Player Ratings: Embarrassment in Perth
OPINION: The Wallabies have failed to defeat the All Blacks in 2021 after going down 21-38 at Optus Stadium, Perth in the final instalment of the Bledisloe Cup this season.
The Wallabies were consistent in their ability to turn pressure onto themselves and off the All Blacks with multiple errors in numerous facets of how the game is played. Be it set-piece, the recycle, defence or attack the Wallabies were found wanting in their execution that gifted the All Blacks countless opportunities that were more often than not exploited.
Nick Turnbull rates the Wallabies players
1. James Slipper – 7/10
A very respectable performance. More often than not he won his personal battle against Nepo Laulala in the set piece battle. Furthermore, he displayed grit and fortitude around the contact zone and was one of Australia’s best today.
2. Folau Fainga’a – 6/10
Returned to the starting XV after being in the selection wilderness and repaid selectors with a mixed performance. Had some nice touches, forced a turnover and scored a deserved team try but questions remain over the Wallabies lineout of which he has to take some responsibility for.
3. Allan Alaalatoa – 6/10
A credible performance and was courageous in the contact zone as expected. Solid at the set piece but perhaps it is time to re-think the Taniela Toupo bench selection?
4. Darcy Swain – 6.5/10
Worked himself hard and was one of Australia’s best today. He caused the All Black lineout some issues in the air and into the rolling mall.
5. Matt Philip – 6/10
Was guilty of throwing an intercept pass to which should have never been thrown, almost passing before looking. Outside of that, he did work himself hard as always but the failure of the Wallaby lineout about the 59th minute, when well on attack in the All Black 22 appeared to be through confusion.
After the issues with the Wallaby lineout this series – this was a particularly aggravating error for a player of his ilk.
6. Lachlan Swinton – 6/10
Not enough from him today. Might be harsh as he wasn’t poor but the Wallabies look to him as the Owen Finnegan or Viliami Ofahengaue-type figure that can cause the All Blacks some issues physically but it wasn’t there today.
7. Michael Hooper (captain) – 7.5/10
Another fantastic captain’s performance today. Was Herculean in his effort in the contact zone, support play and defence. Lead by example and was probably the only Wallaby to outplay his opposite today.
8. Rob Valetini – 6.5/10
Another strong performance both sides of the ball yet was guilty of pushing passes that were not on. Perhaps a move to the side of the scrum allowing the return of Harry Wilson beckons?
9. Tate McDermott – 7.5/10
Another performance that enhances his reputation as a Wallaby star on the rise. He is unpredictable and that caused the All Blacks issues at times. When he increased the ruck speed the Wallabies were dangerous however he was guilty of an exit error that put that pressure back on his side.
10. Noah Lolesio – 5.5/10
Missed a penalty kick from a very kickable range; kicked when he should have passed and didn’t really manage his side around the park with any coherence. Still very much an ‘L-Plate’ flyhalf but did show courage in defence and some touches of class in attack.
11. Marika Koroibete – 7/10
Wasn’t short of effort and was one of the Wallabies most threatening in attack. If anything, his defence wasn’t as good as it can be.
12. Samu Kerevi – 7/10
Had his moments in attack and did cause the All Blacks some issues in the middle of the park yet the Wallabies need to establish a plan that isn’t over reliant on him if they are to improve as a unit as for too long in this match they were too singular in their attacking options and their use of Kerevi.
13. Len Ikitau – 6/10
Didn’t really feature today and would have like to see more of an influence as a support runner if he is going to make that 13 spot his own.
14. Andrew Kellaway – 6/10
A reasonable day out with limited opportunity. Given that the ball wasn’t finding him, he could have found a way to involve himself more.
15. Tom Banks – 5/10
Whilst he scored a fair try at the end, his performance today wasn’t up to scratch. Kicking touch in goal, not the first time this season, when the Wallabies need to keep the pressure on. This coupled with running away from his support in space leaves me wondering if he is a player stuck in that space between Super Rugby and Test Rugby?
16. Lachlan Lonergan – 5.5
Had a high work rate when on but needs to adjust his body height in the clean out.
17. Angus Bell – 7
A very good performance from his. Scrum was solid, and was strong in the carry.
18. Taniela Tupou – 6
Strong in the set piece but didn’t feature elsewhere.
19. Izack Rodda – 6
Played with positive intent and looked comfortable his return to test rugby.
20. Pete Samu – 6.5
Set up a wonderful try for Nic White after finding space near the recycle.
21. Nic White – 7
Was dangerous when he came on and the McDermott – White 9 combination looks like one worth persisting with.
22. Reece Hodge – 7
Was strong for the Wallabies and the backline appeared to play with greater coherence and cogency when he was at first receiver.
23. Jordan Petaia – N/A
Didn’t see enough. Good to see him back though!
By Nick Turnbull, Rugbypass