All Blacks Player Ratings vs Australia (The Rugby Championship Round 5, 2022)
Written by Max Sharp.
The All Blacks and Wallabies gave the crowd at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne everything you could wish for from a game of sports. There were thrilling tries, tactical improvements, a quick start, a bit of controversy and most importantly, a heart-racing finish, though some injuries did sour the fans' perspectives. With a half-time score of 10-10, the two teams were inseparable after a few yellow cards. The second half saw the All Blacks generate many points, before they somehow let the Wallabies back into the game, only for a schoolboy mistake from Bernard Foley, creating the All Blacks' winning try, for a 39-37 win. Let's read about the All Blacks from jersey number 1 to 23 and see how everyone performed!
Quinn Tupaea, pictured training for the Chiefs, may not play for the rest of 2022 after suffering a leg or knee injury. Photo: Max Sharp.
All Blacks Player Ratings
Loosehead Prop - Ethan de Groot (5/10)
As expected, his ruck speed was strong, though the scrum was an area he was outperformed in. Made just 1 metre from 3 carries but completed 6/7 tackles. de Groot has had a great season so far but you can't expect perfection, this was an average game.
Hooker - Samisoni Taukei'aho (9/10)
On his way to be the world's best hooker with another Man of the Match display. Scored 2 tries; though a third was disallowed, while running 26 metres and beating 2 defenders off 7 carries. Delivered 4 passes, 1 offload and completed 8/10 tackles while also managing to throw all of his lineouts correctly. What a player.
Tighthead Prop - Tyrel Lomax (6/10)
Though the Wallabies made a comeback and confined the All Blacks to 2/5 scrums, Lomax smashed James Slipper in the first two of the game. Made 1 strong turnover and 6/7 tackles for a solid, rather than spectacular performance.
Lock 4 - Brodie Retallick (7/10)
Enjoyed his time with ball-in-hand, for 32 metres off 9 carries. Retallick always tends to be at his best against Australia, as he was a useful lineout option for the team. Made 7/8 tackles in a strong performance.
Lock 5 - Sam Whitelock (8/10)
Has now equalled Richie McCaw's 13 wins of the Bledisloe Cup with a world-class effort to go with it. Whitelock was tied as the team's top tackler with 10, while running 17 metres off 5 carries, made a brilliant lineout steal and 3 passes too. Took over as captain when Cane was substituted due to injury.
Blindside Flanker - Scott Barrett (7/10)
There's been a few comments suggesting Barrett's removal from the jersey but no thanks because what awesome defence. Tied with Whitelock for 10 tackles, while he won 1 turnover late in the game. Just 4 metres off a single carry, but provided the goods in tight channels.
Openside Flanker - Sam Cane (No rating)
After some friendly fire with David Havili, Cane somehow kept playing for another 10 minutes before being taken off for an HIA, which he failed. Only got to make 4 metres off 2 carries and 2 tackles, so won't be rated due to a lack of game time.
Number 8 - Hoskins Sotutu (7/10)
Not exactly brilliant in the tight spaces but provided a decent replica of Ardie Savea's carrying, with 22 metres and 1 defender beaten from 5 carries. Made 9 passes, 1 offload and 9 tackles in his long-awaited firs test of the season. Sotutu was nowhere near as bad as the nit-pickers make him out to be.
Halfback - Aaron Smith (8/10)
The All Blacks were guilty of playing off 9 too often, but luckily Smith's passing was up for the job. If you don't really notice a halfback's performance, chance was they did well. Smith also completed all 5 of his tackles and won 1 turnover.
First-Five - Richie Mo'unga (7/10)
Scored 19 of the team's 39 points, missing just the final kick of the game. Scored 1 try, ran 14 metres, beat 4 defenders and made 1 clean break off just 5 carries, while also making 8/10 tackles, including a try-saver. Could have been more of a hands-on distributor, making just 13 passes and 1 offload, while he was also guilty of kicking away too much ball.
Left Wing - Caleb Clarke (8/10)
Haters did a bit of crying over Clarke's defence, but the reality is that he missed just 1 tackle and that defensive positioning can be coached. Had an incredible attacking game with 137 metres, 5 defenders beaten and 3 clean breaks off a team-high 11 carries. Strong game.
Second-Five - David Havili (No rating)
It appeared Havili was on track for a strong performance after a good kick and a hand in Taukei'aho's first try off a maul. However, he came off after just 14 minutes after clashing heads with Cane, so won't be rated due to failing the HIA.
Centre - Rieko Ioane (7/10)
Well and truly looking the goods at 13. With 32 metres, 3 defenders beaten and 1 clean break off 5 carries, Ioane remains an attacking force. Was able to show distribution with 6 passes, while his 7 tackles included a try-saver, where he worked with Mo'unga to hold up Andrew Kellaway. Solid effort.
Right Wing - Will Jordan (5/10)
Possibly one of the most mixed performances you could see. Ran rings around Australia off just 4 carries, scoring a try, running 43 metres, beating 4 defenders and making a clean break. Was great to see the turnover, though his tackle count was 8, he also missed 5 tackles, including one that directly lead to what Pete Samu thought was his game-winning try.
Fullback - Jordie Barrett (9/10)
A brilliant start to the game by Barrett, who made a try-saving tackle on Pete Samu in the 29th minute. Though he wasn't as involved in the game after moving to 12, his contributions still included 49 metres and 2 defenders beaten off 7 carries, 1 offload and a 100% tackle rate, Barrett's mental fortitude again showed itself, as he crossed over for the winning try.
Reserve Hooker - Dane Coles (6/10)
Came on late and didn't do much off his 3 carries, though he was able to complete both of his tackles and nail 3/3 lineouts in a crucial time, the last 19 minutes of the match. Coles must also be commended for keeping his discipline in the circumstances.
Reserve Loosehead Prop - George Bower (5/10)
As my source for stats only counts pre-tackle metres, Bower definitely made more than 4 metres off 2 carries, he showed real venom with ball-in-hand. Though this was the case, the scrum did not improve in the second half.
Reserve Tighthead Prop - Fletcher Newell (No rating)
On much later than expected, replacing Lomax in the 57th minute. Newell did not recieve any ball and made just 1 tackle so won't be rated.
Reserve Loose Forward - Akira Ioane (No rating)
Ioane replaced Sotutu in the 68th minute and was deployed at number 8, but only made 2. carries so won't be rated either.
Reserve Loose Forward - Dalton Papali'i (4/10)
Not the Blues captain's best work at all. On for Sam Cane in the 24th minute and was yellow-carded almost immediately. 14 metres off 3 carries and 4/4 tackles was by no means poor, but more work around the pitch would have been better to see. Hopefully he can be better next week when handed the 7 jersey.
Reserve Halfback - Finlay Christie (No rating)
On in the 74th minute for Smith and was only able to make 3 passes, so is another player who didn't play enough to get a rating.
Reserve Utility Back - Beauden Barrett (7/10)
Though Ian Foster sees him as a 10, his vision was well-utilised from fullback. Though Barrett did not get to attempt a tackle or get a carry, his kicking game was good, as was his passing. Nice try assist for Will Jordan through a chip-kick too. With Havili out, start him at 15 next week and move his brother to 12.
Reserve Midfielder - Quinn Tupaea (6/10)
Looked ready to go and provided solid defence straight after his early arrival, with 2/3 tackles and 1 crucial turnover. Made a pass in the lead-up to Mo'unga's first penalty too. As Tupaea was the victim of a satanic assault by Darcy Swain, that should have seen red, my prayers are with Tupaea, after he came off injured with a possible tear to the ACL. Get well soon.