Bronze medal player ratings - Australia v Wales

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 22:47 21/10/2011

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Player ratings for the Rugby World Cup third-place playoff between Wales and Australia at Eden Park:

5 - Berrick Barnes (Australia) - With just his second start of the tournament, Barnes will have filled Robbie Deans with regret. If not a starter in place of Quade Cooper, the diminutive 23-year-old should have been handed the No 12 jersey ahead of Pat McCabe. He was safe under the high ball, cleared accurately and even kicked a neatly struck dropped goal. An all round impressive performance.

4 - Scott Higginbotham (Australia) - Another who should have been starting all along. Sat behind dumped captain Rocky Elsom, who had a shocker against the All Blacks, Higginbotham proved his worth as a strong lineout option, ball carrier and strong defender.

3 - Jamie Roberts (Wales) -  Even in a stuttering backline that hardly broke the line all night, Roberts deserves credit for his hard-running attitude. He attempted to punch holes, but found little support in his supporters who ran sideways and made constant mistakes.

2 - James Horwill (Australia) -  The Wallabies captain has endured a tough tournament. He's had to front after disappointing losses to Ireland and the All Blacks, but never dropped his lip. Tonight he again broke the advantage line and handled his core duties while, this time, carrying his side to a moral victory.

1 - Mike Phillips (Wales) - The gutsy halfback may have played 60 minutes but in that time demonstrated the abilities he's flaunted throughout the tournament. He put in the ugly, yet effective, grubber for Shane Williams' controversial try and tired to snipe round the fringes.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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