South Africa vs Wallabies: Player ratings

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies have played out their second draw against South Africa in less than a month.

So who starred and who struggled in Bloemfontein?

1. Scott Sio - 8

Neither scrum was overly dominant in Bloemfontein but Sio was a positive force for the Wallabies. Outside of the set piece, had some good runs, finishing with three carries and beating a defender. His best Test this season.

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau - 7

Polota-Nau seemingly has a stranglehold on the starting hooker position and that doesn’t look like changing after this Test.

3.Sekope Kepu - 8

Kepu has worked his way back into the starting fold after a slow start to the year and continues to grow with each start. One of Australia’s most underrated players.

4. Izack Rodda - 6

The Wallabies played out another draw. Photo: Getty ImagesDid not look out of place in his first international start and that’s about the strongest indication of a player’s potential of any. Has a big future.

5. Adam Coleman - 6

Lineout was solid with Coleman at the helm and though he didn’t have the influence maybe Wallabies fans are becoming used to, he was certainly solid.

6. Jack Dempsey - 5

Dempsey was a workhorse in his first Test start, without doing anything remarkable or diabolical. The flanker was picked for his wildness, but didn’t really show too much of that against the Springboks. Will be better for the experi

7. Michael Hooper - 9

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper lifts the Nelson Mandela Plate. Photo: Getty ImagesRarely puts a foot wrong when he dons the Wallabies jersey and was again the side’s best on a tough night. All but saved the game for Australia, with a pilfer giving the Wallabies one final chance to mount an attack with scores level.

8. Sean McMahon - 7

Didn’t have the impact he had in Canberra, but was effective in defence, finishing with 14 tackles for the match. Loomed as the Wallabies’ match-winner in the final minutes, before a knock on snuffed out that opportunity. Continues to show Australia what they’ll be missing next season.

9. Will Genia - 7

Genia was strong all night, and his value probably showed most clearly after he came off the field, with Australia losing some composure in the final minutes.

10. Bernard Foley - 7

Inaccurate in-field kicking hurt the Wallabies at times and Foley was the most common culprit, unable to find touch with a kick early piece and putting a free kick dead at a critical juncture. Made up for that patchiness off the boot, setting up Marika Koroibete twice.


11. Reece Hodge - 9

Hodge continues to perform at the international level, providing that elusive consistency that players and teams talk about so often. The utility had a major influence even as he tired, with a crucial turnover and super defence, ultimately making nine tackles. Didn’t have the chance to show his big boot often, but was accurate when he did. Easy to forget he’s only 23.

12. Kurtley Beale - 8

Beale collected an intercept that saved the Wallabies deep in the defensive zone in the 28th minute, the beginning of the centre stamping his influence on the game. Was run over in the second half as the Springboks steamrolled to a try, and though that was a critical lapse, his overall effort was among the best for Australia yet again.

13. Tevita Kuridrani - 6

Kuridrani has staked a claim on the outside centre spot and again delivered what he needed to for the Wallabies. Had a chance to give the Wallabies a late advantage but fell just short.

14. Marika Koroibete - 8

Marika Koroibete showed his finishing abilities in Bloemfontein. Photo: Getty ImagesThis time last year Koroibete was playing in a losing NRL grand final team. How things can change in a year. The winger had his first Test try, and ultimately first double, in a showing that demonstrated what fans might have to look forward to from the prolific finisher when he gets some more touches. Influential in defence early in the game particularly as well.

15. Israel Folau - 7

Folau added another record to his list in Bloemfontein, breaking the record for tries in a calendar year, and looked dangerous whenever he had the ball, especially in the opening half. Was probably lucky to avoid a yellow card after pulling the hair of Springboks’ Dillyn Leyds in a tackle just shy of half-time.

Reserves

16. Stephen Moore - 5

Moore has called time on his international career and his place in the matchday 23 seems far from secure. Valuable mentor off-field but remains to be seen whether this outing will be enough to keep Jordan Uelese out of the 23 as the final Tests of his career loom.

17. Tom Robertson - N/A

Didn’t have enough time to truly make an impact.

18. Allan Alaalatoa

The Wallabies scrum had a good night. Photo: Getty ImagesHad a good run, but similarly to Robertson, had little time to leave his mark on the match.

19. Rob Simmons - 5

The Wallabies lineout struggled towards the back end of the game, though the set pieces were few and far between overall. Simmons has been strong in recent weeks but was down on that level this week.

20. Ned Hanigan - 5

Hanigan has copped plenty of flak in recent weeks, but that hasn’t changed his mindset. Had limited time but was solid in the back end of the clash.

21. Lukhan Tui - 6

Only injury prevented Tui from donning the gold earlier in the year and he showed why he’s rated so highly. A smart offload with his first touch of the ball, but with only 18 minutes, was no game changer.


22. Nick Phipps - N/A

Only played four minutes, and had a couple of mistakes, but not enough to give a rating.

23. Samu Kerevi - N/A

Barely had a chance to touch the ball, let alone have an influence.

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