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Player ratings: Hard luck

Sat, 09 Nov 2013 21:29
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More progress is needed
Quote-end

Wales will feel that with a bit of luck on their side, they could have recorded a second win over the Springboks at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The Six Nations champions had a torrid time against the second best team in the world - and it wasn’t entirely due to a difference in class.

Losing Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams in a double injury blow in the 12th minute rocked the Welsh and saw the Springboks go 17-6 up after just 17 minutes.

Wales effectively had to play catch-up from there on out and recovered well to close the gap to two - only for the Springboks to score a controversial try through veteran scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, which seemingly took the wind out of the Welsh’s sails.

They clearly didn’t have the rub of the green, but it would be naïve to suggest that’s the predominant reason why Wales lost another big game against the Springboks.

The Welsh, frankly, never looked like scoring a try. They were outmuscled at the gainline and found wanting in the line-outs, while the scrums were a lottery.

Those are the reasons for the defeat, and while they were unlucky in some aspects, they will know that more progress is needed if they are to topple a major southern hemisphere force.       

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Welsh players.

15 Leigh Halfpenny
His unerring boot kept Wales in the game for the most part and his versatility proved valuable after injuries forced a reshuffle of the backline.
7.5/10

14 George North

A constant threat with his mix of power and pace.  
7.5/10

13 Jonathan Davies

Made a great run before he succumbed to injury. Not enough time to be rated.

12 Scott Williams
His underwhelming effort underlined how much Wales miss Jamie Roberts when the latter is unavailable. Failed to trouble the Springbok defence and was suspect on defence.
6/10

11 Liam Williams

Not enough time to be rated.

10 Rhys Priestland
Kept the Springboks guessing by varying his game and attacking the line, and defended really well. However, he failed to take the match at the scruff of the neck, especially when the opportunity arose when the visitors were down to 14 men.
6.5/10

9 Mike Phillips

His size and physically helped Wales out on more than one occasion at the ruck, where he not only retained scrappy possession but also gained some ground in the process.
6.5/10

8 Toby Faletau

Took the physical challenge to the Springboks as Wales’ key ball carrier. Beat three defenders in his 11 runs and didn’t miss a tackle all game.
7/10

7 Sam Warburton (captain)

Energetic but not always effective as he was blown up on occasions. His hard and low tackling was exemplary, particularly against the brawny Boks, he carried well and kept the continuity going with a couple of offloads in contact.
6.5/10

6 Dan Lydiate

Beaten for pace and power by the Springbok loose forwards.
6/10

5 Alun Wyn Jones

Not even the British and Irish Lions lock’s line-out prowess was able to gain parity for the hosts in this set-piece and he conceded two penalties.
6/10

4 Bradley Davies

Also conceded a couple of penalties but really contributed across the park; carrying the ball up strongly and making several tackles in addition to managing the only line-out steal on the Springboks’ throw.
6.5/10

3 Adam Jones

Won the scrum battle against Tendai Mtawarira before he limped off on the half-hour mark.
7/10

2 Richard Hibbard

The Welsh forward that best stood up to the Springboks' physically. Gave as good as he got and inspired his side.
7/10

1 Gethin Jenkins

The veteran will be left nursing a bruised ego after conceding a string of scrum penalties to a Test debutant and ultimately being yellow carded.
5/10

Replacements:

16 Ken Owens
(on for Hibbard, 63rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Paul James (on for Andrews, 40th minute)
Held up his end of the scrum and made some metres with ball in hand.
6.5/10

18 Scott Andrews
(on for A Jones, 30th minute)
Bizarre played only 10 minutes before being replaced. Not enough time to be rated.

19 Luke Charteris (on for AW Jones, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Justin Tipuric (on for Lydiate, 63rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Lloyd Williams (on for Phillips, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 James Hook (on for L Williams, 12th minute)
Offered some creativity to the backline and sparked a couple of promising attacks.
7/10

23 Ashley Beck
(on for J Davies, 12th minute)
Brave under the high ball and asked questions on attack.
6.5/10

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