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Wales player ratings vs Ireland | 2024 Guinness Six Nations

By Daniel Gallan
Rio Dyer of Wales reacts after conceding a try during the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Wales at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Even Welsh fans must admit that a defeat, and a comfortable one at that, was the most likely outcome at the Aviva. But the result won’t be the reason those supporters will wake up tomorrow with a frown on their face.

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This was a largely toothless show. An inept performance that spluttered along without ever threatening to go anywhere. Of course that is largely down to Ireland’s might – both through the phases and in the set-piece – but there just seemed to be a lack of intensity, a lack of class, a lack of zest from too many in red. Some decent scramble defence in the first half meant this wasn’t the blowout it might have been but that will be small consolation.

15 – Cameron Winnett – 5
Solid when asked to tackle, he also showed some quality when rising high to win the ball in the air. Ran from deep on the few occasions he was offered some space. He certainly looks the part at this level.

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14 – Josh Adams – 3
Scrambled on defence and offered a release with a big right boot. His leading role in the blitz defence meant he missed as many tackles as he made. Replaced by Mason Grady on 57 minutes.

13 – George North – 6
Robust in the tackle, his size in midfield was noticeable. Just as it was against England two weeks ago, he looked like the only Welsh back with enough grunt on the charge to punch a hole in the opposition’s defence.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
0
4
Tries
1
4
Conversions
0
0
Drop Goals
0
159
Carries
126
12
Line Breaks
1
10
Turnovers Lost
8
4
Turnovers Won
3

12 – Nick Tompkins – 2
Just not enough power when it mattered. Kept getting battered by Bundee Aki and, with ball in hand, made life difficult for North on his outside. Started well with some swift scrambling defence, but as the game went on he faded. Every time Ireland charged towards his channel they seemed to breeze through it.

11 – Rio Dyer – 3
It might seem like a tough score given he barely did anything wrong. One smart run off his wing and against the grain late in the first half offered a short pop-pass from Sam Costelow’s shoulder, but that was about it.

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10 – Sam Costelow – 3
It wasn’t as bad as the horror show against Scotland in the opening round, but it wasn’t exactly a spellbinding performance. To be fair to him he was playing off the back foot for most of the game, but an inability to provide sparks from the darkness is a sign of a world class 10. Sadly, Costelow has yet to show any of that and couldn’t make up for this absence with a dominant kicking game. Lasted until the 7rd minute before being replaced by Ioan Lloyd.

9 – Tomos Williams – 3.5
Very few scrum-halves in history can impact a game behind a back-peddling pack. Williams has played well – and scored well in our ratings – in the previous two matches. This one against the would-be champions was always going to bring his average down. Made way for Kieran Hardy with 13 minutes left to play.

1 – Gareth Thomas – 4
Some crunching tackles – particularly a mighty hit on Joe McCarthy that led to a turnover in the first half – but was part of a front-row that lost the scrum battle. Most of the damage was felt at the opposite side, but the more experienced prop couldn’t turn the tide. Hooked on 62 minutes for Corey Domachowski.

2 – Elliot Dee – 6
All things considered, this was a commendable performance from the Welsh hooker. He hit his jumpers when needed and showed bravery and accuracy going to the back of the line as well. When Wales had a rare opportunity to set a maul five metres out from Ireland’s line, Dee found his man and joined the shove that ended with a penalty try. Additional aggression around the breakdown and 11 tackles meant he comes out of this one-sided loss in the green. Subbed for Ryan Elias on 62 minutes.

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3 – Keiron Assiratti – 3
Eaten in the scrum by the Ireland’s monstrous front row. It’s a tough ask going against one of the best packs in the world, especially one fronted up by Tagh Furlong and Andrew Porter, but on this occasion, Assiratti couldn’t stand up. Switched for Dillon Lewis on 52 minutes.

4 – Dafydd Jenkins – 4
Yet again lacked that necessary torque in the close exchanges. Tried to exert himself but an infuriating penalty – for hurling himself off his feet and into a ruck – late in the first half summed up his performance. Wales had finally strung a few phases together but their skipper let them down. A young captain, he needs statement performance soon.

5 – Adam Beard – 5
Won important line-out on Ireland’s line that got the maul going and resulted in a penalty try. Did his best to match the heft of Ireland’s second-rowers and held his own. Replaced by Will Rowlands on 55 minutes.

6 – Alex Mann – 6
Continues to impress at Test level. Made a dozen tackles and was tenacious at the breakdown either side of the ball. Could have benefited from a more dominant tight five. Made was for the debutant Mackenzie Martin on 55 minutes.

7 – Tommy Reffell – 6.5
Made a trademark steal on the turf inside the opening quarter of the match which won his team a penalty but was guilty at the subsequent lineout, giving away a soft turnover when he carelessly stepped in too early. That summed up Wales’ game.

8 – Aaron Wainwright – 8
Wales’ best player by a distance. Once again a totem in the line-out but it was in the loose that he really came alive. One play encapsulated his all-round prowess. Running back to clean up a bobbling ball, he juggled once, twice before bringing it under control. A turn of pace, a shift in direction and then he found space to unfurl a kick that landed in open grass. He then led the chase to go retrieve it. Wales have the makings of a formidable back row and Wainwright will be key in this rebuilding project.

16 – Ryan Elias – 5
Seems to have brushed aside the catastrophe that was the first half against Scotland. But didn’t contribute anything of note.

17 – Corey Domachowski – 5.5
Brought much needed stability to Wales’s scrum.

18 – Dillon Lewis – 5.5
Like Domachowski, helped provide parity in his department.

19 – Will Rowlands – 5
Entered the scene with Wales in the ascedency. It didn’t last long, but some rangy runs and effectiveness in the set-piece ensures he leaves Dublin with a positive score.

20 – Mackenzie Martin – 5
Impressive on debut. A few meaty tackles meant he played his part.

21 – Kieran Hardy – 5
Showed some quick feet to wrap around the base of a scrum and threaten Ireland’s blindside. He ran into a corner but it was a rare foray forward for a Welsh back.

22 – Ioan Lloyd – N/A
Only had seven minutes to play.

23 – Mason Grady – 5
Made all four of the tackles he was asked to make. Never saw the ball, though that’s not his fault.

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2 Comments
S
Simon 146 days ago

Some questionable scoring here. Wales were second best but they caused Ireland top lose their patterns on many occasions and disrupted the usual flowing attacks. Wainwright is over-scored but the best forward. He does need to get that physicality needed of a modern 8 where he can make hard yards and be dominant in defence. Neither are in his locker at the moment. Dyer harshly scored as he did everything required of him.

J
John 147 days ago

I can’t understand the love-in with Wainwright. He doesn’t want to know in defence and made just 8 tackles on Saturday. Meanwhile Costelow made 17 out of 19. That should never happen. Watch Alldritt for France. There is no way that he’d allow Ntamack to be that exposed. He would taken ownership of the 10 channel and block it up himself. Wainwright may look good with the ball in hand, running back loose kicks, but he couldn’t punch any holes in the Irish defence, especially in the 22m zone. I gave him 4.

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Tim 5 hours ago
'It’s a mental thing': Joe Schmidt on the Wallabies' flyhalf issues

Ben Donaldson had not played Super Rugby for the past eight weeks. Surely, he was playing Shute Shield for Randwick in that time to keep up the fitness…?? Eight weeks is a long break to be thrust in against a hungry skillful side like Georgia who deserve to be in the “7 Nations”. (Italy, Wales & Scotland v Georgia, can’t wait to see those ones). In the second test against Wales, Donaldson was put on for nine minutes. That was a mistake from the coaching team, who already knew he was starting the following week against Georgia. They should have put him on for 20-25 minutes, with Nick Whyte at halfback, and their combination from the Force would have flowed. Donaldsons first 20 minutes against Georgia was a shocker. However, well done to Joe Schmidt for keeping him out there because Donaldsons game improved as the rust came off, he was hammered a few times and handled it and he came into his groove. He made mistakes which they will all learn from. Ben Donaldson is a naturally talented rugby player who the Wallabies have to stick with at no.10. “Over the black Dot-aldson” is a good nick name for him with his awesome goal kicking style. It looks as though, off the boot, it’s going to hit the post. Then it just curves in beautifully every time, once he is in the groove. Donaldsons play this season for the Force, with Kurtley and co., was amazing to watch. Kurtley making one of the best comebacks in history. Donaldson has to be played consistently with Flash Gordon, Big LEN, McReight, Tupou, Kellaway. Oh, that’s right, there is Bell, Kerevi, Petaia (This list does go on a bit). Donaldson will be slotting these weapons into gaps, and into the clear, before we know it… One more thing which I will just assume is happening, just include JOC in the Wallabies squad. He is a rugby genius. His skills, wisdom and experience would be infectious around the Wallabies relatively inexperienced backline. JOC has mastered the art of all the positions long ago. JOC is so skilled and match fit atm taking THE REDS, at no.10, within a point of beating Wales. He can come off the bench and slot into the backline for the Wallabies at 10, 12, 13 or 15 at any stage of a test match. Ummm yeah, not bad… I am assuming that BIG JOE, Laurie “Gandalf” Fischer, Mike “The scrum Doctor” Cron and the team obviously already know all this. I am just a passionate rugby union supporter, and I am very happy that these guys are in charge of the coaching duties, what a coaching team the Wallabies have been blessed with. (Good luck with selecting the match day 23 when Will Skelton, who was playing amazing rugby for La Rochelle, and the boys return from Europe/Japan, Samu Kerevi…???) Now just imagine having Bernie Larkham, Toutai Kefu, Nathan Grey and John “Nobody” Eales as your coaching apprentices… GO AUSTRALIAN RUGBY… Doing a great job Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, Dan Herbert and the team. An amazing three years ahead. GO THE WALLABIES… GO THE WALLAROOS… GO THE 7’s in Paris…

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