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All Blacks player ratings vs Uruguay | Rugby World Cup 2023

By Tom Vinicombe
Damian McKenzie of New Zealand is tackled by Gaston Mieres of Uruguay during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between New Zealand and Uruguay at Parc Olympique on October 05, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

The All Blacks have secured a quarter-final spot at the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a 73-0 win over Uruguay in Lyon.

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While the South Americans were able to prevent New Zealand from scoring any points until the end of the first quarter, the floodgates quickly opened once man-of-the-match Damian McKenzie found his way over the line.

Who were the All Blacks’ top performers in the 11-try romp?

1. Ofa Tu’ungafasi – 8/10
Popped up in the loose as both a carrier and tackler. Dominated at scrum time, ensuring the All Blacks always had a penalty advantage to play with. Off in 47th minute but returned almost half an hour later as injury cover.

2. Codie Taylor – 6
Got through plenty of work in the opening quarter when things were a bit hectic. The ball bounced off his head when NZ were on the attack. Put in an absolutely monstrous hit on Rodrigo Silva to create a turnover when Uruguay were heading for the line. Off in 47th minute.

3. Tyrel Lomax – N/A
Lasted just eight minutes before departing with an injury.

4. Sam Whitelock – 6
Safe as houses but the free flowing games aren’t exactly where the 150-cap master thrives. Off in 63rd minute.

5. Tupou Vaa’i – 6
Carried hard around the ruck and popped up out wide for some good gains. The primary target at the lineout, and grabbed one steal. Dropped one fairly regulation high ball from a kick-off. Penalised for an off-the-ball tackle.

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6. Shannon Frizell – 6
Made some good metres with a couple of runs in narrow channels. Handy at the lineout. Looked to be slowly building into the match when he was pulled. Off in 57th minute.

7. Sam Cane – 7
Delivered a couple of big hits in defence, especially when partnering with his fellow loose forwards, and finished as New Zealand’s busiest tackler. Popped up regularly as a support player. Forced one turnover.

Attack

228
Passes
96
173
Ball Carries
88
568m
Post Contact Metres
152m
15
Line Breaks
3

8. Luke Jacobson – 6
Won a turnover when Uruguay were building phases then copped a penalty down the other end of the field for a dangerous clear-out. A nice break around the base of the ruck almost created a try for the All Blacks. Sometimes tried to be a bit too clever at the back of the scrum.

9. Cam Roigard – 5
Almost scored a nice try from the base of the ruck but lost the ball over the line. Kicked the ball – and had it charged down – when the All Blacks had a four-man overlap. Fluffed a box kick early in the second quarter, not getting enough distance on the punt which saw his teammates penalised for offside. Scored a well-taken try off messy ball off the back of a scrum just before halftime and generally managed well on the carry, but probably needed to focus more on just delivering the ball to his backline. Off in 57th minute.

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10. Richie Mo’unga – 7
Looked good when he challenged the line. Put in a nice chip kick for Will Jordan to run onto. A dangerous clear-out saw NZ’s second potential try scrubbed out. Gave a short ball to Damian McKenzie for the All Blacks’ first of the night then ran through a gap off to grab the second. Penalised in front of the posts moments later. Converted five of his seven shots on goal. Off in 63rd minute.

11. Leicester Fainga’anuku – 7
Strong in contact, always required a couple of men to bring him to ground, and made the most of his raw power, but his decision making simply wasn’t up to scratch. Scored one fairly easy try off a Will Jordan Harbour Bridge pass. Put in a nice kick after the All Blacks secured possession inside their own 22. Made a nice run down the left-hand flank off a New Zealand attack and just needed to pass the ball back in-field for what would have been a certain try. Caught flat-footed by Uruguay No 14 Gaston Mieres. Sent one kick dead. Shifted to midfield for the final quarter and took to it like a duck to lava. Grabbed two additional tries towards the end of the match to finish with a hat-trick.

12. Jordie Barrett – 7
Didn’t do anything flashy but was a strong presence in the midfield. Drew in defenders to create space for his teammates. Off in 57th minute.

13. Anton Lienert-Brown – 8
A great decision maker, almost always doing the right thing. Quick hands helped produce New Zealand’s first great scoring opportunity. Made an excellent cover tackle to prevent Uruguay from scoring the first try of the match. Ran nice lines in the midfield and was always on hand to take an offload.

14. Will Jordan – 8
Made a great break off a Mo’unga kick but needed to give the ball to Damian McKenzie. Delivered a pin-point skip pass out to the left wing for Fainga’anuku to run in unmarked. Looked dangerous whenever the ball ended up in his hands. Twice kick-and-chases almost resulted in individual tries – but was at least still able to force five-metre scrums with two good tackles.

Momentum

0'
HT
FT
New Zealand
Uruguay

15. Damian McKenzie – 9
Smoothly stepped into first receiver and often caused carnage for Uruguay whenever he did. Safe under the high balls at the back. Scored the All Blacks’ (long-awaited) first try off an attacking scrum. Created a brilliant try with a grubber kick and chase followed by an in-field bat to Jordan. Notched up 100 metres by the end of the first half and just kept running in the second. Grabbed try number two in the 53rd minute. Knocked over two good conversions late before curiously ceding the responsibilities to Beauden Barrett.

Reserves:

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho – 7
On in 47th minute. An unsurprisingly busy carrier. Hit all his lineouts.

17. Tamaiti Williams – 8
On in 47th minute. Maintained dominance at the set-piece. Partnered with Taukei’aho for one thunderous tackle and forced a turnover with another solid hit. Burrowed over the line for his first try in black. Looked good in the open.

18. Fletcher Newell – 7
On in 19th minute. Powerful at the scrum. Made a few strong carries coupled with some nice footwork at the beginning of the second half, eventually crashing over for a first Test try. Off with an injury in the 74th minute.

19. Scott Barrett – N/A
On in 63rd minute.

20. Ethan Blackadder – 5
On in 57th minute. Shelled a pass when the All Blacks were hot on attack. Wasn’t able to make much of an impact.

21. Finlay Christie – 5
On in 57th minute. Scurried about.

22. Beauden Barrett – 6
On in 63rd minute. Made one searing break from inside his 22 off a restart but then kicked the ball dead. Kicked two goals.

23. Caleb Clarke – 6
On in 57th minute. Ran hard.

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