Inter-island rivalry was cranked up again for only the third time in 33 years with the North South match up in Wellington.
The South picked a Crusaders flavoured starting XV and it paid dividends as they played with cohesion and stayed in the game even with limited possession early on.
North hit the front halfway through the second half but the South had the last say to win 38-35. Here’re the South team’s ratings.
1. Joe Moody – 6.5
Good covering tackle on Beauden Barrett as he was haring though. Solid scrum time but gave away a couple of penalties. Off at 50.
2. Codie Taylor – 7
Unjustly robbed of a try with an obstruction call at maul time on 23 minutes. Set up Jordie Barrett’s try with a clever pass. Off at 50.
3. Nepo Laulala – 7
Good halfback reflexes to pinch the first try. Solid scrummaging against the dangerous Big Karl and good hands late in the first half. Off at 50
4. Samuel Whitelock – 7
Flung Dunshea in the air most of the first half. Good turnover in the 74 after a sustained North attack to show he’s still got the energy.
New Zealand and the rest of the rugby world wanted an exciting game of rugby, and the North and South Islands delivered it.https://t.co/oTGi3Q40DX
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 5, 2020
5. Mitchell Dunshea – 7.5
Took his chance well in international company. Good fake on 2 handed line out take to gain penalty. Good snuff out of Ioane attack at 20. Spent a lot of time in open play hitching up his shorts, someone must have sabotaged his elastic. Off 67
6. Shannon Frizell – 7
Always a handful with ball in hand. Hits hard as Tuungafasi found out after 44.
7. Tom Christie – 7.5
Looked really at home on defence and some nice work with the ball. Great turnovers after 42 and 56 on Reece and Barrett. Off at 60.
8. Tom Sanders – 8
Must have been close to Man of the Match with strong measures of carries and tackles. Great rampage off the scrum at 25 minutes and then 5 minutes later a nice bid for the line in an attack that led to Jordie Barrett’s try.
9. Brad Weber – 7
Played well above the form he’d shown so far this season and put in a good bid to retain the third AB 9 spot. Off at 63.
10. Richie Mo’unga – 6
Didn’t quite look 100% especially after his HIA test in the 28th minute. Linked well but we didn’t see the dazzle dazzle with ball in hand.
Much of the hype surrounding the #NorthvSouth match stemmed from the exciting brand of rugby many were expecting of New Zealand's best players, and Damian McKenzie's try perfectly embodied that.https://t.co/6Nch6bGPM9
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 5, 2020
11. George Bridge – 7
Some good bursts on the left flank, even a line out take to his credit. Always dangerous and you’d think he’ll be the first wing picked in the All Black squad.
12. Jack Goodhue – 7
Looked a little tentative early on but was right up there with Sanders for carries and tackles. Good glue.
13. Braydon Ennor – N/A
Off at 13 with nasty knee problem.
14. Will Jordan – 8
Has the freakish ability to turn chances into metres gained and points. Great cover tackle on Reece at the end of the first half. In the second half he really started to shine; good pounce on the bobbling ball to get a 5 pointer in the 59th. And then the last try…..oh what brilliant skill!
15. Jordie Barrett – 7.5
Used his booming boot well in the swirling wind. Great co-ordination with Mo’unga for the grubber and chase and then brute power to get over for a try in the corner. Also smashed Savea with a menacing cover tackle at 53 minutes and always at the forefront running the ball up.
16. Liam Coltman – 6
On at 50 and lineout pill became a real issue on his introduction. To his credit he managed to get the last few right.
17. George Bower – 6
On at 50 and performed his role well
18. Tyrel Lomax – 7
On at 50 and looked like his dad and former Kiwis star John bursting on to a ball in midfield for his try.
19. Manaaki Selby-Rickit – 7.5
On at 67. This guy looks like a real athlete and if he can fill out he has a rosy future. Some good line out ball and awesome romping in open play.
20. Dillon Hunt – 7
On at 60 and played with a fiery intensity.
21. Finlay Christie – 7
On at 63 and tackled his heart out with his usual energy. Top tackles in less than a half on the field.
22. Josh Ioane – 7
Came on after 28 minutes with Mo’unga’s HIA and played the rest of the first half. Returned at 71 and rolled out a perfect cross kick for Jordan to win the game.
23. Leicester Faingaanuku – 6.5
On at 13 minutes in the 13 position and certainly didn’t let his team down. A couple of good strong runs and looked reasonably assured in defence against some talented opponents.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now