Player ratings: Riding into the sunset

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 07:14
Large sonny bill williams runs 63 Large kieran read wallabies 2 Large aaronsmithwallabies

The multi-talented Sonny Bill Williams bowed out of Rugby Union in fitting fashion at Eden Park on Saturday.

The multi-talented Sonny Bill Williams bowed out of Rugby Union in fitting fashion at Eden Park on Saturday.

The All Black enigma displayed his full array of unique skills to leave a reminder of just what the game will miss in his larger than life absence.    

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the All Black players.

15 Israel Dagg
Continued where he left off last weekend with another sublime performance. His kicking out of hand was excellent and his attacking deadly. Made over 100 running metres and got onto the scoresheet for the second week running with a well timed run.  
14 Cory Jane

Not a bad effort by any means but not as impressive as his fellow backs. Made good ground and few mistakes.

13 Ma'a Nonu

Also quiet in comparison to his fellow backs. He and Williams had much better synergy this time round and he made all his tackles but he wasn’t as effective on attack as one has come to expect from the big midfielder.

12 Sonny Bill Williams

Take a bow, Sonny Bill. He produced a world-class performance in all departments. Unrivalled in ball-carrying and offload stakes and showed what great understanding he developed over such a short period in Rugby Union with his good decision-making. The game will be a lesser one without Sonny Bill.   

11 Hosea Gear

One of the unsung heroes, he quietly went about his work. Nothing flashy from the big wing but used his power to good effect to finish the match as the All Blacks’ most effective ball carries, having accumulated 75 metres in ten runs.   

10 Daniel Carter

Another polished performance by the classy Carter as he made pivot play look effortless. His manipulation of space is a joy to watch.  

9 Aaron Smith

A much-improved performance this week. The variation of his game was brilliant and kept the Wallabies guessing. Made one of few line-breaks and was outstanding on defence.

8 Kieran Read

As good a second-half display as you’ll see by an international eighthman. Made a great try-saving tackle on Berrick Barnes and is undoubtedly the best number eight in world rugby.  

7 Richie McCaw

Simply sensational. He outworked his fellow back rowers which, considering how good they were, was quite a feat. Especially good on defence and at the breakdown.  

6 Liam Messam

Lifted his game to another level again. His workrate was top-class and he contributed in all areas.  
5 Sam Whitelock

Dominated the line-outs and got through heaps of work across the park.

4 Luke Romano

Could be very pleased with his outing in which he secured four turnovers.   

3 Owen Franks

Solid in the set-piece and the most mobile front rower on the day.

2 Keven Mealamu

One of the better ball carriers but struggled a bit with his line-out throwing.

1 Wyatt Crockett

Scrummed well for the most part but he did concede a scrum penalty and didn’t contribute enough in open play.  


16 Andrew Hore
(on for Mealamu, 46th minute)
Conceded two penalties and didn’t make much ground with ball in hand.

17 Ben Franks (on for Crockett ,55th minute)
Sent a message to the selectors after being overlooked for a starting berth. Should start ahead of Crockett next weekend.

18 Brodie Retallick
(on for Romano,46th minute)
His most valuable contribution was a line-out steal deep inside his own 22.

19 Victor Vito
(on for Messam, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Piri Weepu (on for Smith, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Aaron Cruden (on for Dagg ,70th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Ben Smith (on for Nonu ,55th minute)
Was full of running, injected some pace and evaded a number of defenders.