Wallabies vs Ireland: Player ratings

International
by Sam Phillips

The Wallabies dropped the Sydney decider in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday.

How did each of the players rate in the thrilling June finale?

1. Scott Sio - 7

Scrum was solid throughout and 10 carries to pair with eight first term tackles made for a typical Sio shift.

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa - 6.5

Was carrying the ball in far from envious positions and put in serious hard yards when doing so. Scrummaging was solid, tackles effective without being dominant. Subbed at half time.

 3. Sekope Kepu - 7

A dumb penalty for a late hit on Johnny Sexton wasn't his finest work early on but his scrummaging was superb and he stepped up with seven momentum stopping tackles in the first half alone.

4. Izack Rodda - 6

Was leading the defensive charge in a first half where the Wallabies had just 36 percent of the ball, making seven tackles. Didn't get his hands on a great deal of football but his lineout work was very crisp.

5. Adam Coleman - 7.5

Set the tone for a big night out with a steal on the first Ireland lineout in Australian territory, going onto make nine first half tackles when the Irish were pressing hard. Suffered what looked to be a leg injury early in the second half.

6. Lukhan Tui - 8

Tui's brilliant Brisbane Bledisloe performance will always remain his breakout night in the Test arena but this was his finest performance in Wallaby gold to date. The way he sized up the Irish defensive line, picked a hole and pinned his ears back was a sight to behold and he was the first player putting his hand up to make a shot, too. Injected some legitimate physicality into the fray.

7. Michael Hooper - NA

Michael Hooper cut a shattered figure on the sidelines. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyLimped off with a very sore hamstring just 14 minutes into the first term. Have to feel for him.

8. David Pocock - 7.5

Two timely pilfers when Ireland were pressing in first term, reward for another ubiquitous performance. His breakdown presence was revived and that pushed the Wallabies to the brink of a big win.

9. Nick Phipps - 5.5

Service was clean but was a touch hesitant at the base of the breakdown. Was solid without setting the Wallabies attack alight.

10. Bernard Foley - 7

A sublime grubber put Koroibete in behind the Irish line for Australia's only try and a batted ball onto Folau was centimetres away from being the match winning try. The Australian attack offered didn't really hit its straps until the final 25 minutes, though, and that's partly on Foley's shoulders. 

11. Dane Haylett-Petty - 7

Haylett-Petty was again among Australia's best. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyAnother game which displayed the rugby IQ of Haylett-Petty, who is without doubt one of the Wallabies' most consistent performers. Always makes the smart play and caused headaches for the Irish down the left edge.

12. Kurtley Beale - 7.5

It was the little things which Beale did well in the decider. A brilliant kick to force Rob Kearney to step dead in goal earning the field position which turned into the first Wallabies points, another smart grubber in behind soon after again attaining prime field position. Made some pivotal tackles and looked a dangerous playmaker with front foot ball.

13. Samu Kerevi - 6.5

Samu Kerevi proved a threat in the second half. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyUnsure if he was wearing the right studs as he was slipping over more than most but his break late in the second term nearly stole the match for the Australians. Yet to have a tackle busting, line breaking blockbuster Australians know he is capable of producing.

14. Marika Koroibete - 7.5

He is a finisher straight off the top shelf and he showed every bit of that in gathering a Foley grubber and powering through two desperate tackles to score the Wallabies' solitary try. Winger's nights are made in those moments and the Fijian flyer passed this test with flying colours.

15. Israel Folau - 7

Foley's kickoffs found Folau more often than not and it was an overeager TMO call to send him to the bin when Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony came crashing down. Looked the most likely line buster but didn't have any game changing moments, which most have come to expect.

Reserves

16. Tolu Latu - 8

May have played himself into a starting spot if Tatafu Polota-Nau is unavailable once more later in the year. Couldn't have been better after being brought on at half time, busting the Irish line, pilfering like an out-and-out openside flanker and nailing some clutch lineout throws. His best Test to date.

17. Tom Robertson - 6

Played 21 minutes and it was in that time where Australia's scrum prospered.

18. Taniela Tupou - 7.5

Taniela Tupou starred once again. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyAnother Test, another terrific second half cameo from Tupou. A huge scrum penalty in the 62nd minute was a superb showing of sheer strength and he was busting tackles almost every time he touched the ball with a head of steam behind him.

19. Rob Simmons - 6.5

Kept the lineout humming in Coleman's absence and was a surprising source of go forward as well.

20. Ned Hanigan - NA

Just the 10 minutes for Hanigan in his return to the Test arena - not enough time to make a call on how he fared.

21. Pete Samu - 6

Played 66 minutes in Hooper's absence and provided some much needed hard yards with ball in hand. Did give away a cynical penalty for taking out Conor Murray without the ball which eradicated Australia's early first half lead.

22. Joe Powell - 6

The Australian attack really started to hum when Powell entered the fray for his first minutes since the Wallabies faced Japan last year and he sniped really well around tired Irish bodies. Threw a particularly poor pass to Foley immediately after Kerevi split the line late in the piece which, if on song, may have caught the Irish short.

23. Reece Hodge - NA

Played just 13 minutes when Koroibete came from the field.