Player ratings: Slippery customers
Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:58
Enough to prevail in a tough encounter
The All Blacks were forced to work hard to secure their 28-13 victory over Argentina in wet conditions in Hamilton.
The home side battled to unleash their attacking game in the rainy conditions and struggled against an impressive Pumas scrum but did enough to prevail in a tough encounter.
Although they were disrupted to a certain degree, the All Blacks were not put under sustained pressure on defence and kept their composure quite well in the difficult conditions.
We rate the New Zealand players:
15 Israel Dagg
A solid performance considering the difficult conditions, a mixed bag under the high ball but got his team on the front foot with some great kicks and showed his ability to beat defenders when he got the chance.
14 Ben Smith
Limited opportunities, and the conditions really did not suit his game but he did not let anyone down.
13 Conrad Smith
A typically composed display from the veteran centre who proved his woth on defence, kept it simple and linked well on attack and even made some good runs.
12 Francis Saili
Made a horror start to his Test career when he dropped it cold to give away the opening try, but grew in confidence as the game went on and made some decent runs along with a few shrewd kicks.
11 Julian Savea
Was tested by the high ball and looked quite solid. Dropped a few passes but came off his wing and looked for work.
10 Dan Carter
A mixed display on his return as his first touch was a forward pass and his goal-kicking was erratic, but proved his worth with some neat touches and a great break to set up the second try.
9 Aaron Smith
He is developing an impressive all-round game with his speedy service backed up by a decent kicking game and the constant threat he provides around the rucks with his sniping runs. His two tries showed the value of his pace and awareness.
8 Kieran Read
A hard-working game and played a crucial role in two of the tries with his sensational offload to Aaron Smith and his charge down in the Pumas 22.
7 Richie McCaw
His work-rate was high as ever and he ran hard at the opposition but got blown up at the breakdown a few times and limped off with an injury.
6 Steven Luatua
A massive game for the young blindside who ran hard at the Pumas all night and seemed to make ground every time. He also showed good hands and linked up with his outside backs quite well.
5 Samuel Whitelock
A menace to the Pumas line-out throughout and also made a few telling runs in open play to impose himself on the game.
4 Brodie Retallick
Got through plenty of work and hit the rucks hard whilst he also hsowed some good handling skills, but strayed offside at a maul.
3 Charlie Faumuina
A tough outing and he was put under pressure at scrum-time, but made an impact in open play and will have taken a lot from the experience.
2 Andrew Hore
His handling let him down at times and although he proved a threat at the breakdown he was blown up as well before being replaced early in second half.
1 Tony Woodcock
A really tough outing for the veteran who was worked over in the scrums and got pulled off at half-time after a disappointing 40 minutes.
16 Dane Coles (On for Hore, 46 mins)
A mixed bag as he charged a box kick but his line-out throwing was not straight.
17 Wyatt Crockett (On for Woodcock, 40 mins)
Put under pressure in the scrums and knocked the ball on in open play.
18 Ben Franks (on for Faumuina, 71 mins)
Showed up well in the scrums as the All Blacks looked solid at the end.
19 Jeremy Thrush (On for Whitelock, 75 mins)
Not enough time to be rated.
20 Sam Cane (On for McCaw, 59 mins)
A hard-working effort but did not make much impact on the Pumas defence.
21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (On for Aaron Smith, 75 mins)
Not enough time to be rated,
22 Beauden Barrett (on for Carter, 54 mins)
Some good kicking, but failed to spark the backline as they went in search of the bonus-point try.
23 Charles Piutau (on for Dagg, 71 mins)
Not many opportunities to unleash his running game but was not caught out of position.
By Michael de Vries
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