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Player Ratings: Heartbreak in Paris

OPINION: The Wallabies took on France in front of a boisterous Stade de France crowd.


The visitors turned it on early with a full-length try to Foketi. The Wallabies discipline towards the end of the first half allowed the French to stay in touch by banking penalty points.

Les Blue dialed-up the pressure around the ruck and in the scrum, frustrating the Wallabies. Their rush defense caused a late turnover and France scored right on the stroke of halftime to take the lead.

The Wallabies wrestled back the lead in the second half, with Jock Campbell scoring his first international try. It was a scene we have seen before, with the Wallabies playing to protect the lead late in the game.

The decision to sub Foley in the 71st minute for Hodge showed their hand, and it played into Frances with Penaud scoring in the 77th minute to win the game for France.

Here’s how the Wallabies rated:

1. James Slipper – 6.5/10


The veteran skipper had his hands full matching up against Uini Atonio at scrum time.

2. Dave Porecki – 5

Went about his business at hooker, supporting his forwards in open play and performing his role at set piece. Was solid at lineout time.

3. Taneila Tupou – 6


Earned his first start of the tour, and was engaged in battle with Cyril Baille in the scrum. Ran short lineouts in contact to bust open the French defence.

4. Jed Holloway – 7

Was very involved for the Wallabies in the maul and is becoming a workhorse on the side of the scrum for the Wallabies. Is quickly locking down that number six spot as his first position.

5. Nick Frost – 6

He is establishing himself at Wallabies level and he took this starting opportunity with both hands. Challenged the French at the lineout and brought some much-needed agression to the forward pack.

6. Caderyn Neville – 6

Was a defensive organiser at lineout and maul time, and disrupted France’s set-piece.

7. Michael Hooper – 7

Back in the side after a well-publicised break, he made the number seven jersey his own again. Was a nuisance at the breakdown and the Wallabies have missed his legendary work-rate.

8. Rob Valetini – 6.5

Put in a big shift around the park, working hard at set-piece and at the breakdown. struggled to make his usual impact in carries, with the French defence targeting him when he got the ball in his hands.

9. Nic White – 6

Was pressured at the breakdown by the French forwards, affecting his ball distribution to his backline at times. substituted in the 60th minute.

10. Bernard Foley – 6.5

As the veteran in the backline, he became chief playmaker, choosing lines to run and when to distribute to his backline. Found fractures in the French backline and put his backs through holes by attracting opposition defenders. Pulled from the action in the 71st minute.

11. Tom Wright – 7

Showed his exceptional pace in the 17th minute by streaking down the wing to set up a full-field try to open the Wallabies. Comfortable under the highball but fell off some tackles late in the game.

12. Lalakai Foketi – 6

Was on the receiving end of a full-field effort from the Wallabies to put the Wallabies in front in the 17th minute. Was solid in defence and organised the Wallabies midfield. Was injured and replaced by Paisami in the 24th minute.

13. Len Ikitau – 7.5

Ikitau is quickly establishing himself as Australia’s premiere outside centre. Was strong with the ball in hand, getting over the advantage line when the Wallabies needed it most. What was impressive from the young centre was his kicking options, choosing the right moments to pin the opposition back in their own territory.

14. Andrew Kellaway – 6

Shifted to the wing and was probing the French defence all night. Worked with his fellow back three to cover in defence and was solid under the highball.

15. Jock Campbell – 6.5

In his first start at fullback, he chose his moments well to inject himself into the action and support his backline. Scored in the 56th minute for his first international try. Missed a crucial tackle in the lead up to Penaud’s try


16. Folau Fainga’a – 5

Entered in the 52nd minute. His first throw of the match was forgettable, turning it over to the French. Made an impact in open play by playing link-man between his fellow forwards. Made a crucial error in the throw in the 78th minute.

17. Matt Gibbon – N/A

Entered in the 77th minute to add some energy in the scrum.

18. Tom Robertson – N/A

Entered in the 70th minute to shore up the scrum in the final stages of the match.

19. Will Skelton – 5

The man-mountain entered the fray in the 53rd minute to combat the impact of Taofifenua. Was loose with ball placement in a number of his crash balls. The jury is still out on if he can replicate his club form at international level.

20. Pete Samu – N/A

Came on in the 70th minute looking to make an impact but had limited opportunities.

21. Jake Gordon – 5.5

Took the reins from White in the second half. Has a different pace and flow from the back of the ruck, setting the Wallabies in attack before pulling the trigger on the backline. Made some important turnovers in broken play to give the Wallabies a chance

22. Hunter Paisami – 6.5

Entered the action early in the first half, replacing Foketi. His defence in the middle channel was excellent.

23. Reece Hodge – 4

Injected into the action in the 71st minute at flyhalf. It was a conservative move by the Wallabies, opting to rely on Hodge’s massive boot to play for territory. His first attempt at a penalty goal was successful. His territiory-finding handed the ball back for the French to score in the 77th minute.

By Jack O’Rourke, @RugbyPass

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