Player Ratings: Wallaby star was 'dreadful'
OPINION: Dave Rennie’s Wallabies were handsomely defeated 7-27 at Eden Park, Auckland by a disciplined All Black outfit who revelled in the mistake-riddled Wallaby performance.
The Wallabies showed glimpses of brilliance in otherwise what was a forgettable, performance. Too many handling errors, missed tackles and poor option taking ensured that both sides will travel to Australia with the New Zealanders taking a 1-0 lead in the best of four Bledisloe series.
The Wallabies will return to Australia knowing that the selections and tactics made for this Test match will not suffice if the Australians are any realistic chance of winning in Sydney and Brisbane. The men in gold looked to play wide, but were well wide of the pass mark.
Nick Turnbull rates the Wallabies:
15. Tom Banks – 5/10
Had his moments defusing high balls and jinking around in space but what the Wallabies required was a hard-running fullback who was willing to hit the line at pace and into to contact if required. It appeared Banks was waiting for the time and space to launch a raid as he does at provincial level, yet those opportunities don’t always arise at Test level. His position in the side must be questioned.
14. Filipo Daugunu – 6.5/10
Average day in defence but still showed what an attacking threat he can be with the limited opportunity he had in space. The Wallabies need to fashion an attack that allows him more space and front-foot ball.
13. Hunter Paisami – 6/10
Pushed passes, dropped ball coupled with some astute attacking lines and support play. Adapted admirably when Matt Toomua was forced from the field with injury but too often was simply on is own when taking on the line.
12. Matt To’omua – 7/10
A far better performance this week being staunch in defence and a real threat in attack having a hand in Australia’s only try. The Wallabies lost their attacking shape when he left the field.
11. Marika Koroibete 3/10
Dreadful. Despite scoring a try the usually dependable wing was dreadful. A club wing would have scored his try given the work done for him. He stifled the Wallabies attack through poor handling and an inability to get low and score when another try looked certain. I doubt he will ever play such a poor-a-test. Should apologise to the dressing room. Dreadful.
10. James O’Connor – 5.5/10
Average performance and was singularly responsible for turning the pressure back onto the Wallabies at a critical moment of the game. His midfield kick, that remained chase-less, down the gullet of danger man Caleb Clarke who then went on to carve the Wallabies with an All Black try s short time thereafter was unforgivable for a player of his calibre and experience. Must be smarter.
9. Nic White – 6.5/10
Was contained by the All Blacks yet he still caused them enough issues to confirm he remains the Wallabies best choice in the 9 jersey.
8. Harry Wilson – 6.5/10
Was solid without being spectacular. He must learn not to push passes that are not on and look at times to be the pass option himself. The Wallabies were poorer for his absence when he left the field in the second half.
7. Michael Hooper 7/10
Australia’s best player. Again, in the thick of it, securing the ball or linking up as a support player. The big question is how as a leader could he not get the message through to his team to cut out the silly errors? Needs to take ownership there.
6. Ned Hanigan – 5.5/10
Astonishing performance by the recalled Waratah back-rower. Astonished a player can be so good and so poor in the same match! Topping the Wallabies tackle count, yet also topping the Wallabies penalty count. Astonishing! Didn’t cause the All Blacks any great concern at the line-out but had his moments yet for whatever good he did, it was balanced out by his errors. Not the answer at 6.
5. Matt Philip – 6/10
Honest Matt. Bloke doesn’t know how not to have a go. Worth persisting with. Makes his tackles, knows his job and does it.
4.Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 5.5/10
Wasn’t disgraced out there but was outmuscled in the key moments. Like his counterparts was often too singular in attack.
3. Taniela Tupou – 5.5/10
Nearly scored an early try and went looking for work but had an absolute ‘Brain-Fart’ when the Wallabies had turnover ball, numbers outside and space to work with, the big fella put in a kick fitting of a third-grade prop who was looking for a rest. Simply poor option taking. Must eradicate such rubbish from his game.
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – 6/10
Should retain his position as the line-out appeared better than last week and came perilously close to scoring a try in the second half but was done for a double-movement.
1. James Slipper. 6.5/10
The Wallabies scrum is so much stronger his presence. Had a high involvement around the park despite missing three in defence, he was one of the better forwards out there for the Wallabies.
16. Jordan Uelese – 5/10
Was dominated at scrum time and didn’t really bring the impact the Wallabies were seeking from their finishers.
17. Scott Sio – 5/10
Little to no impact. Not good enough.
18. Allan Alaalatoa – 6.5/10
Was dependable in defence but set-piece had its issues and his handling was questionable at times.
19. Rob Simmons – 4/10
May have played his last Test. His performance was bereft of impact.
20. Liam Wright – 5/10
Guilty of poor ball security but won a try saving turnover near the death. How the Wallabies use him in the future will be interesting as he is not a gain line runner yet a wonderful player over the ball and out wide.
21. Jake Gordon – 5.5/10
The Wallabies attack appeared slower and disjointed when he was on. Perhaps not his fault, but not much impact.
22. Jordan Petaia 5.5/10
Had his moments when he came on for Matt Toomua but was guilty of poor ball security at times. Glad to see he got through the match uninjured.
23. Reece Hodge. 5/10
Was there and to his credit hit the gain line at pace with limited attacking opportunity. Could he be the Wallaby 15 moving forward?
By Nick Turnbull, @RugbyPass