Wales v Australia player ratings as half-backs impress but midfield may need change

Ben Thomas of Wales had a good game
-Credit: (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)


Wales slipped to their eighth straight Test defeat as Australia fought their way to a 25-16 defeat in Sydney.

Warren Gatland's side were awarded a penalty try in the first-half, while outside-half Ben Thomas kicked eight points. Australia were too strong for Wales up-front with tries from Taniela Tupou, Filipo Daugunu and Tom Wrightm while Noah Lolesio and Tom Lynagh kicked 10 points between them.

Wales competed well but were made to pay for their shaky set-piece while they found it difficult to stop Australia's powerful carriers. Rugby correspondent Steffan Thomas hands out the ratings.

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Liam Williams 6

The 33-year-old was Wales' most dangerous back with ball in hand while he was also solid in defence and under the high ball. Blotted his copybook by giving away a penalty at the breakdown while he also spilt the ball forward from a restart which put Wales under pressure.

Josh Hathaway 5

Put one kick out on the full while his loose punt up-field also resulted in Tom Wright scoring the decisive try for the Wallabies. Showed signs of his threat with ball in hand but it didn't come his way often enough.

Owen Watkin 5

Was guilty of biting in early doors which created space for Andrew Kellaway to slice open the Wales defence early doors. Wales need to reassess the centre partnership between Watkin and Grady.

Mason Grady 5

The Cardiff man was exposed in defence early doors and struggled to cope with Australia's starter plays. He also got taken on the outside by Filipo Daugunu in the second-half which resulted in a Wallabies try.

Rio Dyer 5

The Dragons wing didn't get much opportunity to attack and gave away one costly penalty before half-time for playing the ball in an offside position. Not his best game.

Ben Thomas 7

Considering this was only his second start at number 10 all season this was a decent performance from the Cardiff man. Didn't miss a shot at goal, kicking nine points while he controlled the game reasonably well.

Ellis Bevan 7

Kicked well out of hand which allowed Wales to compete in the air while he managed the game reasonably well. One error before half-time when he spilt the ball forward but the positives outweighed the negatives.

There was also one gorgeous 50/22.

Gareth Thomas 5

Came under pressure at the scrum and was sent to the sin bin midway through the second half. Left the field injured after 42 minutes

Dewi Lake 5

Made metres with his carrying and led from the front as always but Wales' lineout didn't function as well as it should have. Needs to improve this area of the game moving forward.

Archie Griffin 7

Came under huge pressure at the scrum from the experienced James Slipper but got better as the game wore on. The Bath prop put in a monumental shift around the park finishing the game as top tackler with 26 and won a cracking turnover at the breakdown.

Christ Tshiunza 6

This was his best game for Wales to date but still plenty to work on. Put in an enormous 20 tackles while he also saved a try with a crucial turnover but was part of Wales' faltering lineout.

Dafydd Jenkins 7

Held his own physically and was one of the only Welsh players winning the collisions. Played his part in Wales' maul dominance and put in 20 tackles, although he will be disappointed with how Wales' lineout fared.

Taine Plumtree 6

Another big shift from the Scarlets man who put himself about physically. The 24-year-old put in 13 tackles and offered himself as a carrier.

Tommy Reffell 6

No trademark turnovers for the Leicester man this time but tackled his heart out. Wales' backrow didn't impose themselves on the breakdown as much as they would have liked but Reffell was still one of their better players.

Aaron Wainwright 8

Wales' best player. Carried hard throughout getting Wales over the gainline while also digging his side out of some big holes with the scrum on the backfoot.

Sliced through the Wallabies defence early in the second-half and put in 17 tackles and nine carries

Replacements

Evan Lloyd 5

Carried well but Wales' lineout woes continued after Dewi Lake was replaced.

Kemsley Mathias 6

Replaced Gareth Thomas on 42 minutes and improved the scrum while he contributed around the park with eight tackles.

Harri O'Connor 5

Not enough time to make an impact with only six minutes on the field.

Cory Hill 6

A few decent carries and some nice touches in what was his first Test match for four years.

James Botham 6

Had a try disallowed for obstruction. Put in six tackles but struggled to impose himself at the breakdown

Kieran Hardy 5

Tried his best to speed the game up but was on the back foot.

Sam Costelow 6

Brought more shape to the Wales attack and very nearly created a try with a lovely dink over the top.

Nick Tompkins 5

Tried his best in attack but allowed Tom Wright to get on his outside for the decisive Wallabies try.