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Player ratings: 100-up for McCaw

Sat, 06 Oct 2012 18:53
Richiemccawboks2 Kieranreadboks Samwhitelockboks
Read is arguably the Player of the Rugby Championship
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The All Blacks outplayed the Springboks in Soweto on Saturday to hand skipper Richie McCaw an unprecedented 100th Test victory.

The talismanic McCaw was his masterful and courageous self in the Soweto cauldron, leading his troops with an iron fist and a Rugby Championship clean sweep. 
 
Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the All Black players.

15 Israel Dagg
After a couple of kicks slipped off the side of his boot early on he found his rhythm and negated the Springboks’ vaunted kicking game. He came alive in the second half with a sniping break and offload to spark a crucial try just after the break.  Deducted a point for conceding a yellow card.      
7.5/10
 
14 Cory Jane

A largely error-free outing yet he was content to play the role of spectator out on the right wing rather than go looking for work.     
6.5/10

13 Conrad Smith

Smith showcased his unique ability in which he seemingly flies under the radar yet slowly but surely eats at the opposition with ball in hand. His 65 metres gained, second only to Hosea Gear, highlights this fact and he picked up a five-pointer to boot.    
7.5/10

12 Ma'a Nonu

Not Nonu’s best game. He was well looked after which largely nullified his impact.       
6.5/10

11 Hosea Gear

A man nearing a crossroads in his Test career, Hosea shifted into sixth Gear and ran the Boks off their feet. The highlight of his outing saw him run straight over Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers and Zane Kirchner in one destructive run.       
8/10

10 Dan Carter

Not flawless by any means but certainly influential. Looking beyond his two missed penalties and two restarts that went straight into touch, he was lethal on attack and coolly slotted a rare drop-goal.
7.5/10

9 Aaron Smith

Underperformed in many ways, including with his tactical kicking which is a known weakness in his game at this stage, but was rewarded for his support running with his second try in as many Tests against the Boks.
6.5/10

8 Kieran Read

In my opinion the Player of the Rugby Championship. He did brilliantly to hold on to a knee-high ball from Gear and to offload for Sam Whitelock to score and also had a major hand in Nonu’s five-pointer. He was just phenomenal in all areas and is the undisputed best No.8 in the game today.
8.5/10

7 Richie McCaw

“A freak of a player” as coach Steve Hansen described him in a post-match interview. It wasn’t a match-winning performance but he played an integral role in the victory, including making a peerless 14 tackles.
7.5/10

6 Liam Messam

Another player who quietly went about his business, Messam made the most metres of any forward on the night (44m).          
7.5/10
 
5 Sam Whitelock

Disrupted the best line-out in world rugby whilst scoring a barnstorming try and making a massive contribution on defence and in the tight-loose.   
8/10

4 Brodie Retallick

Did his utmost to get under the skin of the Bok forwards with mixed success. He was penalised for pulling down opposite number Eben Etzebeth and got away with a tip-tackle on Andries Bekker.        
6/10

3 Owen Franks

A forgettable showing in which he came off second best against ‘The Beast.”  
6/10

2 Andrew Hore

Particularly prominent in the opening quarter but a brilliant 50-minute appearance overall. Solid in the set-piece and sublime on the deck.   
8/10

1 Tony Woodcock

The veteran fronted up better than Franks but was outworked by the other front row forwards across the park.
6/10

Replacements:

16 Keven Mealamu
(on for Hore, 51st minute)
Whilst he was reliable in the set-piece, the All Blacks lost Hore’s momentum and efficiency when Mealamu came on.   
6/10

17 Ben Franks
(on for Franks, 62nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Luke Romano (on for Retallick, 58th minute)
Not called upon in the line-out so he channelled his energy into general play where he brought a high work ethic.
6.5/10

19 Adam Thomson
(on for Messam, 65th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Piri Weepu (on for Smith, 65th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Aaron Cruden (on for Carter, 76th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Tamati Ellison (on for Nonu, 62nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

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