Player ratings: Streak over

Sat, 16 Aug 2014 12:28
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A 12-12 draw with the Wallabies in Sydney saw the All Blacks fall short of claiming the outright record for consecutive Tier One Test victories.

A 12-12 draw with the Wallabies in Sydney saw the All Blacks fall short of claiming the outright record for consecutive Tier One Test victories.

The tryless stalemate in sopping wet conditions would have left both teams frustrated, but was perhaps the fairest result in an even contest.

New Zealand were impressive in the first half, but allowed Australia back into the game after half-time with all three results possible right up to the final whistle.

The All Blacks played 20 minutes of the game with 14 men, with Wyatt Crockett and Beauden Barrett shown yellow cards in either half.

This sets up the return fixture in Auckland next weekend nicely, with the Bledisloe Cup on the line.

We rate the New Zealand players:

15 Ben Smith
Showed that there is more to him than his flashy running as he got stuck in at the breakdown and also showed an intelligent kicking game, but did not have his usual impact.

14 Cory Jane
Chased hard and competed well, but did not have many chaces on attack and got blown up for being in front of the kicker.

13 Malakai Fekitoa
Made some telling tackles, but did not get enough opportunities to attack the gainline and was kept fairly quiet.

12 Ma'a Nonu
Ran hard and straight as usual, made his physicality count on defence but his hands let him down at times.

11 Julian Savea
Solid under high ball and showed some good hands in the conditions. Made some big hits but did not get many chances to stretch his legs.

10 Aaron Cruden
Attacked the line when he got the chance and varied his kicking game nicely, but was not able to unleash the attacking threats on his outside.

9 Aaron Smith
Another polished all-round game from the dangerous scrumhalf, his pace made him a threat on the counter-attack and he got a few well-weighted grubbers in behind the Australian defence.

8 Kieran Read
Made an impact in all areas of the game, he made some crunching tackles, posed a threat at the breakdown and was a solid line-out option as well.

7 Richie McCaw
Proved a constant nuisance at the breakdown, but got blown up a few times as well and seemed to fall off the pace a bit in the final stages.

6 Jerome Kaino
A workhorse on defence, he made plenty of big hits and helped keep the Wallabies on the back foot but did not impose himself as much with the ball in hand and dropped one crucial ball in the 22.

5 Sam Whitelock
Impressive as ever in the line-outs as he ran the show for the All Blacks and stole some Wallaby ball. Got around the park well but got penalised at the breakdown.

4 Brodie Retallick
Made his presence felt at the breakdown on defence and made his usual strong carries as well as being solid at the front of the line-out.

3 Owen Franks
Solid as ever at scrum-time and got stuck into the tight stuff, but dropped the ball in open play.

2 Dane Coles
Showed promising glimpses with his pace and a few neat touches, but not consistent enough as he dropped a few and was shaky in the set-pieces.

1 Wyatt Crockett
Had his opposite number under pressure in the early scrums and carried well when he got the chance but strayed offside too often and ogt a yellow card for a cynical infringement in the 22.


16 Keven Mealamu
(On for Coles, 52 mins)
Fairly disappointing from the veteran with a late skew throw wasting a chance to win the game.

17 Ben Franks (On for Crockett, 38 mins)
Did not have things all his own way in the scrums and was also caught offside.

18 Joe Moody (On for Franks, 70 mins)
Did not have much time to make an impression but worked hard.

19 Steven Luatua
Not used.

20 Sam Cane (On for Kaino, 69 mins)
Added plenty of enthusiasm but made a crucial knock-on late in the game with the tryline in sight.

21 TJ Perenara
Not used.

22 Beauden Barrett (On for Cruden, 63 mins)
Did not spend much time on the pitch as he was shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement which made things very tough for his side.

23 Ryan Crotty (On for Nonu, 57 mins)
Made a big impression on defence with some crucial tackles, but did not get many attacking opportunities.

By Michael de Vries