Player ratings: Just too good

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 01:52
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OPINION: Despite having two players sent to the sin bin, New Zealand were just too good for Argentina on the night as they claimed a 36-17 victory to remain unbeaten in the Rugby Championship.

The eventual outcome of the game, which was fairly even for the most part, was determined by a 12-minute massacre that saw the All Blacks score four tries in that period - just before half-time - to take a commanding 29-3 lead.

Their overall play was characterised by a high tempo, fast attacks, keeping the ball alive through offloads and a fast defensive line. There was, however, one aspect of the game they will feel let them down and that is their discipline.

Far too often, they were pegged for being offside close to their try line - which heaped the second half pressure on them and eventually ended up with having two players sent to the bin.

Tauriq Ebrahim rates the New Zealand players!

15 Ben Smith
Regardless of where he plays in the backline, his game awareness and ability to create something from nothing is phenomenal.

14 Israel Dagg
He seemed a little bit off his game and it showed in his defence when he slipped a few tackles, although he was satisfactory on attack.

13 Anton Lienert-Brown
Give him the ball and he produces the goods. Started the try scoring and also assisted in setting up the rest to go with plenty of strong ball carries.

12 Ryan Crotty
Has made the No.12 jersey his own with massive carries that almost always gets his side over the advantage line.

11 Julian Savea
He looked to impose himself on the game but came up against some staunch defending which limited the damage he could have made, although, he did manage to gain over 100 metres.

10 Beauden Barrett
A somewhat subdued performance as we come to expect brilliance whenever he is on the park but he is certainly not afraid to go head first into a tackle situation.

9 TJ Perenara
Crisp service, pushed the tempo when he needed to and was an absolute gem on defence.

8 Kieran Read (captain)
There are times when his work goes unnoticed as players around him shine, but his work rate and game management is unparalleled - even if his opposite number got the better of him on the night.

7 Ardie Savea
If ever there was the slightest doubt as to whether he should remain the starting No.7, he put all that to bed with yet another massive performance, especially on defence.

6 Liam Squire
It's probably a performance he would like to forget, not only for the yellow card he received.

5 Brodie Retallick
Gave the performance we have come to expect from the lock with massive carries and some silky offloads added to spice it up.

4 Patrick Tuipulotu
This guy can certainly tackle and is dynamic on attack. However, maybe he was a little bit lucky to have remained on the field after that high tackle on Sanchez close to his try line.

3 Owen Franks
His scrumming was steady and did his defensive duty.

2 Dane Coles
Did not have the sort of attack impact as he did in his past few games but definitely made for it with his defensive performance.

1 Joe Moody
All the good work he did on defence was overshadowed by a moment of madness when he lashed out and caught an opponent with an arm to the head.


16 Codie Taylor (on for Coles, 70th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Wyatt Crockett (on for Moody, 52nd min)
Found himself up against a determined Argentine pack and could not handle the pressure at scrum time.

18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi (on for Franks, 64th min)
Had just one chance to his frame to get over the gain line but he too struggled a bit in the scrums.

19 Samuel Whitelock (on for Retallick, 48th min)
Came on when Argentina had the momentum but he was up to the task with a good defensive display.

20 Elliot Dixon (on for Read, 76th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (on for Perenara, 69th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Lima Sopoaga (on for Barrett, 76th min)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Damian McKenzie (on for Crotty, 49th min)
Did not seem fazed by the international arena as he made a few telling tackles close to his try line. Unfortunately he let himself down with a few errors on attack but is was a satisfactory debut.

By Tauriq Ebrahim

Photo credit: UAR/Rodrigo Vergara