Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All Blacks v Springboks - Player Ratings

By TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post

All Blacks player ratings following the second Tri-Nations test against South Africa at Westpac Stadium.

Mils Muliaina 7.5 Another polished effort from he veteran fullback who showed again his top-end pace to outstrip the cover to score in the first half. Also pulled off a brilliant one-on-one tackle on Zane Kirchner.

Cory Jane 7 For the second week running play didn't really run Jane's way. Defence was superb though and Bryan Habana has not found a way past his marker in two tests.

Rene Ranger 6 A mixed bag from the rookie. Made two fumbles in the first half when he had one eye on South Africa's defence and was unluckily penalised for a no-arms tackle. Bounced back well with his first test try though.

Conrad Smith 7 Mr Consistency, Smith was solid on defence but had few chances with ball in hand.

Ma'a Nonu 7.5 Some lovely wide passing mixed with his usual impact with ball in hand, a couple of massive tackles and a try to boot. Provides perfect centrepiece for the All Blacks' back attack.

Dan Carter 6.5 Loses half a point for poor goalkicking in the stadium's tricky winds, but his option-taking and defence were as sound as ever.

Piri Weepu 8.5 Only McCaw and Read had as big an influence on the All Blacks effort. Weepu's sniping runs had bite from the start, his pass was snappy and his kicking accurate.

Kieran Read 8 Going from strength to strength, Read's tireless ball-carrying, sound work under the high ball and subtle offloads are providing a dynamic link between backs and forwards.

Richie McCaw 9 Mammoth match from the skipper who seems to do an equal amount on attack and defence. Support play in recent weeks has been reminiscent of Michael Jones in his prime.

Jerome Kaino 7.5 The defensive enforcer of the loose trio, Kaino again put in some huge tackles and did his fair share on attack too.

Tom Donnelly 7.5 Took the opening kickoff and went about his business from there. Has a nice mix of athleticism and old-school work ethic that is vital to the All Blacks engineroom.

Brad Thorn 7 Not quite the herculean effort of a week prior, but hurled himself into every ruck going and shored up the defence around the rucks.

Owen Franks 7 Solid effort up front where Franks looks more at home by the week at test level.

Keven Mealamu 7 Was never going to emulate his Eden Park effort, but continued his tireless work in close quarters. Won't be happy with four lost lineouts.

Tony Woodcock 7 Under-rated defender and solid at set piece.

Israel Dagg 7.5 Strong in the air and produced the highlight of the season when he beat five South African defenders on a run to the line.

Jimmy Cowan 7 Added spark around the base and found his runners with confidence. Appeared to get caught out when Zane Kirchner sliced through.

Not rated: Sam Whitelock, Ben Franks, Aaron Cruden, Liam Messam,Corey Flynn.

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