Player ratings: Oz sneak home
Sat, 15 Sep 2012 12:35
The Wallabies were made to work hard for their 23-19 victory but showed good composure in the closing stages to secure a tense win over Argentina.
The home side battled to get their game going in their first Test on the Gold coast as they were frustrated by a determined Pumas outfit, but got things together in the final quarter of the match to make it two wins on the trot.
It was by no means a fluent display from coach Robbie Deans' team, and although they showed good character to get over the line they know that there are plenty of areas for improvement ahead of their trip to South Africa and Argentina.
We rate the Australian players:
15 Berrick Barnes:
Showed composure in his new position of fullback and looked solid under the high ball. Took the ball at first-receiver a few times and attacked the gainline well, but the two goal-kicks that bounced off the post will hurt.
14 Dominic Shipperley:
Had limited opportunities to impress and chased hard but was kept fairly quiet by the Pumas who did not give him any space to work with on the outside.
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper:
Showed that outside centre is his best position by making the most of the ball he got and stepping well. Defended well but needed more opportunities to assert himself on the opposition.
12 Pat McCabe:
A mixed bag, picking up a yellow card and a try. Played with plenty of intent, showed impressive speed to haul in Gonzalo Camacho just before he got sent to the sin bin and then showed the value of his physically direct approach when he busted over for his try from close range.
11 Digby Ioane:
Did his best to get involved and was shut down quickly by the alert Pumas defence but his persistence was rewarded when he got over for his try. Looked dangerous in space and tackled hard in another impressive performance.
10 Quade Cooper:
A sloppy, error-strewn game which put his teammates under pressure. He dropped the ball, threw intercept passes and lost the ball forward far too often before giving the Pumas a charge-down try. Definitely a game he will want to forget quickly.
9 Nick Phipps:
Showed some promising signs, not least his work down the blindside to set up Ioane's decisive try, but some room for improvement as well. Provided sharp service and tried to vary his game, but his kicking was simply not good enough.
8 Radike Samo:
Presented a threat with the ball and made good ground with some strong running. Provided a useful line-out presence and managed to rip the ball off Juan Martin Hernandez, but butchered a certain try by losing the ball forward over the tryline.
7 Michael Hooper:
Ran hard throughout the match but did not make a big impact at the breakdown as Argentina committed numbers to the tackle area. Missed a few opportunities but worked incredibly hard on defence.
6 Dave Dennis:
Carried the ball well and attacked the gainline in a generally assured display. Did the basics well and looked solid, provided some front-foot ball for his side and also a handy line-out option.
5 Nathan Sharpe:
An average performance from the veteran who cost his team valuable momentum through some basic errors. Got caught offside and his handling let him down at times.
4 Kane Douglas:
Took the game to the Pumas forwards with some hard running and tackling. Stood firm in the tight exchanges and tried to get into the Pumas' faces admirably.
3 Ben Alexander:
Was put under pressure at scrum-time but showed up well in open play again. Things got tougher in the scrums when he had to shift across to loosehead, but his running and tackling was impressive again.
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau:
Gave his team a physical edge up front but some dodgy line-out throwing put them under some pressure as well. He is an abrasive presence but his handling let him down at times.
1 Benn Robinson:
Only played for half an hour before being replaced by James Slipper and did not make much of an impact in his time on the field.
16 Saia Fainga'a:
17 James Slipper (on for Robinson, 30 mins):
The front row was less stable once he came on, tried to get involved as much as possible but battled to match the Pumas in the tight exchanges.
18 Scott Higginbotham (on for Samo 53 mins):
Added some urgency, but did not get the opportunity to impose himself on the opposition.
19 Liam Gill (on for Dennis, 75 mins):
Not enough time to be rated.
20 Brett Sheehan:
21 Anthony Fainga'a (on for Berrick Barnes, 70 mins):
Tackled hard in his short time on the pitch, but did not get many chances to run.
22 Kurtley Beale (on for Shipperley, 66 mins):
Added a spark when he came on, firstly as a blood replacement and then again late in the game.
By Michael de Vries
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