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Player ratings: From bad to worse

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 12:04
Michaelhooperallblacks Sitaleki_timani Scot-higginbotham-charges-6
The Australians are in dire straits
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The Wallabies’ woes continued as they were taught a rugby lesson by a far superior All Black side at Eden Park on Saturday.

The team’s low morale was evident in the body language of the players in what was one of the poorest performances by a Wallaby side in the last decade.

The Australians are in dire straits, with Robbie Deans diluting his players’ attacking potency by insisting on them playing a defensive game.

They were utterly rudderless and calls for Deans’ head will only intensify following a rare shutout. The silver lining came in the form of encouraging performances by a number of the forwards.  

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Wallaby players.

15 Adam Ashley-Cooper
Reliable at the back. Brilliant tackle on opposite number Israel Dagg in the opening ten minutes to save a certain try.
6.5/10
 
14 Drew Mitchell

A workmanlike return to Test rugby. Was used frequently on attack before he succumbed to injury just after the half-hour mark.
6/10

13 Rob Horne

A hard grafter in the Wallaby backline in the first half.
6/10

12 Berrick Barnes

Poor decision-making and execution led to several chip and grubber kicks being nothing more than turnover ball.
5/10

11 Digby Ioane

The only Wallaby back to make a line-break. Beat three defenders and made 39 metres in six runs - making him the best Australian back by some distance.
7/10

10 Quade Cooper

Simply anonymous, he made no impact on the game. The blame has to lie with Deans here as Cooper was clearly instructed to stick to a kicking game.
5/10

9 Will Genia

Cynical professional foul put his team under the cosh and thoroughly outplayed by opposite number Aaron Smith.
6/10

8 Scott Higginbotham

Brought the physicality to the All Blacks along with Sitaleki Timani. Pushed the boundaries with his good work at the rucks and was once again a leading target in the line-outs.
6.5/10
 
7 Michael Hooper

Delivered a breakthrough performance as he went toe-to-toe with Richie McCaw and filled David Pocock’s shoes with aplomb. His 19 tackles was by far the most by any player on the day.
8/10
 
6 Dave Dennis

Another underwhelming showing. At this stage of their careers Dennis and Liam Messam are chalk and cheese on the international stage.
5/10
 
5 Nathan Sharpe

Wasn’t quite able to replicate last week’s heroic performance but his class shone through as he made 14 tackles, took three line-out balls and snatched one on the opposition's throw.
7/10

4 Sitaleki Timani

His best Test to date. Made the most carries by an Australian forward (seven) and  was immense on defence. Made a try-saving turnover on Liam Messam in the in-goal area and a big hit on Sonny Bill Williams. His 15 tackles was second only to Hooper’s 19.  
8/10

3 Ben Alexander

While the Wallaby scrum was under pressure, Alexander took his opportunity well. It’s not every day a tighthead prop makes 11 tackles.
6.5/10

2 Stephen Moore

A prominent ball carrier but missed his jumpers on occasion.
5.5/10

1 Benn Robinson

High work ethic but there was little doubt the Wallaby scrum was feeling the heat.
5.5/10

Replacements:

16 Saia Faingaa
(on for Moore, 71st minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 James Slipper (on for Robinson ,42nd minute)
Made a good run in what was a busy cameo.
6/10

18 Radike Samo
(on for Higginbotham, 46th minute)
Had the desired impact off the bench. Particularly effective in the line-outs.
6/10

19 Liam Gill
(on for Dennis , 54th minute)
Nothing out of the ordinary but likely to start ahead of the struggling Dennis next weekend.
6/10

20 Nick Phipps

Not used.

21 Anthony Faingaa (on for Horne, 40th minute)
Struggled cutting down space for the likes of Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams.
5.5/10

22 Kurtley Beale
(on for Mitchell, 34th minute)
Unreliable under the high ball and much like Quade Cooper couldn’t provide the necessary spark.
5.5/10

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