Player ratings: Welsh frustration
Sat, 23 Jun 2012 09:12
Wales produced another determined effort only to come up agonisingly short once again, going down 20-19 to Australia in Sydney.
The Six Nations Grand Slam champions have shown impressive fighting spirit in every game against Australia, and despite another tense match they return home with nothing to show for it in what must be one of the most competitive series whitewashes ever.
In a game dominated by penalties Wales were let down by the discipline of their tight five, who gave the hosts too many opportunities in a tight Test match which could have gone either way.
The visitors will be incredibly frustrated that they did not manage to finish the Wallabies off on their home turf, especially considering the fact that they were within touching distance at the death once more.
We rate the Wales players:
15 Leigh Halfpenny:
Took a knock to the shoulder early on but shrugged it off to put together another assured performance. Ran hard and kicked accurately under pressure.
14 Alex Cuthbert:
Not many opportunities to stretch his legs but came off his wing and looked for work, providing a few important touches.
13 Jonathan Davies:
Took contact often, straightening the line when he got the chance. Made a great break in this way, but did not send the ball to the wings enough. Got caught offside but had a strong defensive game.
12 Ashley Beck:
A solid display, getting over the gainline effectively without creating too many opportunities for those outside him. Strong in the tackle and quick off the mark on defence.
11 George North:
Used his considerable physicality well on defence and looked threatening from counter-attacking opportunities in another encouraging performance.
10 Rhys Priestland:
Kicked less, and more effectively than last week, released his backline well and also attacked the line when he got the chance.
9 Mike Phillips:
A disappointing game for the veteran who made some good runs and kept the Wallabies alert on defence around the rucks but was let down by sloppy handling, wayward kicking and straying offside.
8 Ryan Jones:
Another hard-working performance capped with a deserved try. Showed good leadership when Warburton left the field and carried the ball up fearlessly.
7 Sam Warburton:
Only on the pitch for half an hour before taking a knock to the head, but a major improvement from last week. Made an impact at the breakdown and made good ground with the ball in hand as well.
6 Dan Lydiate:
Produced his usual physicality, but was not accurate enough and despite his impressive work ethic he was not as effective as he has been.
5 Alun Wyn Jones:
Let down by basic errors, he dropped a few restarts cold, and despite some determined work off the ball he will be disappointed with a patchy effort.
4 Bradley Davies:
Brought some important physicality to the tight exchanges and worked hard right until the end, providing some vital grunt in the second row.
3 Adam Jones:
Got the better of Benn Robinson in a few scrums, but also gave away his fair share of penalties, straying offside and sealing off at the breakdown which stopped his team's attacking momentum.
2 Matthew Rees:
He was a powerful presence in open play, barging over the gainline regularly, but his dodgy throwing in the line-out meant that his team lost important attacking possession at crucial stages.
1 Gethin Jenkins:
Battled through the first half and was whipped off at half-time after giving away a few penalties and struggling to make an impact on the game.
16 Ken Owens:
(On for Rees, 69 mins)
Worked hard in his limited time on the pitch, providing a solid presence up front.
17 Paul James:
(On for Jenkins, 40 mins)
Scrummed well when he first came on, but was blown up for scrumming in later in the game. Made his mark in open play with some hard tackling and powerful carries.
18 Luke Charteris:
(On for Alun Wyn Jones, 65 mins)
A forgettable outing for the lanky lock who gave away penalties and had his team marched back ten metres after shouting at the referee.
19 Justin Tipuric:
(On for Warburton, 28 mins)
An impressive display, he showed plenty of commitment and got stuck into the Wallabies as often as he could and proved to be a reliable line-out option.
20 Rhys Webb:
21 James Hook:
(On for Priestland, 69 mins)
Showed good awareness to hack ahead and chase hard as Wales threatened late in the game and was also solid on defence.
22 Scott Williams:
(On for Beck, 69 mins)
Showed plenty of enthusiasm and intent in his short time on the pitch.
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