Player ratings: The almost team

Sat, 30 Nov 2013 19:57
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Wales is befitting of the moniker the 'almost team', following their 26-30 loss to Australia in Cardiff on Saturday.

Wales is befitting of the moniker the 'almost team', following their 26-30 loss to Australia in Cardiff on Saturday.

Coming back from 16-30 down, they had a real chance of getting a reversal.
However, as has been the case so often in the past against the Wallabies, they fell just short.

Wales' losing margins in their last three  encounters with Australia - before Saturday's Millennium Stadium match - were two (12-14), one (19-20) and two (23-25).

That is very much their story against the Southern Hemisphere giants - often threatening to upset, but not quite getting there.

Jan de Koning rated the Welsh players!

15 Leigh Halfpenny:
Showed some sublime counter-attacking form and dealt with the high bombs without too much trouble. However, his out-of-hand kicking requires a lot of work and his defence also let him down.

14 Alex Cuthbert:
Missed more tackles than he made and had no impact with ball in hand.

13 Owen Williams:
Was effective on defence, but was shut down too easily on attack and conceded a crucial penalty.

12 Scott Williams:
He made all his tackles, 16 of them, but there was no real impact on attack.

11 George North:
Showed great vision and skill in scoring the opening try. Then there was that monster hit on Adam Ashley-Cooper and a powerful run through several defenders for his second try. Was particularly effective when he moved to centre.

10 Dan Biggar:
Produced a decent kicking game and his yellow card was one of those situations where the professional foul was almost warranted. However, he was not enough of a threat on attack.

9 Mike Phillips:
He should stop talking a good game and start playing one. While he had his moments, he still spends too much time arguing with the referee and chirping the opposition. he also missed a crucial tackle on Folau.

8 Toby Faletau:
Not the most flash player, but the work he did on defence (had the game's highest tackle count) and his ball carries were exceptional. Then, when the first scrum finally arrived, he did very well in carrying the ball up to help Wales  clear their lines.

7 Sam Warburton (captain):
Was not a factor in this game and was outclassed by Hooper.

6 Dan Lydiate:
Was not as effective as he can be . Forced to make plenty of tackles and worked hard off the ball to help with ruck clean-outs. Not many effective carries.

5 Ian Evans:
He tries hard, with a few decent carries and had his moments in the second half, but for most part no more than average.

4 Alun Wyn Jones:
Worked very hard in the line-outs and made all his tackles. Was good at the basics, but not explosive enough in such an expansive game.

3 Rhodri Jones:
The pace of the game was just too much for him - simply not enough scrums for him to make an impact. He did make a heap of tackles.

2 Richard Hibbard:
Took up a lot of Wales' ball and very direct. he also put in a monster hit and made plenty of tackles - slipping just one. Along with Faletau was Wales' most productive forward.

1 Gethin Jenkins:
Made a handful of tackles, but with no scrums in the first half - he was subbed at half-time - he was not a factor.


16 Ken Owens (on for Hibbard, 66th min):
A few ineffective carries and simply made no impact.

17 Ryan Bevington (on for Jenkins, 41st min):
Made a crucial tackle late in the second half that won Wales a turnover penalty. Also made double the number of tackles that Jenkins did.

18 Samson Lee (on for Richard Jones, 66):
Made no impact at all.

19 Ryan Jones:
Not used.

20 Justin Tipuric (on for Lydiate, 63rd min):
One iffy run and five tackles. Poor workrate.

21 Rhodri Williams (on for Phillips, 71st min):
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Rhys Priestland (on for Biggar, 63rd min):
Certainly attacked the advantage line a few more times and made all his tackles.

23 Liam Williams (on for Owen Williams, 50th min):
Really injected some fire into a Welsh backline that offered little outside of North's skills.