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Wales 8-9 France, Rugby World Cup, October 15, 2011
Wales v France - How they rated
ESPNscrum Staff
October 15, 2011
Wales No.8 Toby Faletau breaks clear, Wales v France, Rugby World Cup semi-final, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, October 15, 2011
Toby Faletau was a stand-out for Wales © Getty Images
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Tournaments/Tours: IRB Rugby World Cup
Teams: France | Wales

France defeated Wales 9-8 in Auckland on Saturday to book their place in the Rugby World Cup Final - with Warren Gatland's side putting in a gutsy performance despite losing skipper Sam Warburton to an early red card - but how did the players rate at Eden Park?

Wales:

15. Leigh Halfpenny: Outstanding under the high ball and almost won the game for his side with a long-range penalty. A great showing from a player set to remain a feature of this Welsh side. 8/10

14. George North: The big winger had a couple of surges to recall his early form but flirted with the touchline too often and lost a couple of balls in contact. A tournament to be proud of. 6/10

13. Jonathan Davies: Typically gutsy in defence but had little chance to influence the game in attack. Early knock-on spoiled a possible chance. 6/10

12. Jamie Roberts: Outstanding once again, despite dipping his toes in the murky waters of the back-row. Brilliant charge after the sending off gave Wales fresh impetus. A giant. 8/10

11. Shane Williams: Not the way the great man would have wanted to bow out. A couple of brief flashes but his skills were never likely to shine after Wales went down to 14 men. A legend of the game. 6/10

10. James Hook: A major disappointment. Hook failed to take his chance following injury to Rhys Priestland, missing two penalties in the first-half and wasting possession with a couple of aimless kicks. 5/10

9. Mike Phillips: Another heroic effort from the scrum-half, who bagged a second try in as many weeks while keeping Wales ticking over. Plenty of grit but will be disappointed that a drop-goal chance wasn't engineered late on. 8/10

1. Gethin Jenkins: Under pressure early on in the scrum but the loose-head gave everything around the field, harrying at the breakdown and chipping in with the defensive effort. 7/10

2. Huw Bennett: A poor showing at the lineout and the Ospreys hooker did not turn up in the loose as effectively as he did against Ireland. 5/10

3. Adam Jones: A huge loss early on to a calf injury. Wales missed his scrummaging as the game wore on, with first-phase possession hard to come by. N/A

4. Luke Charteris: Not his best showing at the lineout, where he has been a major plus for Warren Gatland in this tournament. Another heartfelt performance in defence, where he has been huge throughout. 7/10

5. Alun Wyn Jones: Settled Welsh nerves at the start of the second-half with some strong work under the high ball and showed up throughout in defence and attack. 7/10

6. Dan Lydiate: Gave away a cheap penalty towards the end of the first-half but was generally excellent, getting through 10 tackles and refusing to let France settle. 7/10

7. Sam Warburton: Made a boisterous start to the game before disaster struck in the form of Rolland's red card, a terrible way for one of the tournament's finest players to take his leave. 5/10

8. Toby Faletau: The young Dragon was colossal. Carried hard and frequently, made 10 tackles and gave Wales belief in the second-half. Top-drawer. 9/10

Replacements:

17. Paul James: Called upon early to deputise for Jones at tight-head, not his favoured position. Had a tough time at the scrum. 5/10

18. Bradley Davies: Added bulk late on but failed to damage the defensive line. A good player to have off the bench, either way. 6/10

19. Ryan Jones: Replaced Lydiate in the second-half and provided a steadying hand, giving his all at the death. 6/10

21. Stephen Jones: Called upon to replace the misfiring Hook, kicked more readily from hand but missed a crucial conversion and failed to add a drop-goal.

France

15. Maxime Medard: A quiet evening on attack, but mopped up well when Wales went in search of territorial gains in the second-half. A drop-goal to forget in the first-half. 6/10

14. Vincent Clerc: The victim of Warburton's first-half misadventure, the diminutive wing sniped to decent effect in the first-half and chipped in with some well-weighted kicks. France need to get more ball to him. 6/10

13. Aurelien Rougerie: Big effort on defence and showed his experience in the second-half, kicking well on occasion to keep Wales penned in. 7/10

12. Maxime Mermoz: One of France's silkiest runners on his day, he failed to utilise the extra space afforded him and was generally quiet. 5/10

11. Alexis Palisson: Largely anonymous thanks to France's limited ambition. Three tackles out wide, one to deny Roberts a charge. 5/10

10. Morgan Parra: Still not a natural fly-half but the brilliant Clermont Auvergne playmaker kicked the winning points, made 10 tackles under pressure and was lively with ball in hand during the first-half. 8/10

9. Dimitri Yachvili: A willing accomplice to Parra, kicking well out of hand and marshalling his forwards impressively at the start of the second-half. 7/10

1. Jean-Baptiste Poux: Was on top at the scrum once Jones was forced off, but will not strike fear into the hearts of opposition tight-heads. 5/10

2. William Servat: Lively charges with ball in hand in the first-half, solid at the set-piece throughout. Replaced after 45 minutes. 6/10

3. Nicolas Mas: Anchored a strong scrummaging effort and gave Jenkins a tough time, winning an early penalty. Unfortunate to concede a late penalty, which was missed by Halfpenny. 6/10

4. Pascal Pape: Worked hard and contributed well at the lineout. A yard off the pace at times, however, and was partially at fault as Phillips skipped between the French locks. 6/10.

5. Lionel Nallet: Massive effort at the set-piece, causing Wales to cough up huge amounts of lineout possession. A big presence in the loose also, but will be disappointed to have missed Phillips. 7/10

6. Thierry Dusautoir: The man likes to tackle, and tackle he did. Just the 17 for the French skipper, a standout. 8/10

7. Julien Bonnaire: Thirteen tackles from the Clermont man and brilliant work at the breakdown. The quiet man of the side, he is indispensable. 8/10

8. Imanol Harinordoquy: A couple of big carries and 10 tackles, but the Biarritz skipper had plenty more in the tank. 7/10

Replacements:

16.Dimitri Szarzewski: A big effort from the Stade hooker. Excellent lineout work, eight tackles and an injection of grunt around the park. 7/10

17. Fabien Barcella: A decent showing from a player that has been lacking form. Got through plenty of work in defence but didn't ram home the advantage at the scrum. Loose-head will be a selection question for the final. 6/10

18. Julien Pierre: Joined in the lineout fun after an hour, but largely spent his time dealing with Welsh runners. 6/10

19. Fulgence Ouedraogo: Had five minutes at the death, made five tackles to see off Wales' last challenge. 6/10

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