let him down at crucial stages, and he lacked the accuracy to take advantage of the opportunities that he got.
4/10

14 Adam Ashley-Cooper:
A solid performance out wide, he chased and tackled hard although he did not get many chances to shine with ball-in-hand.
6/10

13 Rob Horne:
Looked for work and ran his usual direct lines, as well as providing a sound defensive presence. His determined efforts were rewarded with a try when he did well to maintain control of the ball over the line.
7/10

12 Pat McCabe:
Started the game in characteristic fashion, bashing his way over the gainline and making some big tackles before a bloody nose saw him leave the field earlier than he would have liked.
6/10

11 Digby Ioane:
Looked dangerous when he got the ball in space, and provided an important physical presence out wide, but never got enough opportunities to stamp his mark on the game.
6/10

10 Berrick Barnes:
Not as polished as he was last week, with some sloppy kicking and passing stunting his team's momentum at times. He did well when rushed by the Welsh who were up quickly in defence, and also produced another convincing goal-kicking display.
7/10

9 Will Genia:
Did not feature as much as he was put under pressure by the physical Welsh pack, but provided his usual quality service and made some sniping breaks.
6/10

8 Wycliff Palu:
A mixed bag from the powerful No.8 who got over the gainline with some strong carries but lost the ball in contact too often. He made some big hits on defence but needs to show more consistency.
5/10

7 David Pocock:
An outstanding performance from the skipper who was lethal at the breakdown, securing crucial turnovers, and also carried the ball well, forcing the Welsh back in contact.
9/10

6 Scott Higginbotham:
Worked hard on defence and proved his worth at line-out time by stealing some Welsh ball, but also lost the ball forward in the tackle and did not make his usual impact.
6/10

5 Nathan Sharpe:
A typically determined performance from the tough veteran, he made a few errors but did the basics well and provided a dependable second row presence.
6/10

4 Sitaleki Timani:
Struggled to impose himself on the Welsh and did not dominate the tight exchanges as he was expected to.
5/10

3 Sekope Kepu:
Tried to get involved in open play but gave away a penalty for sealing off a ruck on attack. Held his own at scrum-time in another solid if not dominant performance.
6/10

2 Tatafu Polota Nau:
Made an impact with his intensity in contact, flying into tackles and forcing his way over the gainline, but was not reliable enough in the set-pieces. He engaged early at a scrum and was not accurate enough in the line-outs.
6/10

1 Benn Robinson:
Struggled to assert himself early on in the scrums which were a bit hit and miss, but impressed in open play - competing for the ball on the ground and looking for work.
7/10

Replacements:

16 Stephen Moore:
(On for Polota-Nau, 56 mins)
Battled to find his feet immediately, losing the ball in contact and struggling at scrum-time, but settled down and tightened things up after that.
6/10

17 Ben Alexander:
(On for Kepu, 56 mins)
Gave away a vital scrum penalty shortly after coming on, but improved and made ground with the ball in hand late in the game.
5/10

18 Rob Simmons:
(On for Timani, 72 mins)
Not on for long enough to make a telling impact, but worked hard in his limited time.
6/10

19 Dave Dennis:
(On for Higginbotham, 56 mins)
Added some physicality in contact with a few determined runs and made an impact on defence as well.
7/10

20 Michael Hooper:
Not used.

21 Nic White:
Not used.

22 Anthony Faingaa:
(On for McCabe, 34 mins)
Tackled and ran hard when he got the opportunity but was not able to create much in a tense conclusion to the match.
6/10

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