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Player Ratings: Turning point?

OPINION: Warren Gatland’s Wales have been under fire so far this tournament, not favoured to win a wooden spoon battle with Italy.

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Their performance against England was difficult to quantify, with Italy playing well but not winning – yet

Wales responded with an excellent performance and an unexpected bonus point win.

Italy were far from their best, but this was Wales’ best performance of the campaign by a stretch. Well done Cymru.

Will Owen rates the Wales players!

15 Liam Williams – 7.5
Was penalised for rolling on the floor early on but immediately bounced back with a fantastic finish for Wales’ second try and a big turnover in the Welsh 22. Williams needed a solid performance and he delivered.

14 Josh Adams – 6.5
Quietly excellent at what Adams does best – chasing kicks, aerial contests and making solid hits. Was held up brilliantly by Varney in the second half.

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13 Mason Grady – 6.5
Defensively very solid against one of the fastest attacking teams in the tournament. Gave away a penalty late on but generally, Grady didn’t get carried away shooting out of line. Promising.

12 Joe Hawkins – 8
Hawkins’ usual distribution role was substituted for hard yards today, and he was excellent. Made six or seven yards on every carry. Timed a pass to Adams beautifully for a second-half break.

11 Rio Dyer – 8
Poached the opening try superbly and chased Welsh kicks hard. Really answered Gatland’s call with a hugely promising performance.

10 Owen Williams – 7
Tested Allan early with a perfect bomb and often called the right plays. Contributed what turned out to be a try-saver on Brex. Managed the game well.

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9 Rhys Webb – 8.5
Put in an inexplicably fantastic kick for Dyer’s try and set up Faletau later on. Nailed an awesome 50/22 at the end of the first half. Fantastic to see Webb have a good game.

1 Wyn Jones – 5
Quiet, but not bad at all.

2 Ken Owens – 5.5
Similar to Jones didn’t make as many carries as in previous games but also didn’t make errors.

3 Tom Francis – 6
Was absolutely melted by Fischetti on Italy’s first put-in but was solid thereafter. Put in the grubber kick of the century, which earns him a bonus point.

4 Dafydd Jenkins – 6.5
Jenkins’ best performance so far. He was impactful in clear-outs and solid at set-piece.

5 Adam Beard – 7.5
Started the game with a great steal and was a menace at the maul. Beard’s best performance for Wales in a while.

6 Jac Morgan – 5.5
Probably didn’t play as well as his opposite man Negri, but Morgan’s impacts at the breakdown were generally positive.]

7 Justin Tipuric – 7.5
Cleaned up a lot of mess brilliantly including a late Italian lineout. Won Wales an obstruction penalty in the first half. A sure improvement on his prior performances.

8 Taulupe Faletau – 6.5
Quieter than usual but made no real errors. Ran a nice support line for his try.

REPLACEMENTS
16 Scott Baldwin – N/A
No significant impact.

17 Gareth Thomas – 7
Won a scrum penalty for Wales. Weird feeling.

18 Dillon Lewis – 6.5
Scrum went forward with Lewis on.

By Will Owen, Rugbypass

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