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All Blacks XV player ratings vs Ireland A | Autumn Nations Series

By Tom Vinicombe
Shaun Stevenson. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The All Blacks XV travelled to Dublin for their inaugural fixture and came up against an Ireland A side full of players looking to push for minutes for the first-string squad this Autumn.

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The visitors took the lead early in the game and never relinquished their advantage.

While a yellow card to Luke Jacobson towards the end of the first half gave Ireland A the advantage they needed to grab a try, the All Blacks XV struck back quickly after the spell and eventually ran away with a 47-19 victory.

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How did the players rate in the win?

1. Aidan Ross – 7
Busy on both attack and defence in the first 20 minutes when the All Blacks XV dominated possession. Penalised for falling on the breakdown after attempting a steal. Off in 60th minute.

2. Brodie McAlister – 8
Looked dynamic with ball in hand, whether he was hitting the ball up or in open space. Nailed his lineout deliveries. Touched down from a driving maul and grabbed one breakdown turnover. Looks to have the goods. Off in 68th minute.

3. Tevita Mafileo – 7
Was asked to carry, carry and carry some more – especially in the opening exchanges. Off in 52nd minute.

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4. Josh Dickson – 7
The key man at lineout time for the All Blacks XV. Threw himself into the breakdown in the first half and stuck to the more gritty work. Off in 52nd minute.

5. Patrick Tuipulotu – 7.5
An industrious showing from the captain. Showed his smarts with some good link play in the build-up to NZ’s third try. Perhaps lucky to escape reprimand for what looked like head-on-head contact.

6. Dominic Gardiner – 7.5
Justified his somewhat surprising selection in the squad with a strong performance on both sides of the ball. Busy on defence and showed some nice feet and hands when put into space by Damian McKenzie. Discipline let him down at times, however, with the young Crusader copping three penalties. Still an impressive performance from a young forward.

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7. Luke Jacobson – 7
Put in a massive defensive shift, topping the tackle charts and delivering a few big hits on unsuspecting Irish ball carriers. Spent 10 minutes off the field for a somewhat innocuous but definitely illegal ruck clear-out.

8. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u – 8
Was an ever-willing ball carrier and always seemed to be able to fight his way through at least one tackler. Didn’t shirk his defensive duties either. Off in 67th minute.

9. TJ Perenara – 7
Passing wasn’t always up to scratch but put great pressure on the Irish attack with some rush defence. Grabbed two breakdown turnovers. Copped a penalty for a high tackle.  Off in 66th minute.

10. Damian McKenzie – 8.5
Mixed up his kicking game well throughout and threw a couple of excellent passes to put his teammates into space. A perfectly placed cross-field kick for Shaun Stevenson created the All Blacks XV’s first try. Sparked his side’s third score with a breakout from inside his 22 off a poor Ireland lineout. Grabbed a try of his own after running a good support line off Josh Ioane towards the end of the game. Hit six of his seven attempts on goal and finished with 17 points.

11. AJ Lam – 7
Made a brilliant run in the 30th minute, bumping off numerous defenders. Was on hand to grab his side’s sixth try. One defensive lapse early in the final quarter created an opportunity for Ireland A but they weren’t able to capitalise.

12. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – 6.5
Made plenty of carries in the first quarter but wasn’t able to get the ball in space. Grabbed an intercept inside Ireland A’s 22 which soon led to an All Blacks XV try. Penalised early for some offside defence and copped another in the second half for getting trapped in the ruck. Off in 62nd minute.

13. Braydon Ennor – 6
Let Ireland off with a poor pass that found ground when his side looked to have a potential overlap to exploit and tended to look unsure with the ball in hand but was strong on defence, making a number of key spot tackles.

14. Shaun Stevenson – 8
A great chase turned a handy McKenzie clearance into what could be an excellent attacking opportunity for the All Blacks XV. Had no issues taking a cross-kick from McKenzie and cutting in-field to score. Moments later, he was winning his side a penalty at the breakdown. Grabbed a second try with some good finishing down the right-hand flank. Continued to cause havoc in the second half, breaking out from inside his own half and freeing up the ball to create another try. Barely featured in the final half-hour but he did more than enough in the first 50.

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15. Ruben Love – 7
Looked sharp on attack. Had one try scrubbed out towards the end of the first half but was up in support at the beginning of the second to finish off a breakout set up by his outside backs partner. Off in 66th minute.

Reserves:

16. Tyrone Thompson – N/A
On in 68th minute.

17. Finlay Brewis – N/A
On in 60th minute.

18. Tamaiti Williams – 7
On in 52nd minute. A powerful carrier.

19. Zach Gallagher – 5
On in 52nd minute. Busy but wasn’t able to make a significant impact in his half-hour of action.

20. Christian Lio-Willie – 7
On in 67th minute. Made a couple of big plays, including one strong carry and a great mid-air take that sparked another All Blacks XV attack.

21. Cam Roigard – N/A
On in 66th minute.

22. Josh Ioane – N/A
On in 66th minute. Made one great break to set up McKenzie’s try.

23. Alex Nankivell – 6
On in 62nd minute. Carried strongly with his few opportunities.

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