Player Ratings: Wales
OPINION: Wales were simply brilliant. They made an admittedly ropey Australian side look an absolute mess as they dominated from front to back and from start to finish in their 40-6 win.
A famous night that will go down in Welsh rugby folklore.
Here’s how the players rated:
15 – Liam Williams – 8
Gave his opposite number, Andrew Kellaway, a lesson on how to control the backfield. Assured and composed, he put in a stellar fullback’s shift.
14 – Louis Rees-Zammit – 6
Largely quiet but ran his trams with intent all night. One nifty step and another toe showed off his gas. Just not to be this evening. Replaced by Rio Dyer with nine minutes to play.
13 – George North – 8
Made 34 metres and each one seemed to matter. Great at the ruck when asked to clean out and held firm in defence. A player in top form.
12 – Nick Tompkins – 9
Everywhere. There wasn’t a blade of grass he didn’t cover. Samu Kerevi will look under his bed this evening to make sure Tompkins isn’t hiding there. Capped it off with a wonderful score as he steams through to dive over Anscombe’s dink.
11 – Josh Adams – 7
Performed his job well and chased enthusiastically. Went looking for work as most of the action was in midfield.
10 – Dan Biggar – N/A
Sadly had to leave the field with an injury and was replaced by Gareth Anscombe after just 12 minutes.
9 – Gareth Davies – 9
Scored a wonderfully typical scrum-half’s try by running a superb support line after Jac Morgan broke through a gap. But it was his control from the base of the ruck and his accurate box-kicks that kept Wales in the ascendency. Some brave tackles made this a near complete performance. Subbed for Tomos Williams on the hour.
1 – Gareth Thomas – 8
Made a mighty 14 tackles and even won a turnover. That’d be a decent haul for a back-rower. It’s a stellar contribution from a front-rower who made up for his struggles in the scrum. Part of a triple sub on 67 minutes and replaced by Corey Domachowski.
2 – Ryan Elias – 8
Accurate at the line-out and a key cog in the rolling maul. Wales’ front row was just immense. Switched for Elliot Dee on 67 minutes.
3 – Tomas Francis – 7
Struggled at the scrum early doors but came out of the blocks and won a penalty at the first time of asking in the second half. Missed four tackles but ticked the right boxes elsewhere. Off for Henry Thomas on 67 minutes.
4 – Will Rowlands – 7
A totem at the line-out and a menace over the ball. Is there a better fetching lock in the game? Played 71 minutes before being replaced by Dafydd Jenkins.
5 – Adam Beard – 8
A stellar performance. He marshalled the Welsh line-out that was such a potent weapon all night. Made 14 tackles and only missed one. A rock.
6 – Aaron Wainwright – 7
Relatively anonymous as others around him shone. Kept things ticking along when asked to get involved.
7 – Jac Morgan – 9.5
If it wasn’t too indulgent he’d be getting a 10 here, A captain’s performance. Broke the line with a wonderful cut back off a set move from the line-out for Davies’ try but was immense throughout. Even hoofed a monstrous 50-22 kick that put Wales in a position to bag three points from a penalty. Score a try at the end. Bloodied, bruised, an absolute colossus.
8 – Taulupe Faletau – 8
Big carries and meaty returns from the restart. Another impressive show from one of Wales’ greatest of all time.
16 – Elliot Dee – 8
Kept momentum with accurate line-out throws and helped shove over Morgan at the end.
17 – Corey Domachowski – 8
Maintained dominance at the scrum.
18 – Henry Thomas – 8
South Africa isn’t the only side with a Bomb Squad. Thomas ensured Wales kept hammering the Aussie scrum and maul.
19 – Daffyd Jenkins – 7
Picked up on the good work that came before him at set-piece.
20 – Taine Basham – N/A
21 – Tomos Williams – 7
Fizzed with the same energy as Davies. Gatland is fortunate to have two talented nines at his disposal.
22 – Gareth Anscombe – 9
A remarkable performance. Perhaps his best ever in a Welsh shirt. Missed his first shot at goal but was then perfect until the very end. Landed a dropped goal, dictated the tempo and was unnervingly accurate when kicking out of hand or passing down the line. A truly sensational show.
23 – Rio Dyer – N/A
By Daniel Gallan, @RugbyPass