The Wallabies went down 40-12 at Eden Park as the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup in the second test. How did the starters fare for the visitors after last week’s performance?
1. Scott Sio – 6.5
The Wallabies set-piece came into the match under huge pressure. A re-jigged front row responded with a much better performance after Sydney. Sio kept the scrum stable and won early battles over Franks. Good cleanout work and carrying in tight. Subbed at 50 mins in a tidy performance.
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau – 6.5
A much-improved performance at set-piece at both the scrum and lineout. Wasn’t perfect but lineout throwing was overall pretty good, with improved calls and far more movement which earned uncontested throws. Scrum was stable and go on top of the All Blacks in the first half.
Got through a big defensive load with 11 tackles, but performance dipped slightly in the second half before being subbed. Conceded a try to Liam Squire when mismatched in the middle of the field.
3. Allan Alaalatoa – 6
Alaalatoa did his job at scrum time, and deserves credit for contributing to the set-piece turn around. Won a penalty against Moody as the Wallabies piled on pressure on the All Blacks five. Got through nine tackles and some tough carries.
Lowlight of the night was giving away a dumb early penalty for taking a player without the ball, which gave the All Blacks the possession to go ahead 21-7 early in second half.
4. Izack Rodda – 4
Started the game well with a steal on first lineout throw of the game and a good take on the second lineout but when downhill from there, before being replaced by Simmons around the 60th minute.
Conceded a couple tries by making a poor read to open the gap for Barrett’s first try. Lost the collision against Moody on his. Was really caught out by the speed of the game, not all his fault, just the final man the All Blacks targeted.
5. Adam Coleman – 6
Coleman had a mixed night with good aggression at times but let the side down with ill-discipline on one occasion which gave the All Blacks an easy exit. He had a much better night at lineout time, controlling the Wallabies ball with better movement, creating uncontested throws with well-executed spacing.
Started the night by putting pressure on the All Blacks with a good charge down, and kept that attitude in defence all night in an 80 minute shift. Overall a solid effort. Made 11 carries and got through nine tackles in defence.
6. Lukhan Tui – 5
A bad first half but recovered in the second half to make some strong carries. He was stripped for a turnover on one of his first carries and lost the lineout throw on his first target.
He was caught out in defence after long phases, struggling to keep the Wallabies line in tact – a common problem with the whole side. Size and power looks lethargic at times and tires out as the game speed increases. Pete Samu looked far more effective in a short cameo at the end that could offer a better option at 6 for the Wallabies.
7. Michael Hooper – 6
Had a high workrate in close ruck channels but overall was ineffective and couldn’t really stamp his authority on the match with a breakthrough moment. His inside support lines running close to ruck didn’t bear any fruit, and looked a bit too telegraphed.
Captaincy decisions were much improved, opting to play for tries and turn down the three early. When Genia crossed to even the game at 7-7, his call was rewarded.
8. David Pocock – 7
Was strong over the ball and in defence, another mammoth effort from the Wallabies most consistent player. Had a smart turnover from promising All Blacks passage early in the first half and earned a huge penalty under building All Blacks pressure to snuff out a worrying raid in 36th minute.
Competed ferociously at the breakdown all night but didn’t get as much reward he has in the past as he took a lot of physical punishment. A few turnovers late in the game with ball in hand dampened his performance.
9. Will Genia – 7.5
Wallabies best attacking player on the night, had a probing performance that threatened the All Blacks frequently.
Whether on counter-attack, set-piece or phase play, Genia offered sniping runs that created opportunities. Scored a short-range try at a crucial moment to keep the game even in the first half. Seems to miss players with similar attacking spark to offer some diversity.
Handled exit duties well in the second half but looked defeated late in game as the score took its toll.
10. Bernard Foley – 6
One good moment in a fairly invisible performance. He beat Aaron Smith one-on-one to set up a nice try to Reece Hodge on a scrum play and tackled well, including a great covering effort which forced Jordie Barrett into touch.
His kicking game continues to be questionable, handing over possession and making poor net gains. Early in the match on the All Blacks own 40, kicked a ‘settling’ grubber kick away into touch. From that possession, the Ben Smith regathered a box kick and the All Blacks scored their first try.
Made a few poor errors typical of a Foley performance, including an awful pass in the 50th minute for a turnover and conceded one bad penalty when the All Blacks were in an exit zone.
11. Marika Koroibete – 6
Had a great start to the match with some flashes of brilliance, including some brilliant work along the touchline to regather a grubber kick and spark the Wallabies attack. Had frequent early touches in a busy opening twenty minutes. Had a poor forward pass on to end the first half that killed a Wallabies attack that was making inroads.
Issues continue to be on defence, especially in cover situations where he is easily beaten. These let the side down and a tackle success rate of around 50% isn’t enough for an international winger.
12. Kurtley Beale – 5.5
A trying performance by Beale but unfortunately the negatives outweighed the positives. Made unforced errors like kicking out on the full with a pointless kick when the Wallabies were playing inside the All Blacks half as well as forced, getting stripped in contact.
Turned over the ball when Wallabies had good attacking ball in the 36th minute. The All Blacks took that turnover 80-metres the other way for Barrett’s second try on the stroke of halftime in a backbreaking moment.
He held opposite Laumape in check for the most part, before the last quarter where he slipped off tackles frequently.
13. Reece Hodge – 6
A quiet night for Hodge who was reliable in defence for the Wallabies. Filled a role and did his part, applying good rush defence to pressure the All Blacks attack. He made some crucial spot tackles to keep some of the danger men under control. He scored a try by staying in support, something the Wallabies often lack when making line breaks. Overall a solid effort.
Knock-on first touch. Good rush tackle 15 min. Line duties ok distance. Made some crucial tackles. Good defensive pressure. Scored a try and finished well, something Wallabies often lack when making line breaks.
14. Jack Maddocks – 5.5
Maddocks had some elusive touches, but couldn’t find a clean break. Had limited opportunities on the end of the Wallabies backline but didn’t let the side down. Ran some great lines and spent time floating in the second half. Will continue to get better as gains experience.
15. Dane Haylett-Petty – 7
Offered something a little bit different to Folau at the back. Had good incisive running all game, making a great line break on counter-attack and kept the defence honest. Offered a decent passing game on the edge that isn’t usually there with Folau. He kicked well in open play and offered a reliable performance before being subbed in the 65th minute. One of the Wallabies best on the night.
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