Australia 20 Wales 19 – Wales player ratings

First published in National Rugby South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

MAN OF THE MATCH – RYAN JONES: Nearly capped a great season with a memorable victory as stand-in skipper after Warburton went off injured. A magnificent try-scoring performance. 8

LEIGH HALFPENNY: Wales’ player of the series was excellent again, kicking five out of six – if only his penalty from halfway hadn’t struck the upright. 8

ALEX CUTHBERT: The talented wing was criminally under-used yet again and Wales were left to rue the fact. 7

JONATHAN DAVIES: Made a lovely break that was so good nobody could keep up and support him. Nearly got Rob Horne to bomb his try. 7

ASHLEY BECK: The young centre shows a lot of promise in attack but needs to work on his defence. 7

GEORGE NORTH: Wales’ version of Jonah Lomu was hungry for action and did very well with his limited opportunities. 7

RHYS PRIESTLAND: Sadly it doesn’t look like he is up to it. A few booming kicks and nice touches but doesn’t inspire much confidence as a playmaker. 5

MIKE PHILLIPS: An infuriating player, a Jekyll and Hyde character who is an enigma. Lived up to that billing again. 5

GETHIN JENKINS: Struggled with injury and was replaced in the second half by Paul James. 5

MATTHEW REES: Again some of his lineout throwing left one open-mouthed. Also guilty of botching a three-on-one overlap by cutting back inside. 4

ADAM JONES: Superb all-round display by arguably Wales’ most important player. 8

BRADLEY DAVIES: Was given the nod above Ian Evans – who for some inexplicable reason wasn’t even on the bench – and didn’t really repay the faith. 5

ALUN WYN JONES: His worst performance in a Wales shirt by far. Dropped three re-starts which yielded points for Australia. Enough said. 4

DAN LYDIATE: Defensively he has no peers but his play in the open needs serious polishing or he runs the risk of turning into a one-trick pony. 6

SAM WARBURTON: Started well with some outstanding tackling but left midway through the first half through injury. 7

REFEREE – CRAIG JOUBERT: The South African wasn’t great and his fussiness, particularly at the breakdown, killed the prospect of a far better game. 5

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