Ce­ments his world-class emerg­ing as a real threat

Western Mail - - SPORT -

Liam Wil­liams 6

PASSES (BACKS)

WALES chopped and changed their scrum-halves through­out the cam­paign with Rhys Webb, in par­tic­u­lar, hav­ing a stop-start month.

But Gareth Davies sent out 97 passes against New Zealand and fin­ished well ahead of any­one else in this cat­e­gory.

Owen Wil­liams made three times as many passes (27) against New Zealand as he did against Aus­tralia, dis­tribut­ing well and look­ing more as­sured along­side Dan Big­gar.

An­other in­trigu­ing call will have to be made at in­side cen­tre, then, where Hadleigh Parkes en­joyed a fine de­but against South Africa. Gareth Davies 163 Rhys Webb 89 Dan Big­gar 80 Aled Davies 73 Rhys Pri­est­land 47 Owen Wil­liams 36

PASSES (FOR­WARDS)

ROB Evans is the story here.

All his passes came in the first two games he played, against Aus­tralia and New Zealand, when he dis­played the soft hands of a fly-half and had the con­fi­dence to put him­self in po­si­tions where he could show­case his dis­tri­bu­tion skils.

Justin Tipuric man­aged 32 passes in three games last au­tumn, but this time he saw vir­tu­ally his en­tire cam­paign wiped out by in­jury. Taulupe Fale­tau 24 Rob Evans 23 Josh Na­vidi 21 Alun Wyn Jones 19 Cory Hill 18 Aaron Shin­gler 17

CAR­RIES

ST­EFF Evans hit dou­ble-fig­ure car­ry­ing hauls in ev­ery game he played, in­clud­ing 16 against Aus­tralia.

He was elu­sive and looked to get in­volved.

Hal­lam Amos was the other stand­out back here, while Taulupe Fale­tau headed the list of for­wards who put their hands up for car­ry­ing duty. St­eff Evans 37 Taulupe Fale­tau 35 Hal­lam Amos 33 Leigh Half­penny 32 Cory Hill 32 Josh Na­vidi 32 Scott Wil­liams 32

ME­TRES MADE (BACKS)

HAL­LAM Amos didn’t just carry; he also made a lot of ground, with the 186 me­tres he recorded well above any­one else.

St­eff Evans made 4.24 me­tres per carry, while Leigh Half­penny and Liam Wil­liams also fea­ture in this sec­tion – no sur­prise there, with those who play at full-back, as Wil­liams did against Ge­or­gia and Half­penny did in all his ap­pear­ances, of­ten mak­ing swathes of ground. Hal­lam Amos 186 St­eff Evans 157 Leigh Half­penny 134 Liam Wil­liams 126 Scott Wil­liams 109 Gareth Davies 90

ME­TRES MADE (FOR­WARDS)

A crit­i­cism of Wales dur­ing the cam­paign was that they lacked for­ward ball car­ri­ers.

But Taulupe Fale­tau and Josh Na­vidi were more than up for the chal­lenge, mak­ing al­most 70 runs be­tween them.

But not enough oth­ers per­haps put their hands up for car­ries that took them crash­ing over the gain­line and al­lowed Wales to se­cure the quick ball they re­quired to launch their at­tack­ing game.

Mind you, Leon Brown showed promise. His eight runs yielded 28 me­tres. For a tight-head prop, that’s a de­cent ef­fort. Taulupe Fale­tau 87 Josh Na­vidi 84 Alun Wyn Jones 35 Leon Brown 28 Kris­tian Dacey 25 Aaron Shin­gler 25

AV­ER­AGE ME­TRES PER FOR­WARD

THIS cat­e­gory is slightly dis­torted by the ef­forts of those who played lit­tle rugby.

Nonethe­less, Seb Davies, Leon Brown and Elliot Dee all showed promise as car­ri­ers.

But back-row work­horses Josh Na­vidi and Taulupe Fale­tau again shoul­dered most of the bur­den, backed by the ever-will­ing Alun Wyn Jones.

Wales need re­in­forc­ing in this area, which is why Ross Mo­ri­arty and Justin Tipuric will come into con­tention for the Six Na­tions. Seb Davies 3.66 (six runs) Leon Brown 3.50 (eight runs) Elliot Dee 3.00 me­tres (five runs) Josh Na­vidi 2.63 (32 runs) Taulupe Fale­tau 2.49 (35 runs) Alun Wyn Jones 1.84 (19 runs)

TURNOVERS CON­CEDED

THIS is not a cat­e­gory any­one wants to fea­ture in, but even the best play­ers can some­times find things go­ing awry.

Step for­ward Taulupe Fale­tau, who found him­self con­ced­ing pos­ses­sion five times in the se­ries-opener against Aus­tralia. There­after dur­ing the se­ries, he lost the ball just once.

St­eff Evans tops the chart, again af­ter a dif­fi­cult game against the Wal­la­bies. He coughed up ball five times in that match and twice against South Africa. St­eff Evans 7 Taulupe Fale­tau 6 Dan Big­gar 4 Hal­lam Amos 3 Alex Cuth­bert 3 Jonathan Davies 3 Rob Evans 3 Leigh Half­penny 3 Josh Na­vidi 3 Rhys Pri­est­land 3 Scott Wil­liams 3

PENAL­TIES CON­CEDED

ALL Scott An­drews’ penal­ties came in his soli­tary out­ing of the cam­paign, against South Africa, as the tight-head found the is­sues set by the Spring­boks’ scrum as hard to solve as the Boolean Pythagorean Triples Prob­lem.

Play­ing on the edge, Josh Na­vidi trans­gressed at least once in ev­ery game, twice against Aus­tralia.

Leon Brown fell foul of the of­fi­cials three times dur­ing a sober­ing af­ter­noon against Ge­or­gia. Scott An­drews 5 Josh Na­vidi 5 Leon Brown 3 Gareth Davies 3 Cory Hill 3 Wyn Jones 3

> Hal­lam Amos

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