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Player ratings: Game of inches

The Wallabies may have left it late, but they did just enough to secure a tough victory over the Springboks in Brisbane.


The home side scored 17 unanswered points to stage a dramatic comeback which saw them show impressive composure under pressure.

It was a massively experienced Wallabies outfit, and in the end that paid off as they stuck to their guns to snatch victory with the last movement of the match.

There were some outstanding individual performances, but perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the win for coach Michael Cheika will be the way they pulled together with the game in the balance.

We rate the Australian players: 

15 Israel Folau

Proved again that he is one of the best around under the high ball and looked dangerous when given a bit of space with some neat offloads as well.


14 Adam Ashley-Cooper

Superb performance from the versatile veteran who got involved in midfield for his try and held up well under the high ball.



13 Tevita Kuridrani

Ran hard as ever and also showed that he is more than a battering ram with some nice offloads, but also lost the ball in contact at times.


12 Matt Giteau

Showed that he still has what it takes at Test level, slotted in well as secondary playmaker with his distribution skills making a big difference. Beat tackles and created doubt in the Springbok defensive line as well.


11 Rob Horne

Did not have many opportunities and found himself playing a supporting role but was not shown up in any way.


10 Quade Cooper

Kicked out of hand a lot in an effort to keep the Springboks pegged back. Battled to find a way through with ball in hand and his erratic goalkicking will also be a worry.



9 Will Genia

Not his finest performance on his return to the fold. Provided good service but his hands let him down at times before going off injured at half-time.


8 Scott Higginbotham

Stole a line-out but had an otherwise quiet game before he was yanked off to make way for David Pocock.


7 Michael Hooper

Showed plenty of urgency and gave as good as he got in a huge breakdown battle. Made some big tackles and fully deserved his try.


6 Scott Fardy

He was a banker in the line-outs and put in a big shift on defence. Found some space on the blindside and got his team over the gainline regularly.


5 Rob Simmons

Solid in the line-outs and made his tackles but also lost the ball in contact and battled to make an impact in the tight phases.


4 Will Skelton

Worked hard in his time on the park, tackling hard and making his presence felt, but also gave away a few penalties.


3 Sekope Kepu

Shoved backwards at times, but worked hard in the tight loose and made some telling tackles.


2 Stephen Moore

An industrious performance from the skipper who did not take a backwards step and fronted up well to the Springbok pack.


1 James Slipper

Battled in the scrums, but made something of a comeback when the Springboks made some changes up front. 



16 Tatafu Polota-Nau

Not used.

17 Scott Sio (On for Slipper, 66 mins)

Very impressive performance in the scrums, and went forward on attack and defence to put some pressure on Slipper's starting place.


18 Greg Holmes (On for Kepu, 47 mins)

Worked hard and made an impact in the tight exchanges.


19 James Horwill (On for Skelton, 50 mins)

Injected some urgency and confronted the Springboks up front well.


20 David Pocock (On for Higginbotham, 50 mins)

Slotted in well at No.8 and provided plenty of intensity to lift his team when they needed it.


21 Nick Phipps (On for Genia, 40 mins)

Provided plenty of niggle, but his service was slow at times and he missed a crucial tackle on 

Kriel for his try.


22 Matt Toomua (On for Cooper, 66 mins)

Attacked the line with purpose and controlled matters well as his team pushed for the win.


23 Drew Mitchell (On for Horne, 59 mins)

Did not have a lot to do, but looked comfortable on his return to Test rugby.


By Michael de Vries

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