Player Ratings: All Black imposters
OPINION: Argentina sent shock waves around the world by giving the All Blacks a punch in the guts loss 25-15. They dominated with huge physicality in defence and didn’t give the New Zealanders an inch.
Coach Ian Foster had obviously primed his All Black charges to not back down to the Pumas after last week’s loss to the Wallabies but that backfired big time as the All Blacks gave away senseless penalties to be down 3-16 at half-time.
The All Blacks jersey has lost some lustre after this passion and skill lite outing and the Pumas played well beyond their world number 10 ranking; the best day in Argentinian rugby ever!
It’s hard to remember an All Black team playing so poorly and not being able to change the plan.
Here’re the All Black player ratings by Mike Rehu.
1. Joe Moody – 4
Gave away scrum penalty at the 32nd minute to gift the Argies a 13 point lead at half-time. Didn’t stop trying with ball in hand.
2. Dane Coles – 2
It’s a thin line between niggle and stupidity and at 22 minutes the hooker slapped Puma No.8 Bruni after he got his entry wrong at ruck time. Off at 47.
3. Tyrel Lomax – 5
One of the players who could hold his head high. Top tackler for ABs even though he was subbed at 57 minutes. The scrum penalty he conceded was unlucky judging by where his opposite’s bind was.
4. Patrick Tuipulotu – 3
One of the players found out in playing a more physical team than the Wallabies. Three carries for three metres, one line-out take, a spill in contact and a couple of missed tackles. Off at 69 and might be lucky to get a start for a while.
5. Sam Whitelock – 6
Didn’t stop trying, tracked back before the backs at 30 minutes to make two great denying tackles on Imhoff and Matera to save a try. Top line-out takes and some good dabs with ball.
6. Shannon Frizell – 2
Won’t be compared to Kaino for a while after that display. Was like a boy against men, gave away a silly early penalty to give Argentina three points. Had his pocket and handphone picked by Matera at 27 minutes and Kremer roughed him up like a rag doll at one stage. Off at 47.
7. Sam Cane – 4
Scored the first All Black first try, done at pace from line-out. There’s no doubt he can lead from the front but the Kiwis seem to need someone to direct and lead strategy on-field.
8. Ardie Savea – 5
Found it hard to get yards early on but never stopped trying. With Sotutu creating space from the back of the scrum the selectors may have to make a big call around Savea, whether it’s pushing him to 6, 7 or bench.
9. Aaron Smith – 4
Got back to tackle Imhoff at 30 minutes, wasn’t effective as a distributor as ABs couldn’t get over the gain line. Off 62.
10. Richie Mo’unga – 4
Like Smith, doesn’t look as good in neutral as when the pack are dominant. For some reason, he made a lot of play to midfield runners expecting breaks but when they didn’t pay off there wasn’t any variety.
11. Caleb Clarke – 5.5
Really is a wonderful chaser at kick-offs and high ball chases. He will realise now that Test rugby is a little harder than his first spells on the field this season. At the final stanza he scored what will be the first of many tries for the ABs.
12. Jack Goodhue – 2
A strong run at 26 minutes for five metres on one carry. Goodhue maybe one of the casualties for this performance, there’s no doubt he’s a sensible player but so is Lienert-Brown; there can be only one of them there as a centre pairing. Off at 63.
13. Anton Lienert-Brown – 5.5
Never stopped probing and distributing. Needs a more dynamic partner in midfield.
14. Jordie Barrett – 3
Silly penalty given away on a late charge on the kicker. Dropped the ball on attack at 43 minutes. After seeing the evasiveness of the opposition wings (and even DMac) perhaps our selectors can think about a genuine wing for the 14 jersey. Off at 47.
15. Beauden Barrett – 4
Couldn’t work his magic even though he had opportunities from the backfield. Will be under pressure for the fullback jersey for the next outing. Probably needs to take a larger leadership role in stoppages, he should be seeing a lot from the back.
16. Codie Taylor – 4
On at 47. Poor line-out at 60 on attack, one of the least effective bench players.
17. Alex Hodgman – N/A
On too late perhaps at 73.
18. Nepo Laulala – 5
On at 57 good solid run at 59 and looked up for it.
19. Tupou Vaa’i – 6
On at 69 won a great first line-out throw. Good run moments later, brought some energy!
20. Hoskins Sotutu – 5
On at 47. Big tackle on Kremer at 59 minutes and like a train off the back of the scrum at 63. A bad pass at 72 minutes blotted his copybook.
21. Brad Weber – 4
On at 62 and suffered the same woes as Smith with slightly more momentum.
22. Rieko Ioane – 4
On at 47, an error at 64 trying to get quick pass to Clarke which is what all the pundits remembered.
23. Damian McKenzie – 5
On at 63 and showed what someone with some footwork could do.
By Mike Rehu, @RugbyPass