Player Ratings: Reality hits Rennie and Wallabies
OPINION: England descended on Brisbane with intent and physicality that had Australia on the backfoot early.
Boosted by the absence of a red card in the opening minutes, the red roses machine looked unstoppable and a yellow card to Izaia Perese in the 22nd minute only made things worse for the Wallabies.
Australia did well to diffuse a lot of territorial kicking from the visitors but not without leaking 19 points in the first half. The second 40 made for a much more even encounter, with the Australians launching a determined comeback effort, but ultimately a lack of discipline and execution meant the multiple opportunities they created went unrewarded.
The injury toll from this series continues to grow, as does the haul of cards pulled from the referee’s pocket. Eddie Jones’ adjustments to the lineup proved positive tonight and Dave Rennie will have a chance to return the favour in what promises to be a mammoth decider next Saturday in Sydney.
Ned Lester rates the Australian players
1: Angus Bell – 7.5
Solid in the scrum early, understandably fatigued as he was forced to basically play the full 80. Picked some good lines late in the first half to give Australia their first real attacking opportunity.
2: David Porecki – 6
Sturdy in tackles, limited impact elsewhere.
3: Taniela Tupou – 7.5
Offered the usual physicality and won multiple penalties at scrum time.
4: Matt Phillip – 8
Good turnovers at key moments. Strived under pressure.
5: Cadeyrn Neville – 5
Didn’t offer much impact, off injured with 20 to go.
6: Rob Leota – 6
Offered some good moments of physicality.
7: Michael Hooper – 7.5
Stoic leadership, inspiring work rate.
8: Rob Valentini – 7.5
Consistently made extra yards when carrying.
9: Nic White – 8.5
Excellent decision making, class performance.
10: Noah Lolesio – 7.5
Made good decisions, kicked well off the tee. Looking more relaxed on the big stage.
11: Marika Koroibete – 7
Typically evasive on attack, immense work rate defensively, quiet in the second 40.
12: Samu Kerevi – 7.5
Provided good composure and relieved tension well with the boot. Playing a key role at establishing front foot ball, although was caught flat-footed on occasion.
13: Hunter Paisami – 6.5
Limited touches early. Made tackles when needed although one or two went astray when he went searching for the dominant hit rather than the sticking to the fundamentals.
14: Tom Wright – 8
Solid under the high ball, diffused a couple of pressure situations early on. Made a big run and extra effort in the 62nd minute to put his team in with a real chance at getting a win.
15: Jordan Petaia
N/A off early with injury.
16: Folou Fainga’a- 4
Inaccuracy at the lineout cost his side the ball and momentum at a key time late in the
17: Scott Sio
N/A suffered early injury.
18: James Slipper – 5
Unable to continue to provide the platform that Tupou did, needed to be at the absolute
top of his game in the scrum to assist Angus Bell but couldn’t deliver.
19: Nick Frost – 5
Made for a decent option at lineout, didn’t look quite ready for the physicality of international footy.
20: Pete Samu – 7.5
Ran with intent, looked good in limited minutes earning a key turnover and contributing
well to his side’s momentum.
21: Jake Gordon – 6.5
Had good intent with pushing the pace, was just a fraction off in connecting with Koroibete
late which made for the final blow to a resilient comeback effort.
22: James O’Connor – 5
Bigger shift than expected didn’t execute when needed.
23: Izaia Perese – 4
On early, copped a yellow card and off at the start of the second with injury.