Player Ratings: Wales
OPINION: Wales faced Georgia in a hard-fought encounter that tested their mettle in Nantes, ultimately securing a win but not without some nervy moments.
Here are our Wales player ratings:
1. Gareth Thomas – 7/10
Thomas had a solid outing in the front row. He held his own in the scrums and contributed well in the loose.
2. Dewi Lake – 7.5
Carried really impressively. Had a steady hand with his lineout throws and was a reliable presence in the loose, making some crucial tackles.
3. Tomas Francis – 8
Francis was a pillar of strength in the scrums, helping Wales maintain some semblance of control there. He also made some notable carries, not least Wales’ opening try after 16 minutes.
4. Will Rowlands – 7.5
Rowlands continues to shine at this Rugby World Cup, showing a high work rate around the park, cementing himself as a real go-to as a carrier.
5. Dafydd Jenkins – 6.5
Another player who tackled his guts out. Did his job without any glaring mistakes. You imagine Gatland would like to see more from him with sterner Tests ahead.
6. Aaron Wainwright – 5
Normally a tireless worker in the back row, Wainwright was pretty anonymous in the first half. His work at the breakdown and strong tackling were more evident in the second half but the game seemed to pass him by.
7. Tommy Reffell – 8.5
Tackled like a rabid sheepdog. The Leicester Tiger man was a standout performer, causing problems for Georgia at the breakdown and winning three crucial turnovers. His work rate was exceptional.
8. Taulupe Faletau – 7
No real fireworks but Faletau’s experience showed as he provided stability at the back of the scrum. He was also a reliable ball-carrier. Perked up when Georgia started crawling their way back into the game late in the second half.
9. Tomos Williams – 7
Williams controlled the tempo of the game well, delivering quick ball to the backs. His sniping runs kept the Georgia defence on their toes.
10. Sam Costelow – 6
Thrown in the deep end with a late withdrawal for Gareth Anscombe. Kicked really well out of hand but was maybe a little eager at times to throw the ball around. Needs to work on his decision-making under pressure and tendency to suffer defensive lapses.
11. Rio Dyer – 7.5
Did well under the high ball and showed real commitment with his kick-and-chase game. Some promising moments in attack but also a few handling errors. He’ll look to be more clinical.
12. Nick Tompkins – 7
Tompkins brought energy to the midfield and made some important tackles. Not the biggest centre but never shirks the rough stuff and there was plenty here.
13. George North – 8
North had a more than solid outing in the midfield, making multiple strong carries with a side of flashy footwork into the bargain.
14. Louis Rees-Zammit – 7.5
Ran in Wales’ third try with relative ease and had took his side’s fourth with aplomb, before just about bagging a hattrick with a finger type finish. It might sound odd given he scored three tries, one can’t help but get the feeling that he isn’t yet being fully utilised by Wales.
15. Liam Williams – 8
Cool, calm and collected. Williams was a reliable presence at the back, offering safe hands under the high ball and launching counter-attacks when needed. Made linebreaks for fun.
16. Elliot Dee – 6
Dee brought a decent amount of energy to the contest.
17. Nicky Smith – 6
Smith provided cover in the front row and put in a solid effort in the scrums.
18. Henry Thomas – 6
Thomas contributed in the set-piece battles after coming off the bench.
19. Christ Tshiunza – NA
Not on long enough to contribute meaningfully.
20. Taine Basham – 3
Got a yellow card within minutes of coming onto the pitch for triggering some fairly pointless handbags.
21. Gareth Davies – 4
Missed a straight one one-on-one for Georgia’s third try that brought the Lelos right back into the game.
22. Dan Biggar – NA
Biggar’s experience and control were valuable in the closing stages of the game.
23. Mason Grady – 5
Grady had limited time on the field and didn’t have a chance to make a significant impact. Failed to put Rees-Zammit into space in the dying moments of the game.