The Wallabies kicked off June with an 18-9 win over Ireland.
How did the 23 rate in Brisbane?
1. Scott Sio - 7
The Wallabies scrum was one of their strengths all night and Sio plays a massive part in this. Some super tough competition when it comes to front row selection for Melbourne but he more than made his case for retention.
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa - 6.5
Paenga-Amosa was solid overall, but some early lineout mistakes cost the Wallabies. Coach Michael Cheika put it down to rust, and with a new combination it’s easy to see it might take more than five days to adjust to a lineout setup. Expect more from him in Melbourne.
3. Sekope Kepu - 7
Similar to Sio,an anchor in the scrum. Kepu made nine tackles against Ireland and won a turnover as well. One of Australia’s most reliable Test players.
4. Izack Rodda - 6.5
Rodda didn’t have a major impact in Brisbane, but put in a decent shift. The youngster worked hard, but wasn’t super influential.
5. Adam Coleman - 7
Adam Coleman was a man on a mission in Brisbane, making tackle after tackle, particularly early on, finishing with 14 overall. A tackle on a player without the ball denied Australia a try, though, and whatever you think of the call, discipline needs to be high on his radar going into the final two Tests.
6. David Pocock - 9.5
How good was it to see Pocock back in Test rugby? Whatever your thoughts might be about his sabbatical, you can’t argue with his form when he is in the Wallabies fold. He finished with 12 tackles, four turnovers and the match-winning try. Absolute star.
7. Michael Hooper 8.5
Hooper’s efforts will go overshadowed when it comes to Pooper chat, but the Wallabies captain put in a massive night in Brisbane. Involved in everything, the openside finished with an absurdly high 18 tackles, a sign of the work he put in on Saturday.
8. Caleb Timu - 7
Probably the biggest compliment you can give a Test debutant is that you didn’t notice them. Timu wasn’t a game changer, where he has been in Super Rugby, and there’ll be more expected of him next week, but with 12 tackles on debut, Timu did what was asked of him on the biggest stage of all.
9. Will Genia - 7
Genia was his usual consistent self with the ball in hand. Australia’s kicking game cost them at times, and Genia was guilty of a couple of clangers.
10. Bernard Foley 7
Foley steadied the attack and finished well for the Wallabies in the first half. He wasn’t as influential as the man outside him, Kurtley Beale, but did his job. Some poor kicking options taken at times, but he was fine outside of that.
11. Dane Haylett-Petty 7.5
Haylett-Petty hasn’t played a Test since last year’s second Bledisloe and though he’s had a mixed Super Rugby season, he showed why the Wallabies have so much faith in him. Was impeccable under the high ball and held up a certain Ireland try. Welcome back, Dane.
12. Kurtley Beale - 8.5
Beale was hugely influential for the Wallabies. Set up an ultimately disallowed try and provided spark in attack throughout the game. Some poor kick execution hurt the Wallabies, but he was no Robinson Crusoe there. Looks to be back to some of his best Test footy, and just at the right time too.
13. Samu Kerevi - 6
Kerevi was under the spotlight this week for his defence, and he silenced a few critics tonight. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the impact in attack that he has at the Reds this year, and that is what makes him such an exciting player. Expect him to improve in Melbourne.
14. Marika Koroibete - 7.5
He didn’t get much of the ball but the winger was immense when it was in Irish hands, making a try-saving tackle on Jacob Stockdale. Finished with 11 tackles, an incredible tally for a winger.
15. Israel Folau 8
He didn’t get a huge amount of opportunity, but when he was near the ball he always looked dangerous. Was, as always, very good under the high ball and probably could have had more impact if one or two more cross-field options had connected.
16. Tolu Latu - 7
The Wallabies reserve front row was critical in Brisbane and Latu repaid the faith Michael Cheika has shown in him in that respect.
17. Tom Robertson - 7
He was a late inclusion with Allan Alaalatoa injured but Tom Robertson certainly made the most of his inclusion.
18. Taniela Tupou - 7.5
Tupou is already special, but he’s on his way up the pecking order rapidly. The reserve tighthead orchestrated the late scrum penalty that turned the game for the Wallabies. Has improved out of sight and there’s more where that came from.
19. Rob Simmons - 6
Made some solid contributions when he came on, but a knock on from a Will Genia pass was a coach killer.
20. Lukhan Tui - N/A
Only played eight minutes.
21. Pete Samu - 7
He came onto the game when Caleb Timu went off for a blood bin and almost immediately won a turnover. Played the last 17 minutes and showed plenty of promise
22. Nick Phipps - N/A
Only played seven minutes.
23. Reece Hodge - N/A
Hodge was serviceable but didn’t really have enough time on the field to make an impact.