Player ratings: Wobbly start

Sat, 08 Jun 2013 09:58
Kieran-read-haka Ben-smith-all-blacks Sam-cane-all-blacks-try
Read leads from the front

New Zealand were made to work hard for their 23-13 win over France in Auckland on Saturday - the first match in a three-Test series.

It was not perfect, in fact it was a wobbly start by the All Blacks.

However, the Kiwis were good value for their 10-point win and will be happy just to have emerged with victory.

Jan de Koning rates the New Zealand players!

15 Israel Dagg:
Solid at the back and he had a number of really good runs. It may not have been as flashy as some would have liked, but he made very few errors.

14 Ben Smith:
His awareness to run into the gap on a turnover is what created the All Blacks' first try. Showed his value in supporting Dagg at the back - the Kiwis like their fullbacks on the wing for this very reason.

13 Conrad Smith:
Still a good distributor, with some sublime skills, but his hands let him down on occasion in the first half. It is ability to pop up in unexpected places that really makes him valuable.

12 Ma'a Nonu:
Strong run, coming on a good angle early in first half, then a good turnover. Also set up New Zealand's second try with a powerful burst. He was offsides on a couple of times, but showed he still deserves to wear the back jersey.

11 Julian Savea:
Showed some sublime skills in the air and was strong with the ball in hand.

10 Aaron Cruden:
Made a meal of his first penalty attempt and also missed a more kickable second attempt. Finally kicked his third attempt, but even that was a wobbly effort. Also shanked his first kick in the second half. Showed some great skills, but his boot let him down badly.

9 Aaron Smith:
Provided some real spark behind the pack and his service was crisp. His value can't be measured in stats.

8 Kieran Read (captain):
Plenty of carries - into double figures - and great turnover in the first half when the French were threatening. His work at the breakdown was also immense.

7 Sam Cane:
His off-loading skills and support play does not always get the credit it deserves, while he was very powerful with ball in hand.

6 Liam Messam:
Had his moments, but was quiet by his standards.

5 Brodie Retallick:
Was immense with ball in hand, but gave away a penalty for obstruction midway through the second half with the Kiwis just 10 metres out.

4 Luke Romano:
A huge presence in the game, but concede a couple of unnecessary penalties.

3 Owen Franks:
was strong in the scrums in the first half, then got destroyed early in the second half and conceded a penalty, but then got one back. Worked hard on defence.

2 Dane Coles:
His line-out throwing not the greatest, but he works hard and contributes in the tight exchanges.

1 Wyatt Crockett:
Still the most penalised prop in the world - it takes away from some of the other good things he does around the field.


16 Keven Mealamu (on for Coles, 55):
A couple of strong carries and good woprk in the tight exchanges.

17 Ben Franks (on for O Franks, 60):
His contribution was limited mostly to the scrums and breakdown.

18 Ben Afeaki (on for Crockett, 74):
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Jeremy Thrush:
Not used.

20 Victor Vito:
Not used.

21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (on for A Smith, 65):
Did the basics well, but not really enough time to rate him accurately.

22 Beauden Barrett (on fr Cruden, 74):
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Rene Ranger (on for Dagg, 66):
Had a few very strong runs in his short stay on the field, but not enough time to be rated accurately.