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Wales player ratings vs New Zealand | Autumn Nations Series

By Will Owen
Wales' Rio Dyer during the Autumn International match at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday November 5, 2022. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)

Wales player ratings: Wales’ autumn campaign began with Wayne Pivac’s side playing a mildly off-colour All Blacks side – but an All Blacks side nonetheless. No matter the form of New Zealand, for Wales to put a score past them is always an uphill climb.


Unfortunately for Wales, it ended once more with New Zealand hitting 50 points. It didn’t come without high points for Pivac’s side, but not the result they wanted.

15. Gareth Anscombe – 5
Moved to fullback an hour before kickoff, Anscombe took his first high ball well but was targeted shortly afterwards. Made a great charge-down on Barrett, but was largely quiet.

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14. Louis Rees-Zammit – 5
Didn’t see much space, courtesy of New Zealand’s aggressive blitz defence. No issues in defence opposite Caleb Clarke.

13. George North – 6.5
North thrives off early touches, and had a few good ones at the start of the game. Ran a brilliant line for Dyer’s try.

12. Nick Tompkins – 6.5
Solid in midfield – made a great break to set up a break and supplied a lovely lift ball for Dyer’s try. Often did well as an extra distributor.

11. Rio Dyer – 7
The Dragons flyer settled the nerves with an early shot on Sevu Reece. Took his try brilliantly for a dream start to his Wales career. A strong debut against the All Blacks.


10. Rhys Priestland – 6
Wales’ late replacement looked fantastic kicking penalties to touch, but arguably he and partner Tomos Williams could have kicked more. Unfortunately, Mo’unga managed the game that bit better than he did.

9. Tomos Williams – 7.5
Looked comfortable playing to a high tempo. Made a great intervention early in the second half with his line speed and his left boot, as well as creating Tipuric’s try.

1. Gareth Thomas – 3
So-so at scrum time and gave away a couple of preventable penalties.

2. Ken Owens – 7.5
After being plummeted back into the starting XV, Owens made a characteristic hatful of thunderous carries.


3. Tom Francis – 3
Once again, alright on his own ball but hardly impactful on opposition put-in.

4. Will Rowlands – 4
Provided some decent competition at the line-out. Didn’t have a huge impact throughout, which isn’t enough against the All Blacks.

5. Adam Beard – 5
Beard began with a trademark octopus-swim (an elite coaching term) through the middle of a maul. Was fairly quiet for the rest of his half, but by no means bad.

6. Justin Tipuric – 5.5
Started poorly with a woeful tackle on Dalton Papali’i and a weak contact on Ardie Savea. Took his try well in the second half, albeit with a bit of fortune on his side. A couple of costly errors with a sprinkling of brilliant moments.

7. Tommy Reffell – 5
On his home debut, Reffell made a couple of great chop tackles but didn’t nail down that textbook turnover early doors. Alright performance, but didn’t live up to his standards in South Africa.

8. Taulupe Faletau – 8
Faletau’s uncharacteristically high penalty count was at odds with his characteristically high number of positive contributions – always makes a lot of tackles and a couple of crucial turnovers – most notably putting Beauden Barrett into touch. Probably Wales’ best player, despite his early penalties.


16. Ryan Elias – N/A
No significant impact.

17. Nicky Smith – 3
Somehow bought Ardie Savea’s audacious dummy. Bizarre.

18. Dillon Lewis – 3
Not massively noticeable around the park, slightly backwards at scrum time.

19. Alun-Wyn Jones – 6
Made an impact in the contact area, but unfortunately not the day he may have dreamed of.

20. Christ Tshiunza – 8
Brilliant line-out option and made a definite impact. One of Wales’ smartest and most physical players as soon as he came on. Made a great case for starting next week.

21. Kieran Hardy – 5
No significant impact but managed to play to Wales’ tempo when the game was already gone.

22. Sam Costelow – 6
He’s a small Welsh fly-half who technically got a lineout take on his second touch of international rugby. That’s an automatic plus point.

23. Owen Watkin – 5
No significant impact other than one big carry into the All Blacks 22.


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Jon 1 hours ago
Buoyant England travel to New Zealand full of hope but are they walking into an All Blacks ambush?

> New head coach Scott Robertson has kept only forwards coach Jason Ryan and conditioning coach Nic Gill from the previous regime *and so there is little institutional knowledge inherent in the new team.* Shows you what the English know about sport. Isn’t just fantastic that the best rugby team, or brand, on the planet has three brothers playing together? One a bull, the other a dancer, and last a .. boxer? Looks like a boxer bless him. > But Robertson has been working to fix that issue, with senior players and coaches having been regularly meeting to work out how they will operate together both on and off the field to ensure there is strong decision-making and a deep understanding of how the team wants to play. Have they? I would suggest then it is not a case of fixing things, that is not what Razor does. Razor will evolve the relationship between player and coach into a more symbiotic relationship. This wont be a coach that shouts down at his players theyre not doing good enough. I can imagine one of the first key areas he will be implementing is the respective leadership for each coaching group. Tight five, Loosies, Halves, Centers, and Back Three, will each have their own leadership team and an agile approach to the playing group relaying what they believe is happening on the training paddock, and in games. It will be a very big step to get everyone involved, able, and thinking about contributing to that process, but I believe a very beneficial one if successful. > England may have their best chance to win in 21 years, but they may also be walking into an ambush – *about to be hit* by a young, gifted, supremely physical and athletic All Blacks team coached by a man who has made every post a winner so far in his career and has this uncanny knack of getting the best out of people. Or, by a group hurting from not getting over the line and proving to everyone they are the best in the world, full of experience and cohesion, grit and motivation. You only need to look at someone like Patrick Tuipulotu to see someone with a fire under his belly from missing out on the last RWC due to injury, and having lost to this opposition in the previous one. It will be very interesting to see how this ‘Razor’ plays it. Does he stick with the traditional and protect the time honored All Black values of commitment, or does he evolve and pick the best players to win the Rugby Championship - and by association this test series - like Akira Ioane?

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