Player Ratings: Comeback kings
The All Blacks charged back from 17 points down to pick up a massive comeback victory 32-30 in Pretoria and conclude their Rugby Championship campaign.
Sam Warlow rates the New Zealand players!
1. Karl Tu’inukuafe – 5.5
A quiet shift. Nothing spectacular but altogether solid.
2. Codie Taylor – 7
Important break and setup for Aaron Smith try that sparked last-gasp comeback. Made his tackles and went 70 minutes.
3. Owen Franks – 5.5
Made eight tackles, missed two. Didn’t touch the ball.
4. Sam Whitelock – 7
Couple of good carries, one of the top tackling forwards with 10. Another typically gritty performance, did all the dirty work.
5. Scott Barrett – 7.5
One of four All Blacks penalised inside the first ten minutes. Big lineout steal just after the break, scored a late try close to the line. Showcased huge engine once again with late shift to side of the scrum. Made 12 tackles without a miss.
6. Shannon Frizell – 6.5
Pinged for not releasing close to line. Made nine tackles by half time, finished as the top tackling forward with 12 for the second consecutive week. Not many chances with ball in hand.
7. Sam Cane – 7
Made seven tackles and won a pair of turnovers before being replaced in the 35th minute after taking a knock. Replaced by Ardie Savea who was again excellent all over the park and scored the match-winner to boot.
8. Kieran Read – 7
Penalised a couple of times. Otherwise led from the front with 10 tackles and a turnover. Kept the troops in line as they mounted comeback.
9. Aaron Smith – 7
Another All Black that was penalised early. Solid 70 minute shift. Ran another great support line to score a try.
10. Beauden Barrett – 6.5
Started poorly with an overcooked crossfield kick for Rieko Ioane and missed touch-finder. Made a pair of early penalty shots and kept pace with Aphiwe Dyantyi to prevent a try. Threw an excellent wide ball for Rieko Ioane’s try.
11. Rieko Ioane – 6
Barely touched ball in first 40, first real touch came 46 minutes in and he was pinged for not releasing. Unable to prevent Cheslin Kolbe try close to the line, crossed after aforementioned Barrett wide ball.
12. Sonny Bill Williams – 5
Made a few big tackles, again struggled to involve himself offensively before being subbed after an hour.
Ryan Crotty – 6.5
Slipped off Jesse Kriel to allow the first Springbok try and was given a tour of “wack city” by Damian Willemse. Otherwise a defensive linchpin in the midfield. Finished as the game’s top tackler with 14.
14. Waisake Naholo – 6
Saw the ball just once for three metres. Made four tackles – including a crucial one on opposite Aphiwe Dyantyi – and won a turnover.
15. Ben Smith – 5.5
Another quiet performance, made all six of his tackle attempts. Didn’t have any chances with ball in hand.