Wales player ratings: Leaders stand up in jittery bonus point win over Portugal

Dylan Coetzee
Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau on the charge.

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau on the charge.

Following Wales’ 28-8 win over Portugal in a brilliant Rugby World Cup clash, here are our player ratings for the winning side.

Mixed backline

15 Leigh Halfpenny: It was a neat performance from the veteran who kicked well from the tee and out of hand with most of his up and unders contestable. He also secured a lovely steal at the breakdown. Sound outing. 7

14 Louis Rees-Zammit: Scored a lovely try with some solo magic down the right-hand wing with a celebration to match. Could have set up another for Gareth Davies but that was ruled out. The speedster looked dangerous for the most part. 7

13 Mason Grady: Strong on both sides of the ball with some powerful carries in the outside channel whilst also putting his hand up on defence with seven tackles. A solid effort without a great deal of magic. 6

12 Johnny Williams: The centre was yellow carded for a cynical play on the ground which was less than ideal. Lost the ball on the line to rub salt in the wound. Carried well otherwise but will rue the missed opportunity on the line. 6

11 Rio Dyer: Beat an impressive eight defenders and showed some class in the air. However, did not manage to get a clear-cut chance to take apart the Portuguese defence. 6

10 Gareth Anscombe: A decent effort from the fly-half who ushered his team around the park well enough. Made some solid decisions in the midfield without setting the game alight. 6

9 Tomos Williams: Kicked nicely from the base and kept defenders busy around the fringes for his entire stint on the field. One of the real drivers of the win. 7

Pockets of brilliance

8 Taulupe Faletau: Showed his class with an outstanding cover tackle in a game where he typically worked hard, making 13 carries and eight tackles. He was duly rewarded for his efforts with the bonus point try on the buzzer. 8

7 Jac Morgan: A very late inclusion after an injury to Tommy Reffell in the warm-up and he stood up so well, making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown whilst carrying like a warrior. It is clear to see why he is in the leadership group. 8

6 Dan Lydiate: Mostly quiet especially compared to his back-row partners as he only managed a handful of carries and six tackles to match. He would have liked to have imposed himself on the game a bit more. 5

5 Dafydd Jenkins: The go-to man in the line-out and solid enough in open play. Jenkins carried decently and made five tackles at 100%. He certainly did not shower himself in glory but it was a good outing nonetheless. 6

4 Christ Tshiunza: The young star has such great potential and showed that this evening, making an equal team-high 11 tackles whilst making six carries and a clean break. A nice performance to build on. 7

3 Dillon Lewis: Scrummed rather well for the most part without completely dismantling the opposition. Busy on defence otherwise making six tackles on the night. 7

2 Dewi Lake: A captain’s performance filled with hard running; 11 tackles and a try for his efforts. The hooker looked mature and calm throughout and was one of the shining lights for his team. 8

1 Nicky Smith: Made all his tackles which tallied to five on the evening whilst also standing his ground in the scrum. Also strung some carries together in a neat effort. 6

Replacements: The forwards off the bench brought some good and much-needed energy late on to keep the spirited Portuguese at bay. Gareth Davies was a livewire and scored a stunning disallowed try. 7

READ MORE: Wales struggle to second Rugby World Cup victory against brilliant Portugal