Player ratings: Master of puppets

Sat, 16 Nov 2013 17:40
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Cooper at his bamboozling best

Mercurial flyhalf Quade Cooper pulled the strings as the Wallabies scored a comprehensive 32-15 win over Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

With the Wallaby pack surprisingly dominating the Irish physically, both in the tight loose and in the scrums, Cooper had a blank canvas to paint a picture of pivotal prowess - and he painted a masterpiece.  

It was an ominous sign of what the Wallabies are capable of if their forwards come to the party.

Stephen Moore led the forward charge in every way and showed he's far from done on the Test arena.     

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Ireland players.

15 Israel Folau
So athletic and fearless in the air, turning high balls into counter-attacking opportunities regardless of having next to no space. In general attack, though, his flashy offloads didn’t go to hand.  

14 Adam Ashley-Cooper

Solid on defence but the least active of the Wallaby backs, content to coast out on the wing.

13 Tevita Kuridrani

Made little impact on attack and was red carded for a cynical late tip tackle on Peter O'Mahony.

12 Matt Toomua

Most striking was his efficiency in tandem with his polar opposite Cooper. He was also a machine of defence, leading the tackle count with 15 hits. Needs to work on his restarts.

11 Nick Cummins

Absolutely lethal with ball in hand and popped up all over the park. Almost grabbed a double and made ample metres with his pace, hard-running and fancy footwork.

10 Quade Cooper

Exhibited his uncanny playmaking skills - excellent vision, timing and execution to bamboozle the Irish before he scored a majestic individual try. His tactical-kicking was top class as well and he missed just two kicks at goals.   

9 Will Genia

Even behind a dominant pack, he was far from his best and was mostly happy to act as a link.  

8 Ben Mowen (captain)

Industrious in the tight loose, rock solid on defence (12 tackles) and a safe line-out option.

7 Michael Hooper

Won the official man of the match award but blew hot and cold in my opinion. Often penalised and yellow carded, which allowed Ireland back into the match, and was the beneficiary when it came to his two tries. Not a bad game by any means, but not the most influential.  

6 Scott Fardy

Excellent offload to put Hooper in for his first try but quiet overall.

5 James Horwill

Just one line-out take and conceded three penalties.

4 Rob Simmons

Dependable in the line-out and stole one five metres from the Irish try-line.

3 Sekope Kepu

Being part of a dominant front row boosted his score as he was a defensive liability.

2 Stephen Moore

Exceptional in all facets. Ran a good line and threw a good ball for Cummins to score, took the physical challenge to the Irish, made as many tackles as Hooper (10) and was outstanding in the set pieces.

1 James Slipper

Strong at scrum time and impressively mobile across the park.


16 Tatafu Polota-Nau
(on for Moore, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Benn Robinson (on for Slipper, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Paddy Ryan (on for Kepu, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Sitaleki Timani (on for Horwill, 56th minute)
Not used in the line-out and didn’t make a single carry. Not what you’d call impactful.

20 Liam Gill
(on for Hooper, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Nic White (on for Genia, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Christian Lealiifano (on for Cooper, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Joe Tomane (on for Ashley-Cooper, 57th minute)
Knocked on his first and best opportunity and slipped a couple of tackles.