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The woeful Wales player ratings against Ireland amid catastrophic first-half from forwards – Wales Online

The woeful Wales player ratings against Ireland amid catastrophic first-half from forwards – Wales Online

Wales suffered a sixth consecutive defeat as they crumbled 32-9 against Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup opener at the Aviva Stadium.

It was another poor performance from Wayne Pivac’s team, who were beset by set-piece problems and discipline issues throughout.

They will face Georgia next time out with their coach under added scrutiny.

MARK ORDERS hands out the player ratings…

Leigh Halfpenny 6

Slotted three penalties but missed a couple as well. Made the most metres for Wales in attack and also did supremely well to stop James Lowe in the final seconds. Far from the worst.

Liam Williams 4

It’s a safe bet that he and James Lowe will not be exchanging Christmas cards, with the pair having fought a running battle for much of the game.

Williams was typically feisty but gave away a couple of penalties and couldn’t impose himself in attack. He’s better than this.

Jonathan Davies 5

More visible in defence with some decent tackles and a turnover assist. There was also a nice inside pass but there wasn’t much else to write home about. Left the field injured near the hour mark.

Owen Watkin 5

Wales’ defensive mainstay behind the scrum with 11 tackles but Watkin also conceded three penalties. He was tidy enough without doing anything special.

Owen Watkin is tackled by Josh van der Flier and Jamison Gibson-Park
(Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

Josh Adams 5

Slammed the door shut on Andrew Conway twice in quick succession with some fine defence near the line. One nice run threatened to cause problems near the hour mark, but Adams had few chances with ball in hand.

Dan Biggar 4

A catastrophic Welsh forward performance in the first 40, when they enjoyed just 23 percent of the possession, left Biggar with no platform.

There was more ball in the second half and the odd decent kick from the fly-half without anything that was memorable.

Gareth Davies 4

Helped Adams keep out Conway in the danger zone with good support in defence. A horror moment saw an attempted clearance kick charged down but Davies helped keep out Cian Healy. The scrum half was turned over a couple of times.

Lloyd Williams wasn’t blemish-free but quickened the tempo.

Davies could come under pressure for his place.

Rhys Carre 3

A shocker including three penalties, with the youngster finding the scrums a particular ordeal against Andrew Porter.

Put in a few tackles before being whipped off just before half time.

Selection was questionable in the first place.

Ryan Elias 4

Darts all over the place early on, with three of the first five line-outs ending up in Irish hands, and was part of an under-pressure scrum.

He achieved a good turnover or two and was clean in defence, but, until he gets his arrows right, he’s not going to succeed at this level.

Tomas Francis 6

The front row was a disaster area before the break, but Francis wasn’t to blame. He handled Cian Healy quite well and did his bit in defence. At times he seemed to be taking on the Irish set-piece on his own.

Will Rowlands 5

A solid defensive shift included a big hit that allowed Wales to win a counter-ruck penalty. But the big man offered little in other areas.

Alun Wyn Jones 6

His 150th cap didn’t prove reason for Peter O’Mahony to celebrate as the pair tussled early on.

It wasn’t a night Jones will look back on fondly.

He grafted until the end and made his tackles, but Wales couldn’t set in place the platform for anyone to take the ball forward in the back five.

Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones in conversation
(Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

Shane Lewis-Hughes 7

Started with a turnover after 50 seconds and again showed a hunger in defence, making 19 tackles. Also took line-outs on a day when the Welsh set-piece was a shambles.

The youngster is proving the find of the autumn for Wales.

Justin Tipuric 6

Put in his usual quota of tackles and popped up with a break down the wing at one point, but found it hard to impact the game in a match-changing way.

Taulupe Faletau is shunted back in the tackle
(Image: PA Wire)

Taulupe Faletau 7

Wales’ standout with a defensive masterclass made up of 18 tackles and no misses. Also chased well and saved a try with a hit with Gareth Davies to stop Cian Healy touching down. No platform for the No. 8 to punch forward, though.

Replacements: 6

Lloyd Williams upped the pace and Jake Ball added a big physical presence and achieved a turnover. George North had the odd charge forward but there weren’t too many more pluses.

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