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Player Ratings: A winning start

OPINION: The Wallabies got their five-match tour off to an ideal start, as they fought for a tough 16-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.


It wasn’t pretty and the result certainly could’ve gone either way, with both teams having shots at goal inside the final 10 minutes.

Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley slotted his fourth penalty of the night to give the visitors a one-point lead late in the Test.

But a penalty against Taniela Tupou with three minutes to play gave Blair Kinghorn the chance to win it for the Scots, but he sent his shot wide left.

While discipline still appears to be an issue for the men in gold, they can take plenty out of this win ahead of a meeting with France next week. Here’s how the Australian players rated.

Finn Morton gives us the Wallabies player ratings vs Scotland:

1. James Slipper (captain) – 6.5/10


The Wallabies captain made his mark on the game when his team needed him the most, as he crossed for a crucial score inside the final 20 minutes. Some impressive phase play by the visitors, especially from the forwards, saw Slipper score just his third try in 124 Tests. The 33-year-old also made 11 tackles without missing any, and held his own in the set piece.

2. David Porecki – 6

It was a promising performance from Porecki at Murrayfield, as he was largely accurate when throwing into the lineout. He was otherwise quite quiet around the park though.

3. Allan Alaalatoa – 5


Alaalatoa just couldn’t make an impact on the Test in the way that he would’ve wanted. The 28-year-old was penalised during a scrum in the first half, and was otherwise quiet during his time on the park. The tighthead prop was replaced at the main break.

4. Nick Frost – 7.5

Frost was undoubtedly one of Australia’s best against Scotland, finishing with the most tackles of any Wallabies player with 18. The 23-year-old was a reliable option for Porecki at the set-piece, but he also managed to pile plenty of pressure onto the Scottish throws as well – winning a lineout against the throw inside the first 10 minutes. Frost also played a crucial part in Slipper’s try late in the match, with some fast hands that would be the envy of any playmaker.

5. Cadeyrn Neville – 7

Both locks really stood up in this Test, with Neville also a regular option at the set-piece. But the 33-year-old’s standout moment was his try assist for Slipper, with a clever short ball sending his captain over.

6. Jed Holloway – 6

The blindside flanker had a couple of powerful runs early on, but struggled to make an impact on the Test as the match went on. Holloway finished with five tackles and four runs.

7. Michael Hooper – 7.5

Back in Wallaby gold, Hooper didn’t skip a beat. The Test veteran continued to run himself tirelessly around the park, as he has done throughout his whole career. With just under 15 minutes to play in the first half, and with the Wallabies on the backfoot deep inside their 22, Hooper made two tackles in consecutive phases. The 31-year-old made the initial stop after a lineout, before getting straight up onto his feet to stop the next play too. The openside flanker finished the Test with an impressive 15 tackles.

8. Rob Valetini – 7.5

Valetini was in the middle of everything early on. If it was in attack or defence, the powerful No.8 made his mark during the first 40 minutes. Valetini made a try-saving tackle around the 28-minute mark, as he was able to get himself under the ball. He finished the night with 14 tackles and a team-high nine runs.

9. Tate McDermott – 7

McDermott had a golden chance to stake his claim for the number nine jersey during this Test, and for the most part he was great. The scrumhalf was constantly threatening the Scottish defence with his running, kicking and passing game. The 24-year-old had a 20+ metre run from the breakdown inside the first three minutes. McDermott later left the field in the 57th minute for a HIA.

10. Bernard Foley – 7

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, ‘The Iceman’ executed when the Wallabies needed him to once again. Foley slotted what was ultimately the match-winning penalty goal inside the final 10 minutes, as he finished with a perfect 4-4 from the tee. But it wasn’t an errorless night by any means. In the 24th minute, he kept the ball in place with some clever skill, before immediately sending a kick into touch on the full. Later on though, he made a potentially try-saving tackle on Duhan van der Merwe.

11. Tom Wright – 5

Didn’t really get the chance to shine with the ball-in-hand himself during the first half but did set up his teammates for some half breaks.

12. Hunter Paisami – 6.5

As he always does, Paisami ran hard and with purpose whenever he got the ball in his hands – which he did, often. The 24-year-old had seven runs against Scotland for 28 metres, and he also beat one defender. Just before half-time he was inches away from setting up Andrew Kellaway for a try, with a clever kick in-behind the Scottish defence almost working wonders for the men in gold. Paisami was nearly shown a yellow card in the dying stages for an intentional knockdown, but it was deemed to just be a penalty.

13. Len Ikitau – 7

The outside centre was impressive in defence once again against Scotland, making nine tackles and missing none. Other than that, Ikitau carried the ball with intent and kicked well when given the chance.

14. Andrew Kellaway – 6.5

Kellaway is certainly a player of the future for the Wallabies, and we saw glimpses of this once again during this Test. While he was safe under the high ball, the 27-year-old was threatening with the ball-in-hand. From four carriers he ran for 39 metres and beat three defenders.

15. Tom Banks – 5.5

Banks was relatively reliable under the high ball, but otherwise struggled to make an impact during his return to Wallaby gold. While attempting to reel in a kick, the fullback dropped the ball over the sideline with just over 15 minutes to play. Other than that, he had just two runs and made six tackles.


16. Folau Fainga’a – 6.5 – Fainga’a made an impact when he came onto the part, with some accurate throws into the lineout when his team needed him.

17. Matt Gibbon – 5 – With the Wallabies up by one, Gibbon was penalised at the scrum with just over five minutes to play. Saw the hosts march up to about halfway

18. Taniela Tupou – 7 – After coming on at half-time, he made an impact very early on after winning a penalty at the breakdown. Tupou was celebrated by his teammates shortly after a dominant Wallabies scrum in the 50th minute. But he did give away the penalty that gave Scotland the chance to win the game.

19. Ned Hanigan – N/A

20. Langi Gleeson – N/A – One of two debutants after being called up as a late replacement for Pete Samu.

21. Nic White – 6.5 – Was playing with the advantage, but his first involvement was kicking the ball out on the full after replacing Tate McDermott. Otherwise kicked well and helped lead the Wallabies to victory.

22. Noah Lolesio – N/A

23. Jock Campbell – N/A – Made his debut off the bench in the 67th minute.

By Finn Morton, @RugbyPass

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