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All Blacks - player ratings v Scotland

By RugbyPass
The All Blacks celebrate Beauden Barrett’s try

The All Black survived a scare against Scotland at Murrayfield today, winning 22-17. Here’s how the players fared individually:

15. Damian McKenzie – 7
Chimed in well on attack this week and probably saved some embarrassment at the end by taking out Stuart Hogg on the way to the line.

14. Waisake Naholo – 5
Disappointing outing from a guy who was one of the best last week. Only really involved for a tackle that almost got him binned.

13. Ryan Crotty – 6
Did what was asked of him, but can’t have too many more anonymous games before people are going to start questioning why he’s there.

12. Sonny Bill Williams – 8
One of his best games in an All Black jersey. Made up for his brain explosion last week and showed that some league skills – grubbers into the ingoal – work well in union.

11. Rieko Ioane – 9
The All Blacks‘ best, setting up Taylor’s try by getting himself involved twice in the movement. A constant threat with the ball, and continuing his knack of being able to run the team out of trouble. Hard to believe he’s still only 20.

10. Beauden Barrett – 7
Amazing turn of speed for his try, and kicked some important goals.

9. Aaron Smith – 6
Kicked from the base of the scrum well, but didn’t do much else because the All Blacks basically didn’t have the ball for the first half.

8. Kieran Read – 6
Not really much to report, no big carries or offloads. A couple of decisions, like passing up a penalty shot for a failed 5m scrum, won’t be looked back on fondly.

7. Sam Cane – 6
Binned, but you have to somewhat expect that in Cane’s line of work. Not quite as busy as last week but he made his tackles.

6. Vaea Fifita – 6
Huge break in the first half had us wondering what he was going to do next – but it never happened. Still a work in progress.

5. Sam Whitelock – 6
It’s been a long year for one of the All Blacks’ workhorses and it’s really showing.

4. Luke Romano – 5
Embarrassingly stripped of possession in the first half, and didn’t kick on with the opportunity he’s been given on this tour.

3. Nepo Laulala – 6
Was put under pressure at set piece, but handled it well.

2. Codie Taylor – 7
Did his job well seagulling out on Dane Coles’ wing. A good try and lineout throwing was accurate.

1. Kane Hames – 8
His best game in an All Black jersey. Stuck to his job and scrummaged well, anchoring a seven-man scrum that won a crucial penalty late in the second half.

Bench

16. Nathan Harris –
Not on for long enough

17. Wyatt Crockett – 4
Again did even further to push his case as rugby’s most penalisable man, heading to the bin for the last 10.

18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi – 7
Gets the rating for having to hold up a seven-man scrum for the whole time he was on.

19. Liam Squire – 6
Huge break near the end should’ve been the killer blow, but couldn’t link up with his support.

20. Matt Todd – 
Not on for long enough

21. TJ Perenara – 6
Didn’t do anything wrong, but obvious as to why Smith starts and he’s on the bench.

22. Lima Sopoaga –
Not on for long enough.

23. Anton Lienert-Brown – 
Not on for long enough.

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William 3 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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