PLAYER RATINGS: True champions!

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 11:40

OPINION: The All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup for the fourteenth year in succession with a well-deserved 29-9 bonus-point victory against the Wallabies at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday.

The back-to-back World Cup champion All Blacks backed up last weekend's 42-8 victory against the same opposition with another impressive performance on home soil.

Josh Isaacson rates the New Zealand players!

15 Ben Smith
Was good under the high ball and ran hard and straight at the line to assist with the Dane Coles try in the 62nd minute.

14 Israel Dagg
First two tries of the game. Assisted with the Julian Savea try with a good catch under the high ball in the 47th minute. Dagg is a real finisher at the moment and what more can you ask from the man on the wing.

13 Malakai Fekitoa
Conceded a penalty at the breakdown in the nineteenth minute but combined well with Anton Lienert-Brown in the centre combination and put in a committed effort on defence.

12 Anton Lienert-Brown
Made his Test debut at just 21 years of age. Assisted in the first try with a good pass over the top to draw in the Australia defence and combined well with Beauden Barrett for the second try. Caused the Wallabies defence all sorts of problems throughout the game. An absolute pleasure to watch.

11 Julian Savea
Savea did the basics well but did not make himself involved enough in the game throughout the 80 minutes, he was not able to compete with Cooper for a high ball in the 43rd minute, however, he raced down the wing with pace and power and dotted down for the five-pointer in the 47th minute.

10 Beauden Barrett
Fantastic runs which we have become accustomed to opened up the Wallabies defensive line for the second try of the game which Israel Dagg scored. Missed a few kicks but besides, for that, he had a near perfect game.

9 Aaron Smith
Led the Haka with passion and accuracy.  His stepping and link-up play assisted in the first try which was scored by Israel Dagg. A performance which we have come to expect from the lively scrumhalf.

8 Kieran Read (captain)
Read led from the front and he was good with ball in hand and was an effective line-out option. His good handling skills made sure that the forwards and backs combined well throughout the game.

7 Sam Cane
Quick off the ball and made some big tackles. Was rewarded for his efforts with a try in the 62nd minute.

6 Jerome Kaino
Physical game and did plenty work off the ball.

5 Samuel Whitelock
Whitelock won the line-out against the throw in the 15th minute and was committed on defence. Not one to steal the limelight but did exactly what was required from the big lock.

4 Brodie Retallick
Had a big physical presence throughout the game and read the line-outs well.

3 Owen Franks
Had a quiet game on the ball but was involved at the breakdown and the set-piece.

2 Dane Coles
Coles consistently found his line-out jumper and his good pace and footwork saw him run down the wing and trouble the Wallabies defensive line on many occasions.

1 Joe Moody
Did a lot of work at the breakdown and off the ball.


16 James Parsons (On for Dane Coles, 70th  minute)
Not enough time to be rated

17 Wyatt Crockett (On for Joe Moody, 52nd minute)
Put in a good effort at the scrum and made sure that the All Blacks got go-forward ball from the set-piece.

18 Charlie Faumuina (On for Owen Franks, 52nd minute)
Added athleticism and skill to the front row with some accurate passing and good running lines.

19 Liam Squire (On for Brodie Retallick, 70th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Ardie Savea (On for Same Cane, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 TJ Perenara (Replaced Aaron Smith in 66th minute)
Ran down the wing with plenty of pace and his service and distribution skills were in a different league.

22 Aaron Cruden (On for Julian Savea, 66th minute)
Added another attacking element to the All Blacks game as he came in at first receiver and took the ball to the line well.

23 Seta Tamanivalu (On for Anton Lienert-Brown, 76th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.