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Wallabies player ratings vs Springboks | Rugby Championship

By Nick Turnbull

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The Wallabies Bledisloe Cup sins have been absolved with a memorable 28-26 victory over the world champion Springboks at Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast.

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The Wallabies, in particular the forward pack, were dogged all night and laid the platform for success, yet this test match will always be remembered for the return of Quade Cooper.

The mercurial playmaker put in a mature, controlled performance and provided this young Australian side with an astute game manager, something they have been starved of this season.

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Cooper’s crowning moment was the post siren penalty kick that secured the Wallabies victory and secured himself as the starring role in an immortal moment in Australian rugby history.

This is how the Wallabies rated:

1. Angus Bell – 6/10

Had a torrid time of it in the set piece, but, to his credit, he managed to win the Wallabies a vital scrum penalty that secured his side an opportunity to take further points. His general support play was also first class.

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2. Folau Fainga’a – 6

His set piece on the whole was solid despite the odd infraction, yet he did put unnecessary pressure on his side with a no arms, ankle high tackle that attracted a yellow card. Will need to adjust his tackling style if he wants to secure that hooker role for the Wallabies.

3. Allan Alaalatoa – 6

Like his fellow front rowers, he had a tough time in the set piece but kept at it and exhausted himself for the cause.

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4. Izack Rodda – 7

The Wallabies needed him to step up against the likes of De Jager and Etzebeth, and Rodda threw himself into the challenge and provided some starch in the contact zone. He was not called upon in the offensive line out but claimed a critical lineout steal to relieve pressure.

5. Matt Phillip – 6.5

Like Rodda, he brought some physicality and on numerous occasions slowed down or defused the Springboks lineout maul, yet was also heavily penalised when his timings were off and earned himself a yellow card for infringing in that space.

6. Lachlan Swinton – 7

The Wallabies needed him to bring the physicality and, after a somewhat quiet performance in Perth last weekend, Swinton imposed himself on the Boks while also illustrating his prowess in the lineout as the Australia’s main man in that facet of play. Still guilty of the odd infraction in particular ball security, but, overall, a quality shift.

7. Michael Hooper – 8

Another relentless performance. He was unlucky not to have secured more turnover penalties, something he is not renowned for. But, as always, he was in the thick of it. What impressed was his leadership and choosing to take points when they were on offer.

8. Rob Valentini – 7

Very strong into contact both sides of the ball and he was better than Duane Vermeulen tonight. What impressed is his maturity not to push passes and appeared to understand the value of running his line, secure the possession and allowing the team to maintain the pressure off his work.

9. Tate McDermott – 7

It was a pity he succumbed to a cork to his lower right leg as, despite the odd errant pass or ill-timed box kick, he had the Wallabies starting to find some rhythm and was as electric and unpredictable as ever around the base.

10. Quade Cooper – 9

The performance of a career. He was exactly what the Wallabies needed tonight – a mature game manager who could unlock the best in others. He varied his width and depth. He found space on both sides of himself and behind the blitz defence. When he spoke, the way in which Wallabies zeroed in on him, hanging off every word, you knew this was the type of player this team needed – and he delivered for them. Redemption manifest!

11. Marika Koroibete – 7

Looked for work and looked to impose himself on the Boks at every opportunity. He was guilty of crabbing and perhaps running away from his support at times, yet his intent to take on the Boks was admirable.

12. Samu Kerevi – 7.5

Was instrumental in tonight’s win. He took the hard yards when required, but also varied it up with some astute space running coupled with an offload game made him a real handful for the Boks. Despite dropping one cold when the Wallabies were well on attack, he was one of their best.

13. Len Ikitau – 7

Appeared to come out of his shell tonight and found trust in himself as an international rugby player. Was very physical in defence and made a number of bone-jarring hits. Also showed he has a left boot, something that could serve the Wallabies well if they learn how to harness it.

14. Andrew Kellaway – 7

Scored a wonderful wingers try, cutting back in after Samu Kerevi had made the space after jinking away from some rush defence. Held is depth and attacked the space. Pleased that he executed the opportunities when they came.

15. Tom Banks – 6

Had a bit of work to do fielding any number of high balls and made a fist of it. Had some god moments with the ball in hand but never really found a way into the game.

Bench:

16. Feleti Kaitu’u – 7

One to watch. His set piece was on the money, but when he held up Malcom Marx and secure a maul turnover, he showed there is a bit to him.

17. James Slipper – 6

Didn’t sure up the scrum as much as one would have hoped, but the final scrum of the evening was definitive and all his experience and guile no doubt contributed to that, which was the precursor for the now famous Quade Cooper penalty kick.

18. Taniela Tupou – 6.5

He really should be starting as he appears wasted as a finisher, although his finish tonight was very good.

19. Rob Leota – 6

On for his first cap and made a fist of it.

20. Pete Samu – 7.5

Was a real impact player for the Wallabies when he came on. He works for the space and soft shoulder very well and offers a work rate an intelligence to the Wallabies in the finishing stages. He was good tonight.

21. Nic White – 7

Secured the Wallabies a penalty at the end to give them a shot at victory, yet, prior to that, he controlled the game admirably given the Wallabies scrum was on the back foot and South Africa’s lineout and driving maul off it were a significant issue to contend with.

22. Reece Hodge – 5

It’s best not to mention that kick with about two minutes to go.

23. Jordan Petaia – N/A

Didn’t see enough.

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Wallabies player ratings vs Springboks | Rugby Championship

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