Home Rugby Analysis: Player Ratings From The All Blacks Versus Australia, Bledisloe Cup

Analysis: Player Ratings From The All Blacks Versus Australia, Bledisloe Cup

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 27: Brodie Retallick of New Zealand leads the charge from the pack during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

The All Blacks recorded a scrappy but comprehensive 29 – 9 victory over the Wallabies in Wellington on Saturday. We take a closer look at who stood out during the fixture and who should be stood down.

Player Ratings: New Zealand

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 27: Ben Smith of New Zealand is tackled by David Pocock and Bernard Foley of Australia during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

15. Ben Smith  

Back in his preferred position of full back but you could probably throw any number on his shirt and the result would be world class. Excellent link play and insertions into the backline. Beaten in the air by Israel Folau once but otherwise wasn’t called upon to defend much. Rating: 8

14. Israel Dagg  

Dagg really has his mojo back and his brace of tries was impressive and may lead to a more permanent shift to the right wing. Good work in the air and his usual astute vision and passing skills. Rating: 8

13. Malakai Fekitoa

Defensively very sound and beginning to rediscover the ball-running impact of previous seasons. Loses a little poise at times but generally maturing nicely. Rating: 7

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12. Anton Lienert-Brown

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 27: Anton Lienert-Brown of New Zealand is tackled during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

A sharp, confident performance from the debutant in which he didn’t try to do too much but made his contributions count. Strong defence and an excellent pass in his first touch to set up Dagg’s first try. Yet another midfield option appears for Mr Hansen. Rating: 8

11. Julian Savea  

Stepped up his involvement from last week and added another well-taken try when most other wingers would’ve been bundled into touch. Rating: 7.5

10. Beauden Barrett  

Another impressive game in which he orchestrated the play expertly. Seems to have widened his peripheral vision at fly-half and the gap between him and the other contenders at number 10 is widening with every game. A few misses in his goal-kicking will leave him slightly frustrated. Rating: 8

9. Aaron Smith  

Probably even more influential than Barrett in this game as his speed to get to and clear the breakdown was phenomenal and he unleashed his running game in one memorable jinking run in the lead-up to the first try. Accurate kicking and his usual organised self defensively. Rating: 9

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8. Kieran Read

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 27: Kieran Read of the All Blacks leads the haka during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Didn’t quite reach the levels of dominance of the previous week but still a strong presence driving the All Blacks forward and pressurising the Wallaby line out. Rating: 7.5

7. Sam Cane  

An outstanding game in which he dominated the breakdown area, made a few bone-shaking hits and gained noticeable ground going forward using strong timing and power. His try and Man of the Match award were two cherries on the Cake Tin performance. Rating: 9

6. Jerome Kaino

It is perhaps underestimated, but Jerome Kaino is important to this particular All Blacks side. His experience, dominating physical power and presence as well as his awareness are world class, as exemplified in his miracle offload in the first half when he somehow squeezed the ball out to a team-mate despite being sandwiched by two Aussie defenders.

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5. Sam Whitelock  

A big game from the big man. Caused havoc in the Wallaby line out for the second consecutive test and made some important tackles including a potential try saver on Israel Folau in the first half. Rating: 8.5

4. Brodie Retallick  

Not as visible as the previous week but was industrious in the tight and showed his usual sleight of hand in his passing. Rating: 7

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3. Owen Franks

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 27: Owen Franks of the All Blacks looks to pass in the tackle of David Pocock and Kane Douglas of the Wallabies during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

Becoming more and more visible and involved week to week. Nice pass along backline leading to the first try. A few scrum penalties went against him but they were a French lottery all night. May be in trouble with the judiciary after a possible eye gouge. Rating: 8

2. Dane Coles

How good is Coles? He was almost a contender for the best back on the pitch with his well-timed bullocking and strangely elusive runs. He is currently second only to Beauden Barrett in clean breaks over the two games. His lineout throwing was pinpoint as usual and his only weakness was getting a little sucked into the Wallabies niggly tactics. Rating: 9

1. Joe Moody

Fairly anonymous on the ball but compact enough until replaced by Crockett. Rating: 7

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Player Ratings: Australia

15. Israel Folau

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 27: Israel Folau of Australia shows his frustrations during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Westpac Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

It must be frustrating for a player of Folau’s brilliance to be under-utilised. He must look on at the All Blacks supreme backline play with envy. He is currently dating a New Zealand international netball player. Izzy going to change countries? Some typically classy touches but too sporadic to be meaningful. Rating: 7.5

14. Dane Haylett-Petty  

Four carries for nine metres says a lot about his involvement in this game. Targeted again and found wanting in defence. Rating: 4

13. Samu Kerevi  

Started the game with an awful hack out on the full with an overlap beckoning and while he was solid and involved in both carries and defence, he never threatened to bust open the Black wall. Rating: 5.5

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12. Bernard Foley  

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Bernard Foley of the Wallabies looks on during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

A few darts from second five and some tidy goal kicking. Held up quite well defensively, but lacking in confidence and vision on attack. Rating: 5

11. Adam Ashley Cooper

Subbed after running into the Dane Coles express train early in the first half. Rating: N/A.

Subbed by Reece Hodge who landed a monster penalty to put the Wallabies in touch at half time but not sighted apart from that.

10. Quade Cooper

Not horrible on defence and some good play kicking but barely took on the line himself, except when he was forced to behind his own tryline. Rating: 5

9. Will Genia

Probably the Wallabies’ best player over the two matches. Saved a certain try with a timely intercept in the first half and made Australia’s only dangerous burst in the second half in which he beat two defenders. Unfortunately, the play was snuffed out due to lack of support from his team-mates, once again illustrating the difference between the two teams. Rating: 7.5

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8. David Pocock  

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: David Pocock of the Wallabies shows his dejection during the Bledisloe Cup Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Didn’t have the same impact at the breakdown as the first game. Tackled gamely but very little impact with his own ball-carrying. Rating: 6

7. Michael Hooper

Was the one player who was there on the shoulder to support the Wallaby ball carriers but only one offload came his way. Tackled industriously, but Michael Cheika must be reconsidering the value of the ‘Pooper’ combination in light of the limiting effect it has on the line outs. Rating: 6

6. Scott Fardy

Seemed to be instructed to get in the face of the All Blacks which he did with various shades of legality. Other than a lot of off and on the ball niggle, contributed very little to the positive play of his team. Rating: 5

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5. Adam Coleman

Charged around like a bull without GPS, and it was hardly surprising he was given a yellow card for a stupid late charge on Barrett just before half time. Rating: 4

4. Kane Douglas

An anonymous game and the Wallaby line out noticeably improved when Dean Mumm came on as lock. Rating: 4.5

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3. Sekope Kepu  

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23: Sekope Kepu of the Wallabies watches on during an Australian Wallabies training session at Allianz Stadium on August 23, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Some solid defensive work but little else apart from contributing to the scrum resetting debacle during the game. Rating: 5

2. Stephen Moore

Some very shaky lineout throwing once again. Rugged defensive work until replaced in second half when he was another victim of the Coles express.  Rating: 5

1. Scott Sio

A similar contribution to Kepu. Rating: 5

Kaal Kaczmarek, Pundit Arena

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