Wallabies vs Italy: Player ratings

by Sam Phillips

There wasn't a lot to like about the Wallabies performance against Italy on Saturday.

Here's who we thought stood out from an otherwise ho-hum bunch.

1. Scott Sio 4

Wouldn't have been particularly happy with his return to the starting XV.

The Australian scrum was put under serious pressure in the 50 minutes he was on the field and he was directly penalised three times, though one of those may have been a touch stiff.

Didn't record a single carry and was subbed for Toby Smith in the 48th minute.

2. Stephen Moore 5.5

Stephen Moore made a solid return to the starting XV. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyHis lineout throwing was precise, miscueing just the one throw in his 50 minutes on field.

Even that was a case of the Italians reading Adam Coleman's call more than Moore's throw, as the Wallabies had already gone to the lock four times in the first 20 minutes.

Did his fair share of work defensively but the scrummaging was a concern and he didn't add any go forward to a Wallabies attack that needed exactly that.

3. Allan Alaalatoa 4.5

Part of an Australian scrum that was under the pump in the first half but not sure that was his doing.

Was relatively anonymous in 56 minutes, managing just three metres from five runs.

4. Rory Arnold 5

Got stuck in defensively but the powerful carries that put him in the starting XV weren't there.

Was the man that threw the intercept to Tommaso Benvenuti for his try and was rarely used at the lineout.

5. Adam Coleman 7

Adam Coleman was good again this afternoon. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWas the go to man at lineout time and was absolutely whacking blokes in every Italian set.

Has a fantastic ability to win contact every time and that is not something you can say about any other Wallaby.

Lacked a big carry but did enough to justify a solid rating, nonetheless.

6. Ned Hanigan 6.5

Hit most Australian rucks but the gain line runs that he regularly peels off for the Waratahs are still absent.

He was there supporting Dane Haylett-Petty in cleaning up some messy ball and then followed the brilliant offload to Hooper to clean that ball up when Italians looked to foil.

Great hands, great double effort.

7. Michael Hooper 6.5

Was typically industrious on both sides of the ball but there were no line breaking bursts today.

Didn't have any real impact at the breakdown, either.

8. Lopeti Timani 6.5

Lopeti Timani had some nice touches late. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWas barely sighted early and didn't have the kind of impact he would have liked but warmed into things in the second term.

Had a few critical carries late in the piece with the Wallabies under the pump. 

9. Will Genia 6

His service was quicker, cleaner and allowed Bernard Foley to bring the backs into the game.

Was left lacking leg speed when the Italians spotted a hole, went straight through it and left him grasping at air in lead up to the Campagnaro try.

Split the line on the counterattack but the pass to Foley was two metres too high.

A serviceable game, without being great.

10. Bernard Foley 7.5

Had a shaky start with a pair of wayward passes but started to click into gear after that.

The general play kicks were better, as were the shots off the tee.

Foley set up Hodge's try and scored the winner. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThrew a perfect pop pass inside to put Haylett-Petty through the line off a well worked Moore/Coleman lineout but had a couple of handling errors, including a costly one from a Timani offload which left a try begging.

Scored the match winner and set up Reece Hodge's sealer.

Attack looked okay without being fantastic and he is responsible for that.

Needs the likes of Haylett-Petty to continue providing a strong option.

11. Sefa Naivalu 7

Absolutely steamed down the left wing to score the opening try and was in the right place at the right time for his second.

Didn't hunt a great deal of work infield but that may be a role issue.

Has plenty of pace and the Wallabies attack certainly needs that.

12. Karmichael Hunt 7

Karmichael Hunt is thriving as a second ball player. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyLed the line defensively all afternoon but fell off a few too many tackles due to that excessive speed.

Threw a superb double cutout for Folau’s second that had to be perfect and was.

Looked really comfortable as the second ball player in a team that thrives when its inside centre is creating as much attack as Foley.

13. Rob Horne 6.5

Had a nervous drop ball in the 4th minute to resume his outside centre career but that was also on Foley.

Was influential defensively alongside Hunt, had a couple of neat offloads and was really good in drawing two defenders to put Naivalu away for his first.

Was otherwise a touch quiet in the second half.

14. Dane Haylett-Petty 7.5

A vintage Haylett-Petty performance.

Was clean in the air and had a hand in three of Australia's tries.

Showed quick hands to put Folau over for his first, cleaned a loose ball up and offloaded to Hanigan in the lead up to Folau's second and slipped a slick offload to Hodge for the sealer.

His best performance of the June series by the length of the Flemington straight.

15. Israel Folau 7

Folau scored the Wallabies' first of the afternoon. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWas the official man of the match but reckon there were a few out there in better form.

Two tries in three straight Tests is no mean feat - no other Wallaby has done it - but both those tries were created by others, rather than individual brilliance.

Was typically perfect under the high ball and made some strong carries from the back but had a better impact in his first two Tests.

Reserves (players who had less than 20 minutes on field are NA)

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau 5.5

Came on for Moore with 30 to play and didn't go close to fixing the scrum.

In fact, it may have even faltered more while he was on field.

Lineout work was good and defended well but only had the one carry.

17. Toby Smith 3

Was absolutely hammered at scrum time.

Three straight penalties followed by a yellow card and no other impact to speak of.

18. Sekope Kepu 4.5

It wasn't his side being consistently penalised when he came on but he was still part of a front row that couldn't withstand a single Italian scrum.

Has been invisible in general play in cameos this series and that didn't change today.

19. Sam Carter 5

Replaced Coleman and looked for work with ball in hand but didn't really do much with it.

20. Jack Dempsey NA

Only played 12 minutes and it was tough to get a gauge as to how he was travelling while the Wallabies were under the pump.

21. Joe Powell NA

Played just three minutes.

22. Quade Cooper NA

Only played the 16 minutes and didn't have the kind of impact he had last week.

Would still like to see more of him, though, as he adds an extra layer of complexity to the attack.

23. Reece Hodge 6.5

Showed a clean pair of heels to score the sealer but otherwise kept his head down as a replacement for Naivalu, who was forced off with a leg injury.