Wallabies vs Springboks: How the players rated

The Rugby Championship
by Iain Payten

The Wallabies got the job done in a hard-fought Test victory over South Africa, in a game full of character. Who stuck their hand highest in the Wallabies jersey? Here are the player ratings.

1. Scott Sio 6

One of those guys whose value you don’t appreciate until he is missing. Sio was a rock in the scrum, keeping it square against a Bok side who wanted to make trouble on his side.

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau 5

Came off after 30 minutes, which is unusual in the modern game, before coming back on in the 70th minute for an injury. Was it all tactical from Michael Cheika or was TPN feeling the effect of a trip back to England? 

3. Allan Alaalatoa 7


Other props may get the headlines but Allan Alaalatoa gets the job done. Strong in the scrum and brought plenty of whack in dominant tackling too. 

4. Izack Rodda 7

A late call-up for the missing Adam Coleman and Rodda stood up in those big shoes. Copped some stick for not bringing the mad dog in the Bledisloe Cup games but Rodda’s defence was tireless and angry, and he stuck his hand up for plenty of carries too.

5. Rory Arnold 6

Is known for his height but that towering stature means one of his best assets gets overlooked: mongrel. Both in defence and at the scrum. 

6. Lukhan Tui 8
Had six on his back and played eight most of the night. From a guy who played lock all year. Tui continued to impress with his power running and aggressive defence. One of the great positives from the 2018 season already.

7. Michael Hooper 6

Still getting back to his best after injury but here’s a challenge: find a missed tackle from Hooper. They don’t happen. Showed better leadership to get the team playing in the right areas in the second.

8. Peter Samu 7

The definition of a quiet achiever. Like a true Crusaders forward, Samu doesn’t say much and his value to a team only becomes evident when you watch the game a second time. Tackled all night and made crucial steals, including the last.

9. Will Genia 7

The heartbeat of the Wallabies side. Liked the sight of Genia playing out of nine more and hitting his choice of forward runners. Leadership important, too. He kept Michael Hooper cool when he was about to blow his top.

10. Kurtley Beale 6

At his best when running hard and straight into the defence, and worst when sliding across field and creating panicky grabs at the ball, by himself and teammates. More astute territory kicks needed. 

11. Marika Koroibete 5

Handling errors and discipline problems made it a night to forget for the Fijian speedster. You get the sense plays need to be made to get Koroibete the ball with space to run. 

12. Matt Toomua 7

Composed with the ball in hand and added plenty in terms of keeping the defensive line in shape, too. His opportunist try was worth its weight in gold and so too Toomua’s 10 points off the boot. 

13. Reece Hodge 6

Defensively sound but another who didn’t have too many runs in attack. His 55-metre bomb on the stroke of halftime proved influential in the end result. 

14. Jack Maddocks 6

Another mistake-free shift and went close to the line a couple of times with hard carries. But didn’t see the ball come his way too often with space.

15. Dane Haylett-Petty 6

Solid at the back but didn’t get a truckload of work. It’d be good to see DHP roaming around Kurtley Beale looking for offloads in traffic.

RESERVES

16. Folau Faingaa 7

Massive game for the second-game rookie. Came in far earlier than expected and scrummed well, put on great shots and even helped make some steals. Stiffed on a couple of crooked line out calls.

17. Tom Robertson 5

Late minutes and the scrums were mostly messy at that stage. Made his tackles.

18. Taniela Tupou 6

Powered through Steven Kitschoff for one memorable scrum penalty but hurt his neck on another loss, and didn’t see a lot of ball to bring the Thor strength in his carries. Will only improve, if fit.

19. Rob Simmons 5

Did a decent job given he woke up in Sydney and was on a 1pm flight to Brisbane to cover for Adam Coleman’s withdrawal. One costly drop on the Boks’ line, however.

20. Ned Hanigan N/A

Late entry into the game, made his tackles.

21. Joe Powell N/A

Unused

22. Bernard Foley 5

Entered for the last quarter but the game didn’t open up and he didn’t have his hands on the ball often.

23. Tom Banks N/A

Had a late cameo on the wing via a head knock and didn’t see any action.