Player Ratings: Leaving it late
OPINION: Wayne Pivac blended the team that topped Fiji with the side who came second-best to the Springboks and All Blacks, including the replacement of Jonathan Davies as skipper, in favour of Ellis Jenkins.
In order for this to be a successful November campaign, Wales were tasked with getting at least one Southern Hemisphere scalp. Thanks to a late Rhys Priestland penalty, they just about managed that.
Will Owen rates the Welsh players
15. LIAM WILLIAMS – 8
Took his high balls well, put in a lovely chip for Josh Adams and rode some heavy hits. Made the key break to set up the winning kick.
14. LOUIS REES-ZAMMIT – 4
Also put in a lovely kick for Josh Adams to chase, but didn’t get much chance to handle the ball before hobbling off.
13. NICK TOMPKINS – 8
Tompins’ unconventional running style paid dividends for Wales, setting up the attacking opportunity that sent Kurtley Beale to the bin. Scored the world’s most unconventional try in the second half. It’s an unconventional 8.
12. UILISI HALAHOLO – 7
Made an excellent chop tackle on Len Ikitau and showed fleet-footed brilliance in attack. Gave away an early penalty and missed a tackle on Beale for Nic White’s try, but a solid performance.
11. JOSH ADAMS – 8
Not only did Adams negotiate nicely with Mike Adamson to penalise Andrew Kellaway, but he chased kicks masterfully. Didn’t make breaks, but did the hard graft of a world-class wing.
10. DAN BIGGAR – 7
Biggar probably hit a stalemate in his referee chirp-off against Wallaby scrumhalf Nic White. Kicked well and showed good physicality.
9. TOMOS WILLIAMS – 6
Made a great defensive read early on to prevent an Australia line break. Made a few nice runs, but played with fire in his own 22 a few times, and was probably substituted at the right time.
1. WYN JONES – 3
Struggled a bit at scrum time, but showed good feet when carrying, and threw a dummy like all props dream of.
2. RYAN ELIAS – 8
After a convincing David Campese impression in the first half, Elias has established himself as a try-scoring machine, somehow. Tackled superbly and defended a promising Australian maul with vigour.
3. TOM FRANCIS – 3
Also struggled against Slipper and Tupou, but looked comfortable in contact and cleaned his rucks well.
19. BEN CARTER – 5 (on for Adam Beard)
The youngster came on early to replace Adam Beard. Quiet in the loose, but took his line-outs well. Still in his first few caps, Carter did what was asked of him.
5. SEB DAVIES – 5
Resisted the contest of Rory Arnold at the maul on a few occasions. Didn’t see many opportunities to carry in the loose, but stole a key Wallaby line-out. Threw a loose offload towards the end, but a solid enough performance.
6. ELLIS JENKINS – 7
Taking on the nitty-gritty work on the floor, Jenkins looks a natural fit as Wales captain. Showed tremendous strength to hold up the Aussie maul and even threw in a dummy kick. Unfortunately was brought off early in the second half.
7. TAINE BASHAM – 8
Carried hard and made trademark heavy shots. Didn’t win clean turnovers, but did a fantastic job of slowing the Australian ball down.
8. AARON WAINWRIGHT – 7
Had an excellent game with ball in hand. Showed great footwork going into contact and was strong on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately gave away the near-match-deciding penalty, but was saved by Priestland at the death.
Gareth Thomas and Dillon Lewis shored up the scrum before Thomas saw a yellow card for a cheap shot on Allan Ala’alatoa. Johnny McNicholl took a few high balls nicely, and Priesltand deservedly scored the match-winning penalty under a lot of pressure.
By Will Owen, Rugbypass