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Player ratings: New Zealand

OPINION: This might be one of the All Blacks’ darkest days in the Ian Foster era.

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Following four wins on the bounce, the New Zealanders were blown off the park 35-7 by the Springboks in London.

And the World Cup is next.

Playing on the hallowed turf at Twickenham, the All Blacks had no answers for the Springboks’ dominance in all areas of the Test.

They were relentless.

Scott Barrett was sent off after receiving a second yellow card just before the break, and that practically summed up their match.

Things didn’t go to plan.

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Finn Morton rates the New Zealand players!

15 Beauden Barrett – 2

This was probably Beauden Barrett’s worst performance in an All Blacks jersey. The legendary playmaker looked lost and out of place against a red-hot Springboks outfit. Barrett struggled during the first term, much like his teammates, and this trend continued after the break. Barrett, who was inside his own 22 at the time, sent a cross-field kick into touch on the full just after the break. The Springboks made the most of their opportunity with world-class hooker Malcolm Marx crossing in the corner. Barrett was also beaten, easily, by Canan Moodie a few minutes later. Moodie looked like he’d scored an absolute worldie, only for the score to be cancelled out by the TMO.

14 Will Jordan – 4

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Will Jordan was sensational against the Springboks in Auckland last month, but it was a very different story at Twickenham. Jordan was ineffective for long periods of this match. The ball just didn’t come the winger’s way, sure, but Jordan normally finds a way.  Jordan, and the New Zealand rugby public, thought he’d scored the All Blacks’ first points of the Test on the stroke of hal–ftime. But the referee and TMO intervened, the decided to dismiss the score due to a knock-on. That was the closest Jordan got to a genuine highlight.

13 Rieko Ioane – 4

Rieko Ioane was kept quiet, very quiet at Twickenham. The All Blacks centre didn’t have any memorable moments as the New Zealanders struggled to survive the Springboks’ storm. Ioane, much like his midfielder partner Jordie Barrett, just couldn’t get things going.

12 Jordie Barrett – 3.5

It was not a good night for the Barretts. All three of them – spoiler alert for those who are yet to read on to Scott, or hear what happened – made a couple of telling errors against a spirited Springboks outfit. During the first half, Barrett rushed out in defence to meet Andre Esterhuizen – but the Boks’ inside centre beat him, easily too.  Barrett also threw an intercept pass that allowed Boks wing Kurt-Lee Arendse to score under the sticks in the 34th minute. Barrett dropped his head, and so did his teammates. It just wasn’t their night. Barrett carried the ball eight times for more than 30 metres, and made 70 percent of his tackles.

11 Mark Telea – 5

Mark Telea burst down the left edge with his first carry early on, but that was a glimpse of promise on an otherwise tough night. Telea was caught flat-footed in defence with Damian Willemse dancing around him with ease during the first term. The wing was also caught out under the high ball a couple of times. But, it must be said that Telea worked hard – and that means something. The speedster ran for more than 90 metres, which was a fair bit better than many of his teammates.

10 Richie Mo’unga – 5

With the All Blacks down to 13 men during the first half, playmaker Richie Mo’unga showed courage, passion and intent to hold a Springboks player up over the try line – preventing a certain try. But Mo’unga’s hero status was undone shortly after. Mo’unga missed what appeared to be a relatively routine penalty shot at goal, with the ball bouncing back off the upright. Mo’unga was still one of the All Blacks’ best on a tough night, though, with the playmaker getting busy in both attack and defence.

9 Aaron Smith – 4

Quite early on, as the rain began to pour down onto the 30 players out in the middle, Smith made an uncharacteristic error. The halfback, who was only a few metres out from his try line, drilled a pass at captain Sam Cane’s ankles. Cane couldn’t regather at first, and the loose ball almost opened the door for a Springboks try. That, to a degree, summed up Smith’s night. The veteran couldn’t get things right, and neither could the All Blacks.

1 Ethan de Groot – 4

Ethan de Groot is one of the most consistent players for the All Blacks week-to-week. The superstar loosehead is usually able to impress even when the going gets tough, but the fact that he couldn’t on Friday just highlights the All Blacks woes. The Springboks took control on the back of some relentless work from their forwards. New Zealand, with de Groot in their front row, were penalised on multiple occasions during the first term alone. De Groot finished with three carries, but had made the equal-most tackles by an All Black when he was replaced.

2 Dane Coles – 4

Veteran Dane Coles put in a solid shift during the first half in London, but it was far from an outstanding display. The All Blacks struggled, and that includes Coles. The hooker missed some throws at the line-out, and otherwise failed to assert himself as the Boks ran riot. Coles was replaced by Samisoni Taukei’aho during the break.

3 Tyrel Lomax – N/A

Today, Tyrel Lomax is a frontline All Black. If the Hurricanes tighthead wasn’t named to start this Test, there would’ve been mass confusion, shock and potentially anger. Lomax is just that important to the All Blacks, and has been for about a year now. But that’s what makes Lomax’s injury so concerning. Lomax left the field less than 15 minutes into the Test, and let’s face it, it didn’t look good. The Australian-born prop was carted off the field, and a closeup replay showed Lomax looking fairly upset. It wouldn’t fair to give Lomax a rating considering his limited minutes out in the middle.

4 Samuel Whitelock – 3

Test centurion Sam Whitelock was absent from the All Blacks’ side that ran riot against the Boks in Auckland last month. Whitelock, 34, was ruled out due to a persist injury. But after taking the field during both Bledisloe Cup Tests, Whitelock was primed and ready to go against South Africa in London. But things didn’t go to plan. Far from it. Whitelock, much like his teammates in black, was kept quiet. The experienced campaigner was held to a few stops in defence, a couple of carries, and didn’t really make an impact at the set-piece.

5 Scott Barrett – 2

Scott Barrett made history on Friday night, but not for the right reasons. Barrett is the first All Black ever to be sent off twice in Test rugby. Two yellow cards make a red, and that’s the easiest way to summarise Barrett’s night. Barrett received his marching orders following a needless high tackle on a defenceless Malcolm Marx. What this means for Barretts Rugby World Cup remains to be seen.

6 Luke Jacobson – 4

When the All Blacks and Springboks met in Auckland last month, flank Shannon Frizell made his mark in the No. 6 jersey. Frizell was even compared to legendary All Blacks Jerome Kaino – but the loosie didn’t get the chance to repeat history at Twickenham. After picking up a “niggly” hamstring injury, Chiefs backrower Luke Jacobson was thrust into the starting side to take on the Boks. But Jacobson’s night was cut short, and it was due to own doing. Following Scott Barrett’s red card late in the first term, the loose forward was replaced by lock Tupou Vaa’i. Jacobson had made five tackles and carried the ball twice. It’s fair to say it’s not the Test that Jacobson would’ve wanted.

7 Sam Cane (captain) – 4

Captain Cane had a tough night against the Boks. The flanks first major involvement was a dropped pass, with the loose ball ending up in the in goal. Cane managed to dive on the ball to prevent a try, but it piled more pressure on the All Blacks. Shortly after, Cane was sent to the sin bin following a series of penalties from the New Zealanders. The skipper joined lock Scott Barrett in the sin bin as the All Blacks went down to 13 men. Cane made seven tackles and led the All Blacks in carries (10) by the time he was replaced.

8 Ardie Savea – 4.5

Ardie Savea had some positive involvements early on, especially in attack, but the No. 8 went missing as the Test went on. Savea popped up here and there, sure, but was far from his best against the Boks. But back row forward was solid in defence, and worked pretty hard to get things going in attack as well.

Replacements

16 Samisoni Taukei’aho – 4.5

17 Tamaiti Williams – 3.5

18 Fletcher Newell – 4.5

19 Josh Lord – 3

20 Tupou Vaa’i – 4

21 Dalton Papali’i – 4.5

22 Cam Roigard – 6 – Was easily the All Blacks’ player on the night, and the young halfback came on quite late. Roigard scored a brilliant solo try which saw the All Blacks avoid a scoreless outing.

23 Anton Lienert-Brown – 4

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