Cements his world-class emerging as a real threat
Liam Williams 6
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
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
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)
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
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