1. Karl Tu’inukuafe – 9
Huge game from Tu’inukuafe. Wreaked havoc on the Pumas scrum, made tackles all over the park without missing any and showed great hands and deception to set up Patrick Tuipulotu’s try.
2. Codie Taylor – 6
Struggled at lineout time early and had a knock on close to the line. Solid defensively.
3. Ofa Tuungafasi – 8
Showcased great ball skills with a magical offload. Part of the front-row powerhouse that will give the Argentina pack nightmares.
4. Sam Whitelock – 6
Limited involvement on attack, still made an impact defensively and as a leader.
5. Scott Barrett – 6
Bit of a mixed bag. Penalised early after not clearly releasing a tackled player, tidy lineout work including a key contest close to the All Blacks line, mishandled the pill to stop an All Black attack.
6. Shannon Frizell – 7.5
Not as impactful with ball in hand this time around but punished the Pumas with his defensive work. Led the match in tackle made with 20. Missed just one tackle and won a turnover to boot.
7. Sam Cane – 7.5
A constant threat over and around the ball. Made himself a nuisance with a chargedown and was a pest at the breakdown after a few quiet matches.
8. Ardie Savea – 8.5
Stood up to the challenge of starting in the No. 8 jersey with plenty of massive carries and solid defensive work. His 60 metres with ball in hand were topped only by Waisake Naholo and Rieko Ioane.
9. TJ Perenara – 6.5
Recovered well to pick up a try assist to Waisake Naholo. Made a few big tackles and was heavily involved on the defensive end.
10. Beauden Barrett – 7.5
Rough start after a misjudged kick from outside his 22 sailed out on the full. Also threw an early forward pass. Almost scored a great try in the second half after an impressive chase, put on enough pressure to force a five-metre scrum. Contrary to his last outing, goal kicking was a strong point in Barrett’s performance.
11. Rieko Ioane – 8
Always the most threatening man on the park. Led the contest with 130 run metres. Broke the line on several occasions. Scored a pair of tries including a big scoop and scamper after claiming a loose ball.
12. Sonny Bill Williams – 6
One standout offload saved Sonny Bill’s comeback performance from flopping. Showed rust that was to be expected after a three-month layoff. Carded after the side infringed near the line multiple times. Struggled to make a consistent impact on attack and largely untested in defence.
13. Ryan Crotty – 6.5
Crotty completed a quiet outing from the All Blacks’ starting midfield. Statistics flattered his impact, four carries for 51 metres. Long grubber kick downfield was the highlight.
14. Waisake Naholo – 7
Started with a dropped high ball but recovered to make a break for Rieko Ioane’s first try. Stretched out to score a try close to the line. Made his tackles.
15. Ben Smith – 6
Quiet match, early try assist to Ioane with one of his earliest touches, had limited opportunities.
Patrick Tuipulotu made an instant impact, scoring a try after a few minutes on the pitch. Angus Ta’avao became New Zealand’s newest All Black. Richie Mo’unga tested the line from first five and put in a perfect grubber for Anton Lienert-Brown to pounce on and score late.
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