Player ratings: Romano rules

Sat, 22 Jun 2013 07:05
Ma_anonufrance2 Ben-smith-all-blacks-try Lukeromanofrance Renerangerfrance
Extremely industrious for a No.4 lock

The All Blacks’ performance matched the dead rubber status of their third and final Test against France in New Plymouth on Saturday.

With the series already in the bag, the All Blacks lacked the urgency they showed in last weekend’s shutout.

They made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes with the 24-9 scoreline certainly flattering the world champions.

They got their clean sweep, but it was a rather anticlimatic end to the series.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the All Black players.

15 Israel Dagg
Peppered with high balls and was safe as houses for the most part. His driving line kicks was a big feature in the game as he easily won the kicking game for the All Blacks and he was dangerous and lively on attack. Great Test.

14 Ben Smith

Absolutely lethal with ball in hand, did well to dive early and low to score a try not many would have been able to, created the second try with a well weighted kick and very well-rounded to cap off a breakthrough series on the international stage.

13 Conrad Smith

Unlucky not to score but a solid performance nevertheless. His defence was outstanding, highlighted by his thumping hit on Wesley Fofana, and he attacked space intelligently to put runners into space.

12 Ma'a Nonu

A third straight strong showing in black. Once again penetrated the first line of defence, utilised the grubber again to good effect and made a crucial tackle on Remi Tales.

11 Rene Ranger

A juggernaut with ball in hand. So powerful on attack, he bumped off many a French player and made three line breaks to rack up the most metres of the match.

10 Daniel Carter

A rusty performance by the world’s leading flyhalf. From the early charge down of his kick it was clear Carter was undercooked and it reflected in all facets of his play.

9 Piri Weepu

Slow to arrive at the rucks, threw some wayward passes and made just one prop-like carry. Other than his vital tackle on opposite number Jean Marc Doussain a disappointing display, which saw him pulled after 41 minutes.   

8 Kieran Read (captain)

A rare error-ridden performance by the All Black captain but his sterling defence, work in the line-out and excellent workrate bumped up his score.  

7 Sam Cane

Made his tackles but offered little in terms of ball-carrying and conceded a penalty.

6 Victor Vito

Tried his best to inject himself into the game offensively but he struggled to breach the gainline and was outworked across the park by the other loose forwards.

5 Samuel Whitelock

A much-improved French line-out meant he wasn’t as dominant as last weekend but he redirected his energy expertly and was one of the hardest workers of the game.

4 Luke Romano

Talk about hard workers - no-one worked harder than Romano, who was ever-present, making carry after carry and winning several line-outs. Extremely industrious for a No.4 lock.

3 Owen Franks

Cleaned out the rucks well but conceded two scrum penalties in goal-kicking range.  

2 Andrew Hore

Did little wrong; found his jumpers and got stuck into the rough stuff.

1 Wyatt Crockett

A penalty waiting to happen, Crockett continued to be punished both in the set-pieces and open play, conceding a scrum and offside penalty that saw him plucked straight after half-time.


16 Keven Mealamu (on for Hore, 63rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Tony Woodcock (on for Crockett, 41st minute)
Gave the All Blacks solidity in the scrums.

18 Ben Franks

Not used.

19 Steven Luatua (on for Vito, 70th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Matt Todd (on for Cane, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (on for Weepu, 41st minute)
Gave the side a spark with his speed and energy.

22 Beauden Barrett (on for Nonu, 77th minute)
The hometown hero was roared onto the park and scored a memorable try but only got three minutes. Not enough time to be rated.

23 Charles Piutau (on for Ranger, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.