Player ratings: Damp squib
Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:13
They will feel that they let a golden opportunity slip
The Wallabies showed plenty of character to fight back in wet conditions in Sydney, but had to settle for a 12-12 draw with the All Blacks.
The rain was always going to make the game a tough battle up front, and despite trailing by six points at half-time the home side managed to give themselves a chance of winning with a determined performance in the second half.
However, it was not to be as they shared the spoils with the All Blacks in the end which means they have to win in Auckland next week if they are to get the Bledisloe Cup back after 11 long years.
The Wallabies will take heart from the character they showed under pressure, but with the All Blacks down to 14 men for 20 minutes of the match they will also feel that they let a golden opportunity slip.
We rate the Australia players:
15 Israel Folau
Put under pressure at the back by the All Blacks' kicking game and did not get enough support. He ran sideways at times in one of his more forgettable Tests.
14 Pat McCabe
Looked like a centre on the wing as he got caught out of position time and again by kicks in behind him. Smashed into touch with the tryline in sight and also caught offside.
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper
Fairly quiet outing from Ashley-Cooper, but he did the basics well despite being unable to break the All Blacks' defensive line.
12 Matt Toomua
Something of a mixed bag, he provided a good kicking option in midfield but his passing in the slippery conditions let him down at times.
11 Rob Horne
Looked for work and made some valuable ground in midfield, but lost a few balls and did not make much of an impression out wide.
10 Kurtley Beale
Battled to impose himself at flyhalf and made a few rash calls in the All Blacks 22 to cough up possession too often.
9 Nic White
A tough night for the scrumhalf who had a few box kicks charged, and also got blown up for holding on at the breakdown and feeding the scrum skew.
8 Wycliff Palu
Solid at the back of the scrum, but went missing at times and did not make enough of an impact with the ball in hand.
7 Michael Hooper
A big effort from the skipper who led by example by getting stuck in at the breakdown and linking well on attack.
6 Scott Fardy
Gave away a few early penalties at the breakdown and in the line-out, but settled down and even stole a line-out ball.
5 Rob Simmons
A hard-working performance which saw him hit plenty of rucks and was solid as usual in the line-outs.
4 Sam Carter
A big effort from the lock who got around the park well to make plenty of tackles and a reliable source of possession in the line-outs.
3 Sekope Kepu
Put under pressure early on at scrum-time, but bounced back well as his side grabbed the ascendency in the second half.
2 Nathan Charles
Some crucial errors such as running in front of the kicker at a kick-off and a skew throw, but an enthusiastic performance otherwise.
1 James Slipper
Solid in the tight phases and got over the gainline consistently when thrown the ball in open play.
16 James Hanson
17 Pek Cowan (On for Slipper, 70 mins)
Held his own in the late scrums as the All Blacks pushed for the win.
18 Ben Alexander (On for Kepu, 78 mins)
Not enough time to be rated.
19 Will Skelton (On for Palu, 70 mins)
Added some valuable physicality in the tense final stages.
20 Scott Higginbotham (On for Fardy, 66 mins)
Put in a big shift on defence and did not take a backwards step.
21 Nick Phipps (On for White, 66 mins)
Provided good service and generally made a nuisance of himself around the fringes.
22 Bernard Foley (On for Beale, 70 mins)
Did not get many opportunities to take the All Blacks defence on, but solid enough.
23 Tevita Kuridrani
By Michael de Vries
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