Player Ratings: Just too good
OPINION: All Blacks solidified their supremacy over their trans-Tasman rivals the Wallabies with an impressive 37-20 win in Japan.
The result sees the All Blacks complete a 3-0 Bledisloe Cup series whitewash.
Ben Smith rates the New Zealand players!
1 Joe Moody – 9
10 tackles, 1 missed. Dominant defence in close and got through a ton of off-the-ball work. The scrum was stable on own ball and put the Wallabies scrum under pressure all day. They were going backwards for most of the game.
2 Codie Taylor – 8.5
His first throw was picked off going to the tail but other than that had a great game.
Showed nice touches in attack, using quick hands to great effect. Really made a mark in defence with physical presence and line speed. Made a couple of great cover tackles on Koroibete and Genia to shut down a couple of breaks.
The scrum was completely dominant over the Wallabies front row. Athough the scuffle with Latu was a bad look after they had already won another scrum penalty.
3 Owen Franks – 7
Contributed to the dominant All Blacks scrum and made a couple of big plays. Stripped a Wallaby forward runner in the tackle inside their own 22, leading to the possession for the All Blacks first try. He conceded a line break early second half with a bad defensive read, jamming in for a double tackle.
4 Sam Whitelock – 6
A quiet game for Whitelock. Grabbed a steal on the Wallabies first throw and was reliable in defence, getting through seven tackles.
5 Scott Barrett – 7
Barrett was impressive in defence, showing uncompromising physicality and making a few crucial tackles. Put Dane Haylett-Petty into touch in the first minute for a try-saver. Jumping duties were rotated in the lineout, Barrett had a few takes but lost one to Rodda late in the game.
6 Liam Squire – 6.5
Ran a nice line outside Beale to score the first try of the match. Offered a safe option at 2 in the lineout. Carried well but conceded a penalty to Pocock at the breakdown after over-running the play.
Was subbed in the 67th minute for Todd in a backrow re-shuffle.
7 Ardie Savea – 9
Massive workrate from Ardie Savea, taking seven carries and making nine tackles, missing none.
Understated work included securing the breakdown for the All Blacks and slowing or disrupting down Wallabies ball. Won a ruck penalty in the 55th minute as reward for continual pressure.
Kept Pocock off the ball on first phase, where the fetcher had no success following set-piece. Pocock’s only turnover came without Savea at the breakdown.
His motor kept running for 80 minutes, playing the last fifteen at Number 8. His cover tackle on Rob Simmons in the 43rd minute saved a try-scoring opportunity and he had another big cover tackle on Pocock after the Wallaby broke the line.
8 Kieran Read – 7
Read had a solid game, taking tough carries and defending in the middle with resolute force. His blemish was a pick and go without support that resulted in a turnover. Scored a nice try playing the blind side off the back off the scrum from five metres out.
9 TJ Perenara – 5.5
An average game from the Hurricane. His box kicks were accurate and contestable but he conceded two line breaks defending in the front line as an extra loose forward. Made a great cover tackle on Rob Simmons to hold him up over the line.
His passing was errant at times, one pass leading to a Sonny Bill knock-on. Was subbed at 60 minutes.
10 Beauden Barrett – 9.5
Played with composure, option-taking was impressive. Good out-of-hand kicking, finding space with long kicks. Got beat in the corner one-on-one with Naivalu but then saved a try in tandem with TJ on Rob Simmons. Also had a good cover tackle on Hooper after wheeled scrum.
In attack, his passing was accurate and controlled, building phases for the team nicely.
He pulled in a sneaky McKenzie grubber down the sideline before audaciously grubbing past the fullback in search of one of those typical Barrett plays.
A magic set-piece switch play in the 58th minute broke open the game, where Barrett combined with Ioane down the blind side for a beautiful try. Finished the match with a ‘tunnel ball’ assist to Ioane in a total performance. Goal kicking deserves credit too, kicking 5/5 before his last one.
11 Rieko Ioane – 8
Always threatening, dynamic as always. Back himself a lot on the outside which led to being put in touch but sometimes you have to keep taking chances. Big break in the 58 min led to Barrett’s try. A handful for the Wallabies, clocking up 105 metres on five line breaks.
12 Sonny Bill Williams – 7.5
An overall solid game from Sonny Bill, his offloading ability continually threatened and he had nice quick touches in attack, dealing with pressure well. Sparked a long movement with a nice offload to Ben Smith down a tight corridor in 70th minute.
His impact on set-piece defence won’t be appreciated enough. Combined well with Crotty to keep Folau contained in the midfield. Generated good pressure and made good reads to prevent Wallabies from striking.
Won a turnover at the ruck in the 14th minute but also gave away a penalty for being offside.
13 Ryan Crotty – 7
Had an understated performance. Pressured and contested rucks, cleaned out well, and won a turnover in the 21st minute holding up Dane Haylett-Petty. Combination Sonny Bill in the midfield worked well in defence. Brief touches in attack weren’t flashy but always the right option.
Subbed at 60 minutes.
14 Ben Smith – 9
Apart from a missed tackle on Israel Folau in the first 30 seconds, nearly a flawless performance by Smith, particularly in defence.
Smith’s timing and decision-making on the edge was phenomenal. He pressured a wide Wallabies movement from set-piece in the 19th minute, jammed in to shut down an overlap in the 25th minute and later punted a loose pass 60-metres downfield before re-gathering inside the opposition 22, a possession which led to the Read try. Had another great tackle on Koroibete after a defensive scrum on the All Blacks five metre line.
Intercept try in the 67th minute was again another example of his immaculate edge defence. He made a brilliant defensive read and snatched the offload to score at the other end 50-metres later.
15 Damian McKenzie – 7
Not McKenzie’s day in attack but he was critical in defence. Relieved first receiving duties at times, and had good quick passes on the outside. Had erratic running at times, cutting back and running sideways back against the traffic, although that is typical of his wild play.
Last man defence was outstanding from fullback. Great one-on-one tackle on Koroibete on the outside from set-piece, closing down the last man in the movement. Chopped Hooper one-on-one after a line break. Had Dane Haylett-Petty going backwards in two-man tackle on a counter run, and tripped him up again after a Kerevi break.
Subbed for Mo’unga in the 67th minute
16 Nathan Harris – N/R
17 Karl Tuinukuafe (on for Moody, 55th min)
Front row lost none of its dominance when the replacements came on, winning penalties and piling more pressure on the Wallabies. Strong defence.
18 Nepo Laulala (on for Franks, 50th min)
Nice workrate in close channels when came on. Forced a turnover with a brutal tackle on Folau Fainga’a.
19 Brodie Retallick
Tried an awful back-hand flick to no one in the 70th minute proving the lock can’t do everything.
20 Matt Todd – 8
Came on and made five tackles in thirteen minutes, closing out the game with energy. Clean up tackle on Folau saved a big break, which turned into an All Blacks try when Folau threw his offload straight to Ben Smith.
Involved in a nice linking move directly after the kickoff. Ripped the ball of Kerevi forcing a knock-on. Had another one held up before ref told him to let go. Best bench performance.
21 Aaron Smith – N/R
Defended a Foley cross-kick well, reading the play early from a scrum play. Missed tackle on Folau for his try.
22 Richie Mo’unga – N/R
Lost the ball in a tackle by Phipps but then put a great shot on with Nepo Laulala to get the ball straight back two phases later. Took on the line with bravado, setting up a half break for Ben Smith. Ioane scored on the next phase.
23 Anton Lienert-Brown – N/R
Run some nice lines but was contained well from two set-piece plays. Got beat one-on-one by Kerevi on the edge.