British & Irish Lions 2013
Player ratings: Wobbly win
Sat, 29 Jun 2013 12:34
Brave calls get good results
One point and a penalty that dropped short. That was the margin - as Australia kept alive the series.
The Wallabies may have beaten the British and Irish Lions 16-15 in Melbourne, to take it to the decider in Sydney next week, but even the most ardent Aussie fans would admit it was a fortuitous win and a very wobbly performance.
There was great heart and a huge call by captain James Horwill to go for a try, instead of kicking at goal, inside the last 10 minutes.
But so often brave calls get good results and the Wallabies have the win - no matter how it came.
Jan de Koning rates the Australian players!
15 Kurtley Beale:
Showed good composure in the early stages and then some sublime skills to keep a ball in play when Sexton attempted to carve some extra metres with a penalty kick. Popped up at first receiver, although there was one bomb that he put down and another pass that was put down cold at a crucial stage in the second half.
14 Israel Folau:
Showed his amazing skills in the air, but looked suspect on defence and missed a couple of tackles. He also still lacks the understanding of a seasoned Rugby Union player, although he was used more in the last 10 minutes.
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper:
Great restarts, twice winning the ball back after the Lions had just scored. Was a monster on defence and scored the only try by running a great angle in the 76th minute.
12 Christian Lealiifano:
Lasted more that 30 seconds and showed why he was first-choice goal-kicker. His hands let him down at times, but that conversion four minutes from time to take the lead showed he has BMT, bags full of it.
11 Joe Tomane:
Looked threatening with ball in hand, but gave away a penalty for obstruction and also cost his team by stepping into touch with no defender close by. Then coughed up the ball five metres from the line in the final 10 minutes.
10 James O'Connor:
Put a ball down cold after Israel Folau won the ball back for his team and the scoring chance was lost. His hands let him down, a no-look inside pass that went nowhere inside the last 10 minutes, got caught with ball in hand and also put a ball out on the full three minutes from time, which could have been a game-changer. Failed to make an impact as a flyhalf and his position may well be out much wider, perhaps fullback.
9 Will Genia:
A very nervous early pass that looped to Beale, but kept exploring and keeping the Lions defensive lines honest. His box kicks were also very effective.
8 Wycliff Palu:
Some strong ball carries, even though he didn't always make as much ground as he would have liked. Conceded a silly penalty, missed a tackle and coughed up a couple of balls which robbed his team of momentum.
7 Michael Hooper:
Made plenty of tackles, into double figures, but a missed tackle and a silly penalty sullied an otherwise solid performance.
6 Ben Mowen:
Was really good value in the line-outs and strong on defence, but conceded a crucial penalty after the full-time hooter - luckily for him Leigh Halfpenny was short.
5 James Horwill:
Was rather quiet in the first half, with just a few carries and also conceded a penalty. He got much better in the second half and won a crucial line-out/maul turnover.
4 Kane Douglas:
Was virtually anonymous in the first half and also conceded a penalty. Didn't get much better after the break, but he made all his tackles.
3 Ben Alexander:
Had the better of Makovina Vunipola in the early scrums, but then got done at a scrum on the half-hour mark. Again had the edge early in the second half, before being turned inside out again. His workrate could have been better and missed a tackle.
2 Stephen Moore:
Went off his feet at a ruck, after the Wallabies had won the counter ruck and then his hands also let him down. Worked hard on defence.
1 Benn Robinson:
Got done in a crucial first-half scrum, made hardly any metres with five first-half carries and otherwise contributed very little. Also conceded a crucial penalty, along with Mowen, late in the game. Made just four tackles - workrate an issue.
16 Saia Fainga'a:
17 James Slipper (on for Robinson, 76):
Not enough time to be rated.
18 Sekope Kepu (on for Alexander, 58):
His contribution was minimal, other than two ineffective carries.
19 Rob Simmons (on for Douglas, 53):
Did not make the desired impact.
20 Liam Gill (on for Palu, 60):
Crucial steal two minutes from time, although there was a missed tackle.
21 Nick Phipps:
22 Rob Horne (on for Ashley-Cooper, 79):
Not enough time to be rated.
23 Jesse Mogg:
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