Player ratings: Black dominance

Sat, 15 Jun 2013 07:12
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The All Blacks returned to their brilliant best as they sealed the series against France with a dominant 30-0 win in Christchurch on Saturday.

After a wobbly start last weekend, the All Blacks returned to their brilliant best as they sealed the series against France with a dominant 30-0 win in Christchurch on Saturday.

It was typical All Black rugby at AMI Stadium - clinical, intelligent, ruthless and relentless.

To be able to produce such a complete performance in just the second Test of the year speaks volumes of the quality of this All Black side.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the All Black players.

15 Israel Dagg
A much better performance by Dagg, who played with renewed confidence. His positional play was outstanding, his kicking out of hand pinned France in their half and he joined the line on attack with regularity and great efficiency.

14 Ben Smith

Had precious little opportunities after playing such a starring role last weekend but still managed to cross the whitewash. With little space to work with, he opted to grubber ahead more often than not and executed well.

13 Conrad Smith

Uncharacteristic early knock-on inside the French 22 and a quiet game altogether for the usually influential veteran.

12 Ma'a Nonu

The key attacking force for the All Blacks, making a number of telling runs and line breaks. Also showed he’s more than just a barnstorming runner with two brilliant early kicks, the second a clever grubber that put Julian Savea in for the opening try.

11 Julian Savea

Threatened every time he had the ball, played a key role in Ben Smith’s try and made some big hits on defence.

10 Aaron Cruden

Solid if not spectacular. What was spectacular, however, was his offload to put Beauden Barrett in for his try. Certainly an improvement on last weekend.

9 Aaron Smith

Although it wasn’t as exciting a performance as that of last weekend, he showed his complete skill set to change to a tactical-kicking role which he played with pinpoint accuracy.  

8 Kieran Read (captain)

Another outstanding all-round performance in his 50th Test. His workrate was excellent, his scintillating 40-odd metre counter attack fired up the hosts and he featured prominently in the line-outs and on defence.

7 Sam Cane

Ever present and a key figure on defence, making an unrivalled 16 tackles and charged down Frederic Michalak’s drop-goal which led to the try that broke the French’s spirits.  

6 Liam Messam

A quiet game by his standards and lost the ball in contact in the red zone. The highlight of his game was winning a turnover with solid work in the maul to hold up the ball just before half-time.

5 Sam Whitelock

A late replacement for Brodie Retallick, he dominated the line-out from the onset. His crucial early steal resulted in the opening try and he continued to pester the French throughout. A masterclass in line-out play.  

4 Luke Romano

A solid all-round effort, contributing in all departments as he carried well, did good work at the front of the line-out and didn’t shirk his defensive duties.

3 Owen Franks

Can be pleased with his scrummaging and workrate, especially on defence.

2 Dane Coles

Solid in the set-pieces and threw a great inside ball to Savea which led to Ben Smith’s try.

1 Wyatt Crockett

Once again conceded a couple of penalties both at scrum time and in general play.


16 Andrew Hore (on for Coles, 58th minute)
Butchered a certain try by holding on too long.

17 Tony Woodcock
(on for Crockett, 62nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Ben Franks (on for Owen Franks, 67th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Jeremy Thrush (on for Whitelock, 67th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Victor Vito (on for Messam, 62nd minute)
Smashed Yoann Huget with a big hit but not enough time to be rated.

21 Piri Weepu (on for Aaron Smith, 58th minute)
Played a linking role that maintained the continuity.

22 Beauden Barrett
(on for Ben Smith, 75th minute)
Grabbed a late try but not enough time to be rated.

23 Rene Ranger (on for Savea, 58th minute)
Won a good turnover on defence and made some strong runs.