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Wales player ratings vs Georgia | Rugby World Cup 2023

By Ian Cameron
Wales' wing Louis Rees-Zammit (L) looks on as Wales' outside centre George North (R) runs with the ball towards Georgia's centre Giorgi Kveseladze during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Wales and Georgia at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes, western France on October 7, 2023. (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER / AFP) (Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images)

Wales player ratings: Wales faced Georgia in a hard-fought encounter that tested their mettle in Nantes, ultimately securing a win but not without some nervy moments.

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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.

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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.

Set Plays

2
Scrums
6
100%
Scrum Win %
67%
13
Lineout
18
100%
Lineout Win %
72%
8
Restarts Received
4
100%
Restarts Received Win %
100%

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.

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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.

Defence

163
Tackles Made
114
21
Tackles Missed
16
89%
Tackle Completion %
88%

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.

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Ruck Speed

0-3 secs
33%
48%
3-6 secs
33%
27%
6+ secs
30%
18%
63
Rucks Won
91

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.

REPLACEMENTS:

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.

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Comments

2 Comments
D
Dekenba 286 days ago

Biggar was an unused sub!

Grady has shown he has the size & pace for international rugby, but his decision making is nowhere near good enough…

J
Jon 286 days ago

Ian Cameron must have gone to get some early drinks in at the bar….I cant remember Dan Biggar entering the fray ??

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Shaylen 2 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 8 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Sopoaga is going to be more than good enough to look up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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