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Player ratings: Australia

OPINION: The Wallabies defended stoutly for large periods but a power game from the All Blacks and equally resistant defence kept them ahead, before blowing them away in the final quarter.

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Despite the lopsided scoreline the Wallabies controlled large periods of the contest but couldn’t crack the All Blacks defence.

The home side turned down many opportunities at three points early in the second half in search of a try to mount a comeback but came up empty-handed.

The All Blacks then struck with their first opportunity in the second half after defending for 15 minutes, which put the game away at 24-7.

Ben Smith rates the Australian players:

1 Angus Bell – 5

Strong first-up carry and continued to make inroads with ball in hand. Off at 46 but back on in the 58th for Tupou. Had a big line break in the 70th minute running onto a ball from Izaia Perese.

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Overall the Wallabies scrum and maul didn’t find any success, with the scrum conceding a swathe of penalties. A big driving maul to start the second half was turned and stopped with the Wallabies searching for a way back into the contest. Another shortly after.

2 Dave Porecki – 6

Lineout was excellent with Porecki hitting his targets efficiently all through the first half. Was a worker in defence making a high load of tackles and disrupting ball carriers. A solid night’s work from Porecki who didn’t really put a foot wrong.

3 Allan Alaalatoa – 5

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Suffered a leg injury from a collapsed scrum a few minutes from half-time. Was industrious with 10 tackles in defence. The Wallabies set-piece held up reasonably with Alaalatoa on, the lineout functioned well but the scrum pressure started to take a toll late in the first before the injury.

4 Nick Frost – 6.5

Strong defence early and got through 15 tackles in the first half. Was a reliable jumper at the lineout and really stepped up with a big effort.

5 Will Skelton – 7

Came up with a brilliant steal to end a deep All Blacks raid inside the 22. Carried hard and pounded All Black defenders. Big steal early in the second half to put the Wallabies on attack. Was strong whilst the Wallabies were in the game. Off at 47.

6 Jed Holloway – 5

Defended well and made life difficult for ball carriers, holding them with the likes of Valetini. Big tackle on Aaron Smith to force a knock-on. Off at 46.

7 Tom Hooper – 7

Brought the ruck pressure relentlessly, competing hard at the breakdown. Didn’t steal any early but slowed the ruck down enough. Was a workhorse in the defensive line, coming up with 23 tackles in the first half and finished with 32. A magnificent showing in a losing side after his debut in South Africa.

8 Rob Valetini – 6.5

Levelled the scores with a power carry close to the posts early. Won a ruck turnover in tandem with Skelton to foil an All Blacks attack. Was one of the Wallabies best out there.

9 Tate McDermott – 5.5

Unlucky start, getting hammered by Barrett to hand the All Blacks the first try. No protection from the forwards, but got into a rhythm and found clean ball at the Walalbies ruck. Brought good energy in defence making a couple of key clean up tackles. Didn’t have many chances to run in the first half. Off at 50.

10 Carter Gordon – 5

Wallabies shape looked great with Gordon running the show. He started with confidence and looked at ease running the Wallabies’ attack. His kicking game was excellent early before a key miss at goal from a penalty and stray bomb gave away control of the game. A cruel lesson for the number 10 came after a failed restart kickoff that didn’t make 10. That error led to a scrum, an All Blacks penalty, and the last possession of the half before the Jordan try. Momentum swings off errors can be extremely costly. Plenty of good to take out of the game. Off at 50.

11 Marika Koroibete – 4

An odd Koroibete performance with plenty of energy but lacking accuracy. Was saved by Valetini after failing to finish an early try with cute aerobatics. Produced a brilliant read on Mark Telea off a set play and won the penalty. Had another offside penalty defending the goal line which was unnecessary which led to a yellow card and 10 minutes in the bin. Wallabies edge defence was mixed up on Jordan’s play with Koroibete infield. Not his best night.

12 Samu Kerevi – 5

Centre pairing looked great early as two power options in tandem. Kerevi carried hard as usual. Had a silly penalty on Beauden Barrett after a kicking duel. Held up over the line at a crucial time, had some key missed tackles as Telea cut through the Wallabies midfield. Not lacking in effort tonight but below the typical impact Kerevi can bring.

13 Jordan Petaia – 6

Carried hard and found solid gain line. Defended well in the wide channels as part of a rather resilient defence. Brought out his kicking game in the second half which helped vary the options. A solid outing for Petaia back in the No 13 jersey.

14 Mark Nawaqanitawase – 6

Great first touch making a break up the middle. Was electric with every touch. Was much better in defence than against Argentina, saving the Wallabies a few times out wide. Played the drift exceptionally well on Telea early in the second half. Made 11 tackles first half. Made his first error in the middle of the second half with a panicked pass trying to make something happen. Overall was a gutsy showing by Mark.

15 Andrew Kellaway – 6.5

Good first take under the high ball but spilled the second one which put the Wallabies in their first pressure situation. Scott Barrett nailed Tate McDermott for a knock-on handing Frizell a try. Had a nice inside line off Petaia for a line break in the first half. Made some brilliant reads as the last man in defence, playing off two All Blacks to close to the sideline in the first half. In the second had a break after latching onto a Quade chip kick but couldn’t make anything of it. Was generally safe in the backfield.

Replacements: 

16 Jordan Uelese – 6 (On at 47th minute) 

Got stuck on defence for most of his time on the field, came up with 11 tackles.

17 James Slipper – 5 (On at 47th minute)

Scrum didn’t improve with the reserves on, losing more penalties unfortunately as the Wallabies set-piece waned.

18 Taniela Tupou – 4 (On at 37th minute)

Made a big tackle to start. Proved a handful to bring down and the Wallabies started to get front foot ball. Wallabies looked excellent off the back of Tupou’s carries but it was short lived as he went down in the 48th. Played on and was eventually replaced in the 57th. His last act was earning a yellow card.

19 Richie Arnold – 5– (On at 47th minute) 

10 tackles for the big man in a tough final quarter.

20 Rob Leota – 5– (On at 47th Minute) 

Made 13 tackles in a high work rate showing.

21 Nic White – 5– (On at 50th minute)

looked threatening around the ruck when he first came on.

22 Quade Cooper 5 – (On at 50th Minute)  

Had a nice chip kick to set up Kellaway for a break.

23 Izaia Perese – N/A – (On at 71th minute )

His first touch was a beauty, firing a pass for a line break assist. Made a punishing hit on Anton Lienert-Brown.

Source: Rugbypass

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