Wallabies vs Pumas: How the players rated

The Rugby Championship
by Iain Payten

The Wallabies lacked urgency and intensity against the Pumas, and duly went down. How did the players score for their performances?

1. Scott Sio 6

One of the brighter lights for the Wallabies on a dark night. Sio got through a plenty of work, scrummed strongly and was one of very few in gold who didn’t miss a tackle.

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau 4

Two lost line outs in the opening half were costly, with the Wallabies on the attack in the Pumas 22. Made a couple of big hits but doesn't look the dynamic TPN of old.

3. Allan Alaalatoa 5

Performed strongly at scrum time and got through his work in the tight.

4. Rory Arnold 5

Rory Arnold was effective for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty ImagesCarried strongly and made hits when the Puma runners came into his zone but was hooked for Adam Coleman in the second half.

5. Izack Rodda 4

Tried to impose himself physically and did so reasonably well in defence. But Rodda’s ball-running was flat-footed and ineffective.

6. Lukhan Tui 5

Standard red-blooded performance from the big flanker and he went looking for work. But handling errors marred his night. Frustrations were clear.

7. David Pocock 6

Pushed hard - sometimes too hard - at the breakdown and got through plenty of tackling. But proving the skipper is human, Pocock also fell off a few too and couldn’t wake up his troops when they need an on-field rev-up.

8. Pete Samu 4

Middling performance until suffering an injury that hampered his game, until he was replaced.

9. Will Genia 5

Scored a great try backing up on the inside of Reece Hodge and tried to ignite the side from the ruck base. But  couldn’t get the team rolling forward for long enough.

10. Kurtley Beale 4

Poor night at the office for Beale, with a couple of balls dropped cold and a lack of direction from the ten role. Michael Cheika showed faith when he hauled Toomua instead of an out-of-sorts Beale but he didn’t pay it back.

11. Marika Koroibete  4

Another week where he didn’t see any ball in space. Went looking for work around the ruck with no real effect. A quality finisher who is getting nothing to finish.

12. Matt Toomua 5

Baffling coaching call of the night was Cheika taking Toomua off at 50 minutes. With the Wallabies only needing to piece together five minutes of pressure to score, the composure of the playmaker was sorely needed in the last quarter.

13. Reece Hodge 6

Mr Reliable. Turned in yet another rock-solid performance, setting up Genia’s try and always looking assured when the ball came his way. Gave a nice last pass to Haylett-Petty for a try.

14. Israel Folau 4

Israel Folau had a mixed night on the wing. Photo: Getty ImagesWas sitting on a 10/10 after scoring one of the great solo tries in the first half. But a few handling errors followed and then there was the last play of the game. Inescapably, the reality is Folau bombed a match winning try; unwilling to trust his disliked left to right pass. 

15. Dane Haylett-Petty 5

Nice offload to Hodge in the lead up to Genia’s try and he scored one himself, but DHP also fell off a tackle that allowed Bautista Delguy to score for the Pumas. 

RESERVES

16. Folau Faingaa 4

Put in some whack in defence but gave away a silly breakdown penalty in the dying stages that was a momentum killer.

17. Sekope Kepu 5

Scrummed well and ran like a prop with a point to prove but the blinkers were on his one line break. There were overlaps wider out.

18. Taniela Tupou 5

Did okay when he came on but didn’t bring the powerhouse, lifting impact that he’s been asked to add.

19. Adam Coleman 6

One of the very few men who burned with the right levels of intensity and urgency. Tried to muscle up the Wallabies pack in the second half.

20. Ned Hanigan 4

Ned Hanigan in action for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty ImagesTypically industrious but no memorable moments. Can be a good thing for a tight forward or evidence of limited impact

21. Nick Phipps 4

Tried to bring energy in the last ten but threw away one pass on a promising raid.

22. Bernard Foley 4

Was tasked with steadying the ship but couldn’t yield any breakthroughs. Like most of the team, found himself in a couple of bungled attacking moves that lacked clarity.

23. Jack Maddocks 5

Sent in late to try and crack the Pumas and made a few nice runs with limited involvements.