The Wallabies won three straight Rugby Championship matches for the first time in six years on Saturday night. Here’s who starred for Dave Rennie’s side.
James Slipper – 7
Remarkable to think he’s getting better with age. His experience really shines through at scrum-time.
Folau Fainga’a – 7
A lack of depth at hooker is helping Fainga’a at the moment but he is improving with each game. A couple of nice runs and a clean break despite some wobbly lineouts.
Taniela Tupou – 6.5
Makes rugby look too easy at times. Continues to get over the advantage line in the middle but also pops up out wide as a link player. Made more metres (45) than the rest of the starting tight five combined. However, penalised five times.
Izack Rodda – 7
Made double-digit tackles at a high work rate. Penalised for coming in the side at a ruck. Certainly doing enough to remain in the starting XV.
Matt Philip – 5.5
Although Philip empties the tank, one feels he has so much more potential at Test level. Made 10 tackles but his maul defence needs work.
Samu Kerevi, pictured being tackled, was among the Wallabies’ best on Saturday.Credit:Getty
Rob Leota – 7
Had a pleasing starting debut and was effective at clean-outs during a 52-minute performance. Did what was required of him.
Michael Hooper – 7
A quieter game by the captain’s standards but took points when they were on offer at the right time. Took more carries (10) than any Wallabies forward.
Rob Valetini – 8
One of his best games. Led the charge with ball in hand, crashing over the gain line with almost every carry. Starting to dominate defenders like he has for two seasons at the Brumbies.
Andrew Kellaway continued his sensational breakout season.Credit:Getty
Nic White – 7.5
Combination with Quade Cooper is humming. Kicking game adds an extra layer to the Wallabies’ game. Service always shines. Rennie has two top-class halfbacks to choose from.
Quade Cooper – 8
Another superb game. Played a perfectly weighted grubber in behind in the lead up to Kerevi’s try. Elsewhere, his decision making and game management is near perfect. Always takes the right option, almost always executes. Making life hard for James O’Connor.
Marika Koroibete – 7.5
One of those nights when Koroibete’s defence shone as much as his attack. Made a handful of critical rush tackles as the Pumas sought to spread the ball. Work rate remains the benchmark in this team.
Samu Kerevi – 8.5
It’s time to change the Giteau Law to the Kerevi Clause. His statistics tell the story. Finished with 90 metres from his 14 runs. He also made two clean line-breaks, beat six defenders and scored a try. Rugby Australia must find a way to ensure he plays every Test.
Len Ikitau – 8
Game is growing every week. Arguably his most damaging match with ball in hand. Amassed 47 metres and beat five defenders from his nine runs. Is forming a proper partnership with Kerevi.
Andrew Kellaway – 8.5
Continued his sensational breakout season. Has a Ben Smith-like ability to beat the first defender and make the right decision in broken play, leading to either tries or, at the very least, opportunities Statistically, made 85 metres, three line-breaks and beat five defenders. Another position in which Rennie has significant depth to work with.
Reece Hodge – 8
Staked his claim for the fullback slot long term. Looked more damaging than Tom Banks has in any Test this season. Kicking game adds another option in the Wallabies’ half and scored a try. Will have the rest of the season to prove he’s the man for the job.
Feleti Kaitu’u – 6
Only featured for 10 minutes.
Angus Bell – 7
Having a consistently strong impact off the bench every week. His carries are invaluable at the back end of matches.
Tom Robertson – 6
Did his job in 13 minutes on the field.
Darcy Swain – 7
The best maul defender the Wallabies have. Has to be applying pressure on Matt Philip to regain his place in the starting side.
Pete Samu – 6.5
Didn’t have quite the same impact as previous weeks.
Tate McDermott – 6.5
Looked a tad disjointed when making decisions at the base of the breakdown.
James O’Connor – 7
Set up Kellaway for his try with a lovely pop pass off his left shoulder. Ran the ball more than Cooper, which was a different look for the Australian attack. Rennie has an interesting decision to make both next week and on the spring tour.
Jordan Petaia – 6
Only had eight minutes of game time.
Stan Sport is the only place to watch every match of the The Rugby Championship continuing this Saturday with the Wallabies v Argentina followed by the All Blacks v South Africa – both matches streaming live, extended and ad-free on Stan Sport from 4:45pm AEST.
Sports news, results and expert commentary. Sign up for our Sport newsletter.
Most Viewed in Sport
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article