Welsh Player Ratings As Gatland’s Men Fall To Ireland In Dublin

Wales arrived at the Aviva Stadium with an encouraging winning record against Joe Schmidt’s side. 

While Warren Gatland’s tactics paid dividends in the first half, he will see this as a missed opportunity with the result being so close despite a number of under-performing players.

Here are our ratings (out of ten) for Gatland’s men. 

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1. Rob Evans – 5

Tussled with Porter early on but had a quiet game in attack by his own standards.

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2. Ken Owens – 5 

A miss-communication in the lineout seemed to wobble the hooker. Normally so aggressive and physical in contact, the Scarlets captain failed to implement himself on the game.

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3. Samson Lee – 4

Marshalled Cian Healy well in the scrum throughout the game but offered little else.

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4. Cory Hill – 6

Solid pillar for Wales on either side of the ruck and quick off the line in defence. 

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5. Alun Wyn Jones – 5

Against Toner, showed his own lineout nuance to win a turnover but uncharacteristically limp at the breakdown. Wales’ main man for holding on to Irish players around the ruck meant he was too far away from the action to do anything for Ireland’s third try.

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6. Aaron Shingler – 7 

Strong in contact with his feet continuing to work after the tackle. Took his try well and sprung off the Welsh defensive line with real purpose.

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7. Josh Navidi – 8

Bounces back to his feet with real purpose after the tackle, slowed a lot of Irish ball. Showed good hands to secure Wales’s second try. Replicated his great positioning and handling skills in the wider channel to set up Steff Evans’ late score.

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8. Ross Moriarty – 5

Tackled behind his own try line, which led to Ireland’s bonus point try and spilled the ball as Wales were picking up speed in the Irish half. Overall, looks unsure alongside his inexperienced  back row teammates.

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9. Gareth Davies – 6

Very dangerous with ball in hand, scoring Wales’s opening try. Missed his familiarity with Patchell. Despite being dangerous from the base of the scrum and ruck, Davies looked fatigued in the final quarter.

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10. Dan Biggar – 4

Tested Ireland’s back three with long kicks and chased his own up and unders very well. Spent more time with his hands in the air than he did with his hands on the ball. Not the kind of performance that repaid his coach’s faith.

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11. Steff Evans – 7

Uncomfortable under the high ball with Earls applying plenty of pressure. Guilty of running in-field towards Ireland’s connected defence. Delivered a great pass in the build-up to Shingler’s try. Showed his try-scoring credentials by closing the gap in the final ten minutes. Continued his try-scoring run.

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12. Hadleigh Parkes – 6 

Safe hands in the midfield and provided a solid option at the breakdown. Showed great vision to spread the ball wild for Shingler’s try.

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13. Scott Williams – 6 

Huge upper body strength but will be disappointed with his sheer miss on Bundee Aki for the centre’s try. Specifically targeted the ball in contact, ripping the ball on a number of occasions but gave away a crucial penalty. 

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14. Liam Williams – 5 

Determined in contact, works so hard to stay on his feet after the tackle.

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15. Leigh Halfpenny – 7 

Such a danger from the kicking tee, cleaned up a lot of ball in the backfield. Athletic in the air, he put Rob Kearney under pressure and made some impossible high balls seem achievable.

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Despite a number of quiet performances from Wales, they were still in a position to win the game in the final minutes. 

Ireland’s line speed meant Wales struggled to get their free-flowing attacking game fully going. 

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.