Player Ratings: Back down to earth
OPINION: The Wallabies had one hand on the Bledisloe Cup heading Saturday’s match, but they quickly learned that the All Blacks weren’t just going to roll over and submit as they did a week prior.
It was a wet night in Auckland and it was the home team that controlled the ball better in the less than desirable conditions, ultimately winning 36-0.
How did the Wallabies perform in the loss?
1. Scott Sio – 3
Was absolutely done by Laulala at scrum time – but also earned one penalty back in return. Made just three tackles. Off after 46 minutes.
2. Tolu Latu – 3
Put in a great attacking kick early on. Sad to say that was probably the highlight. Didn’t make an impact on either attack or defence and was decidedly unbusy. Probably had plenty of energy. Off after 65 minutes.
3. Alan Alaalatoa – 4
No luck at scrum time, dominated by Joe Moody. Was used as one of the main carriers in the tight five until he was taken off after 44 minutes due to a head knock.
4. Izack Rodda – 6
Hands let him down in the line-out. Wallabies’ top tackler. 15 tackles is a great return. Struggled to assert himself in the tight battle – had a much harder task against a full forward pack, compared to last week.
5. Adam Coleman – 4
Ten tackles, which was near best figures given he was on the field for only two-thirds of the game. Snared a line-out steal. Didn’t do anything to indicated he’d be preferred against the injured Rory Arnold. Off after 55 minutes.
6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 3
Managed to tackle Sevu Reece around the neck and on the ground at the same time. Reliable line-out option and hit rucks. Gassed on the outside by George Bridge – but few flanks wouldn’t be. Busy on defence, making 11 tackles during his time on the field. Dropped the ball cold on one occasion. Off after 59 minutes.
7. Michael Hooper – 6.5
Needed to do more after Isi Naisarani’s break. Made try-saving tackle assist on Sevu Reece just before half-time.
8. Isi Naisarani – 7
Called upon to make a number of runs in the midfield. Always needed a couple of All Blacks to take him down. Made a great break from within the Wallabies 22 but had no support. Coughed up the ball inside the Wallabies’ 22 right before the break – probably due to Sam Cane not releasing Naisarani once he was tackled.
9. Nic White – 4
Man-handled by Coles. Had nowhere near as much an impact as a week earlier. Wallabies had less ball to play with (and less space around the breakdown). Off after 50 minutes.
10. Christian Lealiifano – 3.5
Dodgy first drop-off set the tone for the night, Missed two penalties from very kickable positions. Aimless kick gifted Beauden Barrett the space to create George Bridge’s break and, ultimately, Aaron Smith’s try. Off after 46 minutes.
11. Marika Koroibete – 4
Barely featured. Lost the ball when the Wallabies were on a rare excursion into the All Blacks 22.
12. Samu Kerevi – 5
Nowhere near as dominant as last week – struggled without the momentum of the Wallabies’ pack. Caught on the outside by Anton Lienert-Brown at one point, which capped off a poor defensive effort.
13. James O’Connor – 7
Excellent as a link man, showed to deft hands at times. One of the Wallabies’ best. Off after 68 minutes.
14. Reece Hodge – 5
Cleverly ducked under Bridge tackle to avoid a defensive scrum. Dropped Kurtley Beale’s pass – giving Richie Mo’unga a free run in. Failed to get involved, except in tiny doses.
15. Kurtley Beale – 6
Threw the bad pass that led to Richie Mo’unga’s try. Dropped an uncontested bomb that put the Wallabies under plenty of pressure just before halftime. A slippery customer at the back. Didn’t even try keep up with Reece after Jordie Barrett put through a grubber.
16. Folau Fainga’a – N/A
On in the 65th minute. Hit one tackle like a madman. Made little impact in his time on the field, probably could have come on sooner to get a feel for the game.
17. James Slipper – 5
On in 46th minute. Helped with an improve scrummaging performance in the latter stages, otherwise fairly unproductive.
18. Taniela Tupou – 7.5
On in 44th minute. Seemed to sure up the scrum. Earned his side a penalty through good work at the breakdown, granting the Wallabies a 5-metre attacking lineout. A couple of strong hits on defence. Cleared out rucks well.
19. Rob Simmons – 4
On in 55th minute. Maintained Coleman’s standard at lock – which wasn’t exactly incredible.
20. Liam Wright – 5
On in 59th minute for his debut. Got stuck into the breakdowns but penalised for leaving feet. No glaring errors from the debutant, but Wallabies were searching for spark and Wright was the wrong man for that job.
21. Will Genia – 6.5
On in 50th minute. Attack kicked up a gear once he joined the fray. The Wallabies never looked like winning, but mounting a fightback was possible with Genia marshalling the troops. Hard to know who Michael Cheika sees as his top halfback now.
22. Matt To’omua – 6.5
On in 46th minute. Made a great break with first touch of the ball but couldn’t find his supporting runner. Kept busy on defence.
23. Adam Ashley Cooper – N/A
On in 69th minute.
By Tom Vinicombe, @RugbyPass