Italy vs Wallabies: Player ratings

International
by Sam Phillips

The Wallabies worked their way back into the winners circle in Padova overnight.

Who made the difference when the match was there to be won?

1. Scott Sio 5.5

Was responsible for an impressive early steal at the breakdown but was part of a Wallabies scrum which was pinged twice in the first half alone. Was very stiff to be sent to the sin bin in the second half for a deliberate knock down which didn't appear to be particularly malicious.

2. Folau Faingaa 5.5

The Australian lineout didn't falter at the same alarming rate in Padova as it has through the year to date and Faingaa was otherwise solid in a 47 minute start. 

3. Taniela Tupou 7.5

Was the Wallabies' prime source of go forward, setting the tone in the first minute with a line bending burst. Did not stop there in attack, amassing 39 metres from 14 carries in just over 45 minutes. Rewarded with a five pointer. Led the defensive line speed. One of his best games in Wallaby gold.

4. Izack Rodda 7

Rodda's best game for quite some time. Took on more of the attacking load from his second row partner - making 14 runs and accumulating 51 metres - and provided a dependable target at lineout time.

5. Adam Coleman 6

Resumed his role as one of the team's defensive leaders, spearing out of the line to make some shuddering hits. Spread the ball carrying load in the middle of the field and that added a layer of unpredictability to the Australian attack.

6. Jack Dempsey 6

Had an industrious evening but is yet to rediscover the man of the match form we have come to expect and that's understandable given the length of his layoff. Warmed up in the second half.

7. Michael Hooper 7.5

Led an excellent Australian defence from wire to wire. Fired out of the defensive line to stop Italian forwards in their tracks time after time, racking up 18 tackles total. A huge defensive shift.

8. David Pocock 7

Pocock's two critical pilfers per game are just normal order at this stage but he took a more prominent role on in attack against Italy. He bustled his way over the gain line in each of his seven carries and that was significant for an Australian attack which looked a touch stale in the first half.

9. Jake Gordon 5.5

Was bailed out of an ill-advised intercept try pass by the referee and was otherwise just solid in his first Test. Didn't get out and run the ball as he loves to do for the Waratahs.

10. Matt To'omua 6

Threw a lovely pass in the lead up to Koroibete's second try but kept kicking the ball down the throat of the Italian back three and put one ball out on the full. Hardly a performance which will convince Michael Cheika to retain him as the starting flyhalf against England.

11. Marika Koroibete 7

A timely double for Koroibete, who was a late inclusion due to Jordan Petaia's late withdrawal. He remains Australia's best pure finisher on the flank.

12. Bernard Foley 4.5

Did not look comfortable at all in his new role as inside centre. Pushed too many passes and his general play kicking wasn't sharp enough. Back to flyhalf next weekend.

13. Samu Kerevi 8

Kerevi kept Australia's attack alive in the first half. He was a one man wrecking ball when the football found his hands and his stat line says it all. The star Reds centre had 12 runs for 96 metres, eight tackle busts, one line break and two offloads. An attacking force to be reckoned with despite costing his team seven points with an awful drop after Israel Folau split the line in the 71st minute.

14. Adam Ashley-Cooper 7

Ashley-Cooper hasn't missed a beat since he last donned the Wallaby gold. He was instrumental in simple, yet necessary, passes for both of Koroibete's tries and his urgency to clean up a loose ball in behind the Australian line early in the second half saved his side seven points.

15. Israel Folau 6

Folau wasn't at his game changing best but did provide a constant attacking threat for the Italians and showed great anticipation in turning an Italian mistake into a 70m line break with 10 minutes to play. Appears best suited on the wing in this team.

Reserves

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau 5

The Australian scrum continued to struggle while he was on field and didn't have any significant impact in general play. Struggling for form.

17. Jermaine Ainsley NA

Only briefly entered the fray in Sio's sin bin stint.

18. Sekope Kepu 5.5

In the same scrum boat as Polota-Nau but did have some nice carries and offloads to boot.

19. Rob Simmons 5

All in all a quiet stint off the pine for Simmons.

20. Pete Samu 5

A very quiet performance despite playing nearly the entire second half.

21. Will Genia 6.5

Played less than 20 minutes off the bench but scored a try and kicked the Australian attack up a notch.

22. Kurtley Beale 5

Didn't get his hands on the ball as much as one would expect in just under 30 minutes off the bench.

23. Dane Haylett-Petty NA

Played just over 10 minutes.