Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Wales player ratings vs Ireland - Autumn Nations Cup

By Ian Cameron
(Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Wales player ratings: The Welsh came into the Autumn Nations Cup opener with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium desperately in need of a win, after five losses in a row. The exit of defence coach Byron Hayward from the set-up in the wake of their Six Nations loss to Scotland, if anything, only added to that pressure.

ADVERTISEMENT

Wayne Pivac’s side did benefit from the return of flanker Justin Tipuric after tonsillitis, which saw him miss the home loss to Scotland. But this was another flat, world-weary and worryingly listless effort from the Welshmen. Here’s our Wales player ratings:

LEIGH HALFPENNY – 5
Wales were left to rely on his long-distance kicking, which summed up just how bereft of ideas Wayne Pivac’s team have become. The fullback may have been missing an incisor but the Scarlet’s smile was significantly less toothless than Wales in attack. Looked weary.

Video Spacer

Will Scotland be repped on the Lions tour? Here’s Hamish Watson’s take:

Video Spacer

Will Scotland be repped on the Lions tour? Here’s Hamish Watson’s take:

LIAM WILLIAMS – 5
Got into Lowe early, shoving the Test newbie in the back after the New Zealander fumbled a potential try-scoring pass. We’re giving him 5 largely based on the resulting manbags. Lowe did run through him a few minutes later though and had the final laugh with a debut try.

JONATHAN DAVIES – 4
Now the old man of the Wales backline, ‘Foxy’ is starting to play like a 32-year-old centre. His long and sadly dense injury profile is taking its toll on the veteran, and he left the field after being on the receiving end of a big hit.

OWEN WATKIN – 6
His line speed and tackling was a significant factor in Wales’ impressive first phase defence, and was a nuisance in contact. Seemed up for it.

JOSH ADAMS – 7
Defensively sound, he clearly enjoyed repeatedly manhandling Andrew Conway in defence. On the rare occasion that he got any kind of good ball in attack, he stood out.

ADVERTISEMENT

DAN BIGGAR – 5
Like many of the senior players around him, didn’t have any bright ideas to get he or his comrades into the game. Didn’t even direct any backchat at the ref, which was worrying. That’s not our Dan.

GARETH DAVIES – 6
Another player who appeared eager to give away as many sloppy penalties as possible. Getting under Cian Healy in the 51st minute was maybe his most significant contribution.

RHYS CARRE – 3
Put under huge pressure early by Andrew Porter, who won two consecutive penalties off the big Welsh loosehead. Wales ended up relying on the charity of referee Mathieu Raynard at scrumtime while Carre was on. Got the shepherd’s crook before half-time before a defensive scrum, the ultimate ignominy for a prop. He’ll learn from it.

RYAN ELIAS – 5
Carried aggressively from the off but his darts were about as accurate as a Pennsylvanian exit poll.

ADVERTISEMENT

TOMAS FRANCIS – 4
Despite outweighing the Irish front row by about four stone, it was Francis and co that were getting pushed around. With that said, slimming down hasn’t suited Francis.

WILL ROWLANDS – 4
The giant Wasp didn’t help out his hooker – Elias – at the lineout time. Looks the part but needs to start putting up some big performances at Test level or he’ll find himself dropped.

ALUN WYN JONES – 5
Bringing up 150 caps is a world-first but you imagine it couldn’t have been further from Jones’ mind as Wales battled for forward ascendency. Triggered Peter O’Mahoney in the opening minutes, an early promise of some Welsh fire. It never came. A forgettable performance.

Ireland Wales Nations Cup
(Photo hy David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

SHANE LEWIS-HUGHES – 5
A knock-on in the Irish 22 the 62nd was a get out of jail free card for Andy Farrell’s men. It’s very early days for Lewis-Hughes but you want to see more from the man known to his teammates as ‘Crazy’.

JUSTIN TIPURIC – 6
Not a barnstorming return for Tipuric, who was recovering from tonsillitis, but at least played with some endeavour in the second forty.

TAULUPE FALETAU – 6
Was physically contained by the Irish, and going on current form, will struggle to make the plane for the 2021 Lions tour. His try-saving tackle on Cian Healy was top draw though and he did play himself into the game as Wales enjoyed their second-half purple patch.

REPLACEMENTS:

ELLIOT DEE – 6
With Dee on Wales suddenly started getting some set-piece stability. Some.

WYN JONES – 6
Things improved at the set-piece when he came on, which wasn’t hard considering they were in survival mode in the first half.

SAMSON LEE – 6
Came on for Francis in the 51st minute and – as with Wyn Jones – seemed to settle the Welsh scrum.

JAKE BALL – 6
An improvement on Rowlands, although that was practically a given. Should probably start.

AARON WAINWRIGHT – 6
Still trying to find the form that made him a World Cup bolter 12 months ago.

LLOYD WILLIAMS – 6
Looked sharp as part of a far brighter second-half performance for Wales. Needs to be a bit more careful when firing high speed balls at forwards knees.

CALLUM SHEEDY – NA
The Bristol Bear has repped England at non-Test level and Ireland at U20s, but he finally made his debut for country of his birth. Wasn’t on long enough to rate.

GEORGE NORTH – 5
A forward pass to start to his 100th Test cap wasn’t the ideal first touch. The game-breaking North of old is still very much dormant.

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

F
Flankly 12 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

29 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE ‘GB men can be medal contenders in Paris – if they get there’ ‘GB men can be medal contenders in Paris – if they get there’
Search