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Wales player ratings vs Wallabies | July series first Test

By Jack Tunney
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 06: Ben Thomas of Wales passes the ball during the men's International Test match between Australia Wallabies and Wales at Allianz Stadium on July 06, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Wallabies gave Wales a great welcome to Sydney this afternoon as they defeated the visitors 25-16 at the Allianz Stadium in the first of their summer tests.

Here is how we rated the Welsh players:

He was dominated at scrum time and looked out of his depth against a powerful Wallaby forward pack. Would have been relieved to exit the field shortly into the second half. Off at 41.

2 Dewi Lake – 5.5
Lost his bind with Thomas early on when the scrum was under pressure, which led to a Wallaby penalty. He worked the lineouts well but was guilty of knocking the ball on in an important attacking position as the first half drew to a close. Off at 72.

3 Archie Griffin – 7.5
He topped the Welsh tackle charts with a tremendous defensive performance and held his own against a scrum that would melt most forwards. Off at 74.

Set Plays

5
Scrums
4
100%
Scrum Win %
75%
11
Lineout
12
82%
Lineout Win %
75%
9
Restarts Received
6
100%
Restarts Received Win %
100%

4 Christ Tshiunza – 7.5
Another mighty defensive effort from the big man. A high tackle rate and brilliantly forced an Australian penalty giveaway when camped on the Welsh try line – a vital play to give his teammates some much-needed rest. Sent his teammates back to that position just 20 minutes later, however, when he put his hands on the opposition 9. He didn’t see much of the ball, something that the Welsh coaches will want to address if Wales are to gain front-foot possession in the next test.

5 Dafydd Jenkins – 7.5
A very similar performance to his lock partner. A big voice in the lineout and a vital cog in working the penalty try. High tackle rate throughout which kept his side within touching distance at all times. Off at 65.

6 Taine Plumtree – 7.5
A huge hit from Plumtree set the tone early on as he put in a confident display on the flank. Impressive in the lineout and constantly involved in the tackle area, will be pleased with his performance. Off at 56.

7 Tommy Reffell – 7.5

It’s hard to rate Reffell any different to his compatriots as they worked so impressively as a unit in defence, although he was guilty of missing a couple of his tackles. In attack Reffell found himself carrying the ball a couple more times, but as a group, they warranted an overall score.

The Creme de la Crop of Welsh forwards today. Whilst all of them performed admirably in defence, Wainwright stood out for his impeccable work in both defence and attack. Constantly causing the Aussies problems with ball in hand, this number 8 found himself to be the key weapon in an otherwise laboured Welsh attack.

9 Ellis Bevan – 6.5
After a solid first 35 minutes, he dropped a simple high ball straight into the hands of Rio Dyer right in front of him to give away the penalty. He redeemed himself with a beautiful 50:22 in the second half which gave his teammates some much-needed territory and possession. Off at 72.

10 Ben Thomas – 6
Big test at 10 for a player that normally finds himself in the centres. It looked like it was going to be a rosy day at the office for the young man after nailing his first kick at goal. Sadly without the necessary go-forward, Thomas was unable to do much in the way of playmaking as he saw his side starved of ball. Off at 72.

11 Rio Dyer – 4.5
A quiet game for the talented winger. Early on he looked shaky under a short crossfield and later picked up a ball in a clearly offside position at the end of the first half. Guilty of missing a couple of tackles too, but did look dangerous when the ball was actually in his hands.

12 Mason Grady – 5
Part of a centre partnership that was never really given the opportunity to play, did his job in defence though. Moved onto the wing following Liam William’s injury which didn’t look any more fun for him. Tom Wright made him look silly for his try.

13 Owen Watkin – 4.5
Made a few carries, and missed a couple of tackles. But if you hadn’t checked the stats you could argue that you’d not noticed him until the final ten minutes.

14 Josh Hathaway – 2
A bit of a shocker sadly. Showed inexperience with an overcooked kick to space early on which landed squarely in touch. Missed five tackles in total and simply walked into touch when receiving the ball near the Wallaby touchline. Not a day to remember.

15 Liam Williams – 7.5
Looked dangerous with the ball in hand and pulled off a mighty impressive touchline kick as he counter-attacked the Wallaby defence. Headbutted by his own teammate during a celebration, will feel that one in the morning. Off at 63.

Attack

151
Passes
157
130
Ball Carries
104
312m
Post Contact Metres
202m
3
Line Breaks
2

Substitutes

16 Evan Lloyd – N/A
On at 72.

17 Kemsley Mathias
On at 41. Came on to sure up the scrum, but ended up being battered in the contact area.

18 Harri O’Connor – N/A
On at 72.

19 Cory Hill – 5
On at 65. Made very little impact when he arrived on the field – needed to get involved in the game more.

20 James Botham – 7.5
On at 56. Impressive start to proceedings, touching down with his first touch, but sadly for him the try was eventually disallowed. Carried well into contact and made his fair share of tackles.

21 Kieran Hardy – 7
On at 72. Did the simple things right, played fast and direct and he looked to get his teammates on the ball, an impressive showing.

22 Sam Costelow – 7
On at 72. Looked incredibly lively as he helped speed up a previously lacking Welsh defence.

23 Nick Tompkins – 6.5
Skinned on the outside by Tom Wright, but otherwise played an impressive part in the revitalised Welsh attack.

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Tom 26 minutes ago
All Blacks snatch another tight victory from England at Eden Park

First up to any of the ABs fans who accused us of “bluster” pre-series for saying it would be a competitive - I'm glad it turned out to be an excellent series to which the ABs were deserving winners and I hope next time a side tours you'll be a little more humble. I loved the heart shown by the English boys and how they managed to contain the AB attack for large parts of the series. Was very disappointed by the lack of cohesion and ambition ball in hand, we looked after the ball poorly and hardly went 2 phases without kicking it away. We're not giving ourselves enough opportunity to put phases together and build pressure. The ambition shown in the 6N against Ireland and France seems to have gone and our players look very hesitant with ball in hand, we look much better when Marcus is taking the ball flat and boys are running hard at the line. So frustrating when we're starting to build pressure in the 22 we go back to the grubber kick then find ourselves back on the half way line 10 seconds later. We've shown great success with our box kicking game but we need to leave the flipping grubber kick in the locker room. Like the Marcus Smith hail Mary miss pass that went straight to Mark Telea, we seem to have no patience. Sometimes we just need to recycle the ball and go again. Loving seeing Maro back to his best and Fin Baxter really impressed, Alex Mitchell looks to be one of the most complete 9s in world rugby, great around the base and impeccable kicking. Congrats to the ABs, far more dangerous and skillful than England. We contained you for large swathes but to shut down that amount of pace and skill for 80 mins is nigh on impossible. Managed to find a way to win and instinctively grabbed the rare opportunities which came your way. Finding ways to win in two tight test matches will I'm sure be a great experience for your younger players. Beauden needs to be in the starting 15, what a worldie.

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