Wallabies vs All Blacks: Player ratings

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

The Wallabies were embarrassed by the All Blacks in Sydney tonight.

There simply is no other way to describe it.

They restored some form of credibility in the second term and will no doubt point to that as proof they can compete with the best team in the world.

But here are the facts.

There were 31 missed tackles in the first 31 minutes.The Wallabies were shellshocked by a dominant New Zealand outfit. Photo: Getty ImagesThey conceded 40 points in the first 40 minutes.

Both of those numbers are far more than most Super Rugby teams - let alone Test rugby sides - concede in an average match and against the All Blacks, that is suicide.

Yes, they came back in the second half but when the credibility of Australian rugby was on the line, this team crumbled.

As a result of that, no credence will be paid to the work done after half time, with the game already so far out of reach.

Any rating above a three would be giving face time to plays made well past any meaningful moment and as such, there will be just three players who receive marks higher than that tonight.

Here is what each player added to another woeful Wallabies performance.

1. Scott Sio 2

The scrum was solid but outside of that, was one of many players that was found wanting defensively. Had a couple of nice runs early but was otherwise unremarkable.

2. Stephen Moore 2

Also helped set the platform at scrum time but he isn't anywhere near agile enough to compete with an All Blacks pack that boasts athletes from 1-15. Subbed at half-time.

3. Allan Alaalatoa 3

Allan Alaalatoa was one of several Wallabies found wanting tonight. Photo: Getty ImagesAgain, provided a solid platform for the scrum but when the Wallabies had some ascendency early, it was his dropped ball that led to the first All Blacks opportunity. Tried hard in his 50 minutes, which is more than what can be said for some of his teammates.

4. Rory Arnold 2

Subbed early in the second term and rightfully so. Was one of many turnstiles out there in the gold jersey and provided none of the physicality which he has shown for the Brumbies and in stints off the bench for the Wallabies this season. A really poor performance.

5. Adam Coleman 5

Had two big runs in the opening exchanges and looked to set the tone with a loose ball chase down in the first 10 minutes. Kept tackling all night and actually looked to assert dominance in those exchanges. The problems tonight were far from his fault.

6. Ned Hanigan 2

Hanigan is a brilliant bloke and a character that Australian rugby needs but at present, he is a passenger in this forward pack. He has nil impact with ball in hand and while he applies himself defensively, he is often found steaming into breakdowns when the ball has already been won or lost, making little impact on the play.

7. Michael Hooper 4

Tried to lead from the front but that's tough when your team has no ball and is falling off tackles at a rate of knots in the first half. Like Coleman, applied himself well and tried his best to make an impact but didn't really fire a shot.

8. Sean McMahon 2

Was one of the players that struggled the most defensively. Was falling off tackles all over the place in the first term and didn't have any gain line busting runs to speak of.

9. Will Genia 3

Thought his service was really sharp when Australia had the ball in the first half but the opportunities were few and far between. Phipps seemed to add a new level of energy in the second term but that may have been more due to the All Blacks switching off defensively.

10. Bernard Foley 3

Orchestrated the Australian attack well in the second term but there was no ball to work with in the first. Was one of several culprits found wanting defensively in the first 40.

11. Curtis Rona 2

Curtis Rona had a tough time of his Test debut. Photo: Getty ImagesMissed the tackle which started the movement for New Zealand's first try and that would be a trend that continued all night. As the All Blacks spread the ball, he was left scrambling. Did well with ball in hand but that didn't make up for the defensive errors.

12. Kurtley Beale 4

First two carries set the tone for the night, straightening the Wallabies' attack up and getting them over the gain line. Then threw a great pop pass to put Speight away. Followed that by knocking a pass from Foley into Crotty's arms, gifting Ioane a try. Australia's best in attack and applied himself on defence.

13. Samu Kerevi 2

Was like a deer in the headlights in defence. Didn't make any sort of impact in attack. Defence has long been his weakness at Super Rugby level and that was well and truly exposed tonight.

14. Henry Speight 2

Like Kerevi, was found wanting on defence. Bad reads all over the place and didn't really get the chance to open up in attack.

15. Israel Folau 3

Israel Folau made some critical defensive errors. Photo: Getty ImagesMade a schoolboy error to put Ioane in for a ridiculously soft try, New Zealand's second. That just about summed up his night and his impact was quelled with ball in hand.

Reserves - Players that played less than 20 minutes receive NA

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau 3

Liked his performance in the second term. Was flying around on defence and putting his hand up to carry. Would be very surprised if he doesn't start next Saturday.

17. Tom Robertson 3

See above. Replaced Sio with 20 to play and worked twice as hard. Would be a capable replacement at loosehead next week.

18. Sekope Kepu 2

Played 30 minutes in place of Alaalatoa but didn't really take that opportunity to stamp his authority on the game.

19. Rob Simmons 3

Came on for Arnold early in the second term and made his impact known. Carried well and got through work on the defensive end.

20. Lopeti Timani NA

Wasn't on long enough to make a call.

21. Nick Phipps 3

As mentioned, added a bit of spark in Genia's absence. Seems to be the role he thrives in though, rather than starting.

22. Reece Hodge NA

Made a late cameo but not enough to make a comment.

23. Tevita Kuridrani 3

Will be the way forward at 13 if Kerevi can't figure things out defensively. Kuridrani is far from the complete package in attack but he thrives in defence and did so in Kerevi's place tonight.