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Wallabies player ratings vs Springboks | Rugby Championship

By Jack O'Rourke
Rob Valetini. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Wallabies hosted South Africa at the newly renovated Allianz Stadium in front of a sell-out crowd. It marked the first international match to be hosted at the ground since re-opening on Friday.

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The Wallabies named a virtually unchanged side that beat the Springboks in Adelaide a week, with Jake Gordon replacing Tate McDermott off the bench. 

The Wallabies were under pressure early in the first half, as the Springboks forward rumbled on and the Aussies’ ruck accuracy let them down. The Springboks’ tactic of putting the up-and-under kick paid dividends with pressure mounting on the Wallabies back three.

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The Springboks were able to put two tries on in the first half, including one on debut for Canan Moodie. 

The hurt continued for the Wallabies in the second half, with the Springboks scoring early and the Wallabies forced into a backline shuffle to compensate for substitutions and injuries. The game broke down into a mire of penalty calls which played perfectly into the Springboks’ hands. 

By the time Mapimpi scored his late try, the game was too far gone for the Wallabies, with the Springboks running out 24-8 victors. 

Here’s how the Wallabies rated:

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1. James Slipper – 6.5/10
Felt the pressure at scrum time but held his own against his opponent, Frans Malherbe. His ball playing out the back to his fellow forwards gave the Wallabies extra holes in the Springboks defence to exploit. 

2. Folau Fainga’a – 4.5
His lineout throwing was very shaky and lost a lineout against the throw. His discipline continues to be an issue for the Wallabies. 

3. Allan Alaalatoa – 5.5
Was tenacious in defence and worked hard to support his forwards at the breakdown. Had the wood over his opposition number at scrum time. Escaped with a penalty for high contact in the ruck. Was probably guilty of losing his cool a number of times during the match.

4. Rory Arnold – 6
Arnold was influential in leading the Wallabies maul defence off the lineout, with the forward pack not giving up an inch to their opposition. Contained his opposite number Etzebeth for most of the game until he was substituted in the 57th minute. 

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5. Matt Philip – 6
Worked hard around the park but failed to impose himself physically against a dominant Springboks pack. Proves to be an important part of the Wallabies set-piece, acting as the lead caller at lineout time. 

6. Jed Holloway – 5
Largely anonymous but did work hard around the park to be involved at the breakdown and at the set-piece. Went for an intercept in the first half and was arguably lucky to avoid a yellow card. 

7. Fraser McReight – 6.5
Didn’t get much pay for contesting the ruck, but went hard at the breakdown and was excellent in defence. Did his credentials no harm in a poor-performing Wallabies side. 

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8. Rob Valetini – 7.5
Valetini is fast becoming the Wallabies most important forward. He served as the key man for the Wallabies to gain metres and get over the advantage line. Imposed himself physically in the carry and caused trouble for the Springboks defence. Was also aggressive on D with some big ball-and-all tackles. 

9. Nic White – 6.5
Continued to get under the Boks’ skin all game and he was targeted by the opposing forward pack. His tactical kicking was able to give the Wallabies quality field position. 

10. Noah Lolesio – 5
 Struggled to impose himself on the game. A wayward kick in the first half and some poor decisions saw him substituted at the 45th minute. 

11. Marika Koroibete – 6.5
The Wallabies winger’s work rate continues to set him apart in World Rugby, and his ability to cover huge distances in defence kept his team in the game. 

12. Hunter Paisami – 4
Was used in the narrow channels off set-piece to go over the advantage. Put his body on the line and went off for a head knock in the 26th minute. 

13. Len Ikitau – 6
At moments he threatened to break open the game with his probing linebreaks, and the Springboks targeted him in defence in an effort to neutralise the Wallabies backline. Continues to front up in defence and his battle against Jesse Kriel was a highlight of the game. 

14. Tom Wright – 5.5 
Had limited opportunities on the wing. Had a shot to gather a wide bouncing ball from White but handling errors continue to let him down. His hot-headedness during the all-in brawl at the end of the game nearly got his team in trouble. 

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15. Reece Hodge – 6
Again was impressive under the highball, with the Springboks peppering the Wallabies back three all night. Reeled off huge metres off the boot for penalty kicks. After a backline shuffle he found himself playing flyhalf and when he was asked to step up as chief playmaker, he wasn’t able to get his team going.

 Reserves:

16. David Porecki – 4
Came on late in the game. Gave away a throw against the feed. 

17. Scott Sio – N/A 
Came onto the field in the 70th minute. 

18. Taniela Tupou – N/A 
Was ruled out during the game after failing a fitness test on his troublesome calf.

19. Darcy Swain – 4
Came on but failed to impose his usual aggressive play on the game. 

20. Rob Leota – N/A 
Came on late in the game. 

21. Pete Samu – 6
Entered the fray in the 60th minute. Was lucky not to be penalised for a stray outstretched hand off a quick Springbok lineout. Made an impact at the breakdown by challenging the opposition. Was on the receiving end of the Wallabies’ only try in the 78th minute. 

22. Jake Gordon – 5
Entered the action in a reshuffled Wallabies backline and found himself playing on the wing. Alternated with White as scrumhalf. 

23. Andrew Kellaway – 5
Entered the action early to replace Paisami. Gave away a penalty for taking the defender out off the ball. Got limited opportunities with the ball in hand.

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