All Blacks vs Wallabies: Player ratings

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

The Wallabies we saw in Dunedin tonight were almost unrecognisable from the team we saw fold at the earliest possible point in Sydney last week.

As a result, this week's player ratings will be far kinder than the ones dished out last week.

Here's how each player stacked up.

1. Scott Sio 6

The scrum was under the pump all first half but carried with purpose and was part of the improved defensive effort. Strange, as the scrum was the only part of the game which the Wallabies held their own last week.

2. Stephen Moore 6.5

Showed some real nice hands in the lead up to third try, carried well and the lineout functioned without fault while he was on. The scrum, on the other hand, was hammered in the first term and that resulted in a Tatafu Polota-Nau injection in the 38th minute.

3. Allan Alaalatoa 6

Few nice early carries but again, was part of a scrum that struggled to give the Wallabies any clean set piece ball. Subbed at half time.


4. Rory Arnold 7.5

Threw a wayward pass that put NZ back in the game after Australia's big start but added the physicality that was missing last week. Was a good first phase option out wide, off Foley, in his time on the park. Reckon he punched over the gain line with every touch.

5. Rob Simmons 7

Showed why Michael Cheika came knocking when Adam Coleman was ruled out. Orchestrated the lineout well and did his best Coleman impression in defence, whacking Kiwi runners at full tilt. Really impressed by his return to the starting XV.

6. Ned Hanigan 8

Really stepped up in the first half in particular. There was a passage where he made four tackles in five phases, as the Wallabies had two big goal line stands. Had a couple of crucial loose ball gets and trucked the ball up without thought for his own wellbeing time after time. Repaid Cheika's faith.

7. Michael Hooper 7

A willing performance from the Wallabies skipper tonight. Photo: Getty ImagesHad a massive start, setting up Foley's try with a break before scoring one of his own, while flying around the park in defence. Flew up too fast on Smith for New Zealand's second try, though, which undid the good work to start the match. Was probably a touch too keen in defence overall, falling off a few too many tackles, but was willing in his endeavour, as he always is.

8. Sean McMahon 9.5

Thought he was Australia's best tonight. An extraordinary performance. Carried well off the back of the scrum, consistently setting a platform from which the attack thrived, but that was only the start. Had an incredible steal when the Kiwis were threatening early in the second half as the spark for an inspirational 40 minutes. As the Wallabies marched down field before Genia's try, it was McMahon repeatedly hitting 15 metre burts that put them over the gain line. They were the theme of the night, constantly getting the ball from Genia at full tilt, careering into the Kiwi defence. He was in absolutely everything on both sides of the ball and just how much his loss will hurt Australian rugby was crystal clear tonight. His best game in Wallaby gold.

9. Will Genia 8.5

Will Genia was in sublime form in Dunedin. Photo: Getty ImagesSpotted the gap which set up the Foley try and had really quick, clean service all night. The impact the likes of McMahon had with ball in hand allowed him to take off from the base off the ruck. That's when he's at his lethal best. One of the big improvers that made the Wallabies almost unrecognisable from the side that rolled over last week.

10. Bernard Foley 6

Was playing flat and wide off Genia all night, stretching the All Blacks defensive line with every set. Made more tackles than any Wallaby. Scored the third try of the night but it was his missed conversions, along with Australia's shoddy restarts, that proved costly.

11. Henry Speight 6.5

Didn't really get near it in the first term and while he improved on the defensive end tonight, still made a critical error in one of New Zealand's second half tries.

12. Kurtley Beale 9

Really good work as Foley's foil. Kicking game was good without being great but he adds a layer of complexity to the Wallabies attack which was missing in June. Had a crucial intercept when the Kiwis threatened to take the lead early in the second term. Followed that with a hit and rip on Sonny Bill Williams, which again repelled the Kiwi push for points. Physicality has always been his weakness but he was one of the best defenders out there tonight. Thought he was one of Australia's best last week and was again among the best tonight.

13. Tevita Kuridrani 8

Tevita Kuridrani made his impact known on the defensive end. Photo: Getty ImagesWhat a difference he made to the defensive effort. Where Kerevi was left looking like a deer in the headlights all of last week, Kuridrani was cool, composed and had some impact with ball in hand, too.

14. Dane Haylett-Petty 7.5

Gee, he was missed last week. Safe as houses when under pressure and always takes the right option, both defensively and in attack.

15. Israel Folau 8

Was the man that set the Wallabies alight. Just as NZ looked like crossing in the opening minute, Folau picked off a Damian McKenzie pass and scored the first of three Australian tries in the first term. Threatened with literally every touch. Along with Beale, was Australia's most potent attacking weapon.

Reserves

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau 7.5

Scrum certainly strengthened up when he entered the fray, as one would expect. Had some strong carries in the lead up to Beale's try. Reckon he should be starting.

17. Tom Robertson 6.5

Only played 16 minutes but carried well and stiffened the scrum right up.

18. Sekope Kepu 6

Came on at half time but was barely sighted in general play. Like Polota-Nau and Robertson, did his part to stiffen a scrum that was battling in the first half.

19. Izack Rodda 7

Loved his impact from the bench. First touch was from a NZ turnover and he steamed forward, a move he would repeat throughout the final quarter of play. Had a couple of nice wins at lineout time and didn't look intimidated by the contest at all. Definitely one the Wallabies can rely on in the very near future.

20. Lopeti Timani 5.5

First touch was a knock on in Australian territory, giving the Kiwis the ball back after they had just scored. Defended well but didn't have the impact with ball in hand that he did last week.

21. Nick Phipps NA

Didn't get on.

22. Reece Hodge 5.5

Came on late and had a nice kick for touch and made some critical tackles. Pass mark.

23. Curtis Rona

Didn't add to his one Test cap.