Player ratings: The fantastic ABs

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 10:27
Large cruden offload 630 Large messam 630

The All Blacks might have been disappointed with their performance last weekend, but they were incredible in their 60-0 win over Ireland.

The All Blacks might have been disappointed with their performance last weekend, but they were incredible in their 60-0 win over Ireland.

A any champion side should they dominated as soon as they got their noses in front and never let up. They simply steamrolled the Irish and gave them no respite from the onslaught.

The emergence of a couple of new talents would have pleased the Kiwi coaches, who will have some tough selections to make before the Rugby Championship.

Timmy Hancox rates the All Black players:

15 Israel Dagg:
Scored a great try by chasing a kick and despite struggling with a little niggle was able to burn the defence. Was called on to kick for territory a few times early on and did a good job.

14 Ben Smith:

Showed some pace to fly down the touchline and scored a try, but otherwise didn't see a lot of ball out wide.

13 Conrad Smith:

Outstanding on defence and his distribution was great to get the ball out to Gear to set up a try.

12 Sonny Bill Williams:

Probably his best performance in an All Blacks jersey and he came away with a brace of tries for his efforts. He ran well and broke the line a few times, with a couple of trademark off-loads throw in too. He capped it all off with the grubber kick that gave Dagg a try.

11 Hosea Gear:

Scored an exceptional try down the touchline and shrugged off Keith Earls's attempt at a tackle with a scary shoulder.

10 Aaron Cruden:

Was incredible for the 24 minutes he played before limping off with an injury. Slick handling helped him to set up all four first-half tries with his off-loads putting runners into space. He only misses out on full marks because he was there for such a short time.

9 Aaron Smith:

The clean and fast ball that he provides to the backline was invaluable, but he also added an element of a running game to his performance and was the architect of Cane's second try.

8 Richie McCaw (captain):

He adjusted well to life at No.8 and was his usual tireless self at the breakdown, doing the business on the ground.

7 Sam Cane:

Stepped into the cherished No.7 jersey brilliantly, completely living up to the hype that has surrounded him. Scored two excellent tries by popping up on the shoulder where every good openside should be. Great work on defence, at the breakdown and an off-load to give Messam a try.

6 Liam Messam:

Burst through a gap to put Cane away for his second try and his teammate returned the favour a little later by putting him into space for an excellent try.

5 Samuel Whitelock:

He made his tackles and did nothing wrong without ever standing out.

4 Luke Romano:

Brilliant from start to finish and exactly the kind of lock New Zealand have been looking for to fill Brad Thorn's boots. Hit rucks hard and carried the ball very strongly, often taking several tacklers to bring him to ground.

3 Owen Franks:

Made a number of tackles and was strong in the rucks to protect the ball.

2 Andrew Hore:

A pretty quiet game by his standards and wasn't required to get involved in many mauls due to the pace of the match. Did nothing wrong and hit his line-out jumpers.

1 Tony Woodcock:

Not his best night in the scrums as Mike Ross had him in some trouble once or twice. Was otherwise anonymous.


16 Keven Mealamu
(On for Andrew Hore at half-time):
Looked like a man who hadn't played rugby for some time and wasn't heavily involved. He did get his line-outs right, however.

17 Ben Franks
(On for Tony Woodcock 73rd minute):
Not long enough to be accurately rated.

18 Brodie Retallick (On for Samuel Whitelock - 56th minute):
Did a decent job without standing out and simply got on with things quietly and efficiently.

19 Adam Thomson
(On for Sam Cane - 70th minute):
Not long enough to be accurately rated.

20 Piri Weepu (On for Aaron Smith - 60th minute):
Came on and did all the basics well and got the ball out to the backs without trying to be a hero and going on his own.

21 Beauden Barrett
(On for Aaron Cruden - 24th minute):    
Not quite in the class of Cruden just yet, but he controlled things well and looked comfortable on debut. Made his tackles and grew in confidence as the game went on.

22 Tamati Ellison
(On for Conrad Smith - 60th minute):
Was given a lot of opportunities with the ball. He did make one very strong run up the middle crashing into defenders.