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Wallabies player ratings vs Wales | Rugby World Cup 2023

By Tom Vinicombe
Rob Valetini of Australia breaks with the ball whilst under pressure from Jac Morgan of Wales during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

The Wallabies have fallen to a demoralising 40-6 defeat against Wales in Lyon, all but ending their hopes of World Cup glory.


Despite dominating the gain-line, the penalties came thick and fast at the breakdown and scrum and Wales took a 16-6 lead into the break.

Things went from bad to worse in the second half for Australia, however, with Wales piling on 24 unanswered points.

How did the Wallabies rate in defeat?

1. Angus Bell – 4/10
The first two scrums went very well for the Wallabies but then it was all one-way traffic in the other direction. Picked up some good metres with ball in hand. Off in 67th minute.

2. Dave Porecki – 5
Penalised at the opening breakdown after getting trapped under a mass of bodies. Started well at the lineout but sent one throw sailing over the top when Australia had possession in the red zone late in the first half, then threw a very crooked delivery early in the second.

3. James Slipper – 6
Dropped a simple pass while the Wallabies were playing under advantage. Got the better of Francis Thomas at scrum time despite not being a regular tighthead, winning two penalties. Off at halftime.

4. Nick Frost – 4
The main target at the lineout for the Wallabies. Penalised once for not rolling away at the breakdown. Carried hard but was outplayed by the other three locks on the park.


5. Richie Arnold – 5
Generally looked strong when carrying in the midfield. Finally slipped through the Welsh defence after countless phases on attack in the red zone and also managed to find Bell with his offload.  His late arrival to the tackle on halftime contributed to preventing Louis Rees-Zammit from grabbing a wonder try. Off in 66th minute.

6. Rob Leota – 5
Made one excellent charge down the left-hand flank to give the Wallabies prime attacking ball inside Wales’ 22. Looked good in open space but probably needed to spend more time with his head in dark places. Off in 50th minute.


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7. Tom Hooper – 4
Gave away a very soft penalty at the breakdown but Gareth Anscombe’s attempted shot on goal luckily ricocheted off the posts. Couldn’t help the Wallabies get any sort of ascendency (or even parity) at the breakdown.


8. Rob Valetini – 6
Had no issues making metres with the ball, running at gaps and palming off defenders. Copped an unlucky penalty for diving on a ball that had well and truly left the ruck.

9. Tate McDermott – 6
A lively return to the field. Made a couple of half breaks. Defended well when marking up two players on the right-hand side of the park during a couple of Wales skirmishes. Found good distance and height with his box kicks, bar one dreadful attempt that went directly up in the air at the end of the third quarter and handed Wales a penalty and three points. The key man in holding up Rees-Zammit on half time. Off in 68th minute.

10. Ben Donaldson – 2
Just about nothing went right for the young fly-half. Rushed out of the line to shut down a Wales set-play from an early lineout but created a massive gap in the defence for Jac Morgan to race through, leading to the opening try. Had a few issues with his hands (and feet) in what must have been slightly slippery conditions. Put in one nice wipers kicks. Had the vision and pace to weave through a gap in the Welsh line but chose the wrong man to pass to. Beaten under the high ball on a couple of occasions. Sent one kick-off directly into touch with seconds left in the first half, with Wales goin within an inch of scoring a try from the ensuing possession. Threw one intercepted pass in the second spell. Off in 53rd minute.

11. Marika Koroibete – 4
Put in a poor grubber kick while on attack but made up for it with a missile-like hit on defence after a good chase. Threw a long ball into touch with Andrew Kellaway situated far too deep to get a hand on the ball – but the space was there. Caught out when carrying in an upright position.

12. Samu Kerevi – 4
A dependable defence magnet in the midfield. Made a couple of monstrous hits on defence. Penalised for a high shot, costing his side three points, and an intentional knock-down, costing his side 20 metres. Dropped the ball cold five metres out from his own line and Gareth Anscombe nailed a drop goal not long after.

13. Jordan Petaia – 6
Looked strong in contact and stretched the Welsh defence at times. Showed good pace to make a crucial cover tackle on Josh Adams.

14. Mark Nawaqanitawase – 6
Strong under the high ball on defence and made a nuisance of himself on attack, forcing a couple of mistakes from Wales. Sent one late-game clearing kick out on the full. Made a good break from within his 22 moments later but couldn’t get the offload away.

Points Flow Chart

Wales win +34
Time in lead
Mins in lead
% Of Game In Lead
Possession Last 10 min
Points Last 10 min

15. Andrew Kellaway – 5
Made a couple of nice incisions from the back. Held onto Rees-Zammit for dear life when the Wales wing was trying to fight his way over the line right before the break. Caught out by Gareth Anscombe’s cheeky chip over the top by shifting to the left-hand edge when he was needed at the back. Off in 60th minute.


16. Matt Faessler – 5
On in 60th minute. Hit his lineouts and a few rucks but wasn’t the spark plug Australia needed.

17. Blake Schoupp – N/A
On in 67th minute.

18. Pone Fa’amausili – 4
On at halftime. Wasn’t able to help shore up the set-piece, conceding a handful of penalties. Carried resolutely but it’s the sight of him going backwards at a rate of knotts in the scrum that will be remembered.

19. Matt Philip – N/A
On in 66th minute.

20. Fraser McReight
On in 50th minute. Nabbed one late penalty but wasn’t able to stem the Welsh dominance at the breakdown.

21. Nic White – N/A
On in 68th minute.

22. Carter Gordon – 5
On in 53rd minute. Made a nice cover tackle when George North almost slipped through the midfield. Looked good running with the ball. Sent one penalty dead.

23. Suliasi Vunivalu – 4
On in 60th minute. Made one good run but then attempted to roll over the line instead of planting the ball back. Rarely got his hands on the ball.


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david 276 days ago

leaving out quade cooper and michael hooper, and minus taniela topou and will skelton through injury, what chance did we have. With great respect to will skelton, without hooper and cooper to lead this side, they have been completely lost. i can understand picking a young side with an eye to the future, but that doesn’t mean you leave out the combined experience of those two players. And it was eddie jones himself that offered up the reason for picking such an inexperienced squad, namely that of looking to the future. So much for an eye to the future. That grub jumped ship as soon as his own tactics backfired. good riddance and don’t come back.

Paul 293 days ago

Crazy, despite being down at half time, Australia was totally dominant. At that time I felt Australia would run away with the game. How wrong I was!!!!

Chris 293 days ago

Juste a side note on Valetini : the ball was out of the ruck indeed but you're no longer allowed to jump on a ball less than 1.5m from the ruck due to too many knee injuries.
I find the rating harsh on him and on Nawaqanitawase and too soft on Kellaway

Tipa 293 days ago

I felt for the Aussie players! Despite loosing to Wales, these men hv fought hard to represent their team, their whanau, their country! They hv carried a huge load off field to the game!! Todays game is a wake up call for the future! Sit down, review Wht went wrong inside their camp and look forward! Don’t give up! There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel! All the best !! Aroha nui!! The next rugby World Cup is coming to yr area ! Kia kaha Kia toa!!

Willie 294 days ago

Surprised any forward, apart from Valetini, got more than 3.
Porecki's decision making puts him in the minus.

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