Rocks and diamonds: Wallabies player ratings from Eden Park Bledisloe loss

by Christy Doran

The Wallabies were their own worst enemies on Sunday afternoon, as the All Blacks pounced on their mistakes to win 27-7 at Eden Park and go one-nil up in the Bledisloe series.

They made 20 turnovers with ball-in-hand, while also missing 43 tackles in defence.

The frustrating thing too was that the Wallabies had opportunities. Marika Koroibete was held up over the line and should have done better when the score was 20-7. Literally from the next play too, hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa was penalised for double movement as he attempted to score.

Here are our player ratings from the 20-point defeat – the Wallabies’ 20th straight loss against the All Blacks at Eden Park, a record that dates back to 1989.

Be there for the third Bledisloe Cup clash at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, Saturday 31 October. Tickets HERE


Tom Banks – 5

 Banks’ forward pass ended the match and it summed up the Wallabies’ disappointing second half.

Save for two drops in the space of a minute midway through the first half and Banks was solid.

But he was tentative too.

He didn’t carry the ball with any conviction.

The door is open for Dane Haylett-Petty to return.

Filipo Daugunu – 6

Once again Daugunu looked lethal with every touch, but he simply didn’t have the same space he had a week earlier.

Defensively Daugunu was caught out a couple of times.

As wingers tend to do, he came in when he should have backed his inside man. That happened in the 43rd minute when Jordie Barrett scored.

In the 68th minute, too, he comes in fractionally too much from the outside and that allowed Damian McKenzie to find some space on the outside and was eventually tackled 5 metres out.

Hunter Paisami – 6

One of a number of Wallabies who did some good things but also some bad ones.

He was exposed once in defence early as Beauden Barrett burnt him on the outside from a scrum in the 13th minute.

But he was also very active in attack and moved to inside centre after 35 minutes once Matt To’omua was forced off with a groin injury.

He made a linebreak in the 36th and offloaded to Brandon Paenga-Amosa.

All afternoon he gave some punch with the carry and showed some of his ball-playing ability too, but he also made another error in the 62nd minute as he tried to get the ball free.

Paisami’s combination with Jordan Petaia looked threatening too.

Rod Kafer summed up Paisami’s performance in attack: “I don’t mind Hunter Paisami when he throws those dummies, he’s very active. The ball’s got a lot of movement around him, he brings energy every time he gets near it. He gets into those collisions; the critical thing is delivering that ball back."

Matt To’omua – 6

Brilliant ballplaying to send Koroibete in, as he held the ball up fractionally, cut out one man and found his winger.

To’omua’s defence and voice, as well as his composed head, was dearly missed when he was forced off after 34 minutes. That showed in the three quick tries the All Blacks scored after half-time.

Marika Koroibete – 5.5

A real rocks and diamonds match from the Wallabies’ winger.

He saved the day in the 21st minute as Barrett put the ball on the toe and Koroibete got their first.

Koroibete’s handling hurt him though. He knocked on in the 37th minute from a Ned Hanigan switch when there was space in behind the All Blacks; he knocked on again in the 76th minute from a first-phase set-play when the Wallabies had space too.

But then there was the other side of the game; he had one marvelous weaving run in the 56th minute but had no teammates in support.

He should have scored in the 50th minute too, but tried to run over Mo’unga rather than stepping on the inside before contact. He does that, he scores.

Defensively, too, he was exposed by misreading Patrick Tuipulotu in the 54th minute and Sam Cane scored a split-second later.

James O’Connor – 5

O’Connor was made to look worse than he looked because the Wallabies were smashed at the collision and the breakdown, which meant he was too deep in attack and the All Blacks closed down the space and time.

His kick early in the second half that led to Ardie Savea’s try wasn’t that bad either, it was just the kick-chase that was horrible.

“Spoke earlier in the game about poor kicking, the Wallabies had a very poor chase on that kick from James O’Connor,” Kafer said.

“They put the ball out the back, so they had five or six players in front of the ball when James O’Connor kicks, nobody (chases) with any purpose, no line set and they let this guy (Caleb Clarke) go through the middle.”

O’Connor was run over the top by Jack Goodhue from the lineout in the lead up to Aaron Smith’s opening try.

He also had two blunders at the end, too, with an average pass in the 78th minute pulling the Wallabies under pressure and then he knocked on in the 82nd minute too.

Nic White – 5.5

A week’s a long time in sport.

Last week the All Blacks were nowhere near as ferocious at the breakdown and it allowed White to have time and space around the ruck.

He didn’t on Sunday.

White hardly ran the ball, but his distribution was solid and his kicking game strong.

But once again White went too high his opposite 9 – last week it was Smith – and TJ Perenara broke free in the 58th minute.

Harry Wilson – 5

This man was in hospital for 36 hours in the lead up to the Eden Park hit out, but that shouldn’t necessarily impact his rating. Heroic sure, but at the end of the day you’re judged by what you do on the field.

Wilson was just a little overzealous.

He didn’t need to pop a couple of offloads and gave away possession in the first-half, including in the 25th minute.

The big one for Wilson was his missed tackle in the 42nd minute.

Dane Coles broke free 41:20 in the second half and that allowed the All Blacks to get inside the Wallabies’ 22. 40 seconds later, the All Blacks scored out wide through Barrett.

Michael Hooper – 6.5

Two on-ball penalties from Hooper, which were massive.

But Hooper needed more from his forward pack, who were well-beaten around the breakdown.

The All Blacks, including opposite back-rowers Cane and Ardie Savea, won the collision.

Ned Hanigan – 6.5

Like Koroibete and Petaia, Hanigan had a rocks and diamond game.

He started well, sealing the ball off well at the breakdown.

He then broke free in the middle of the field, bumping Joe Moody away, to set up the Wallabies’ only try of the match.

He then, however, gave away three quick penalties; two at the defensive maul and once for slowing the ball down.

Comically, though, he then helped save the Wallabies’ bacon by getting on the ball in the 35th minute to win a penalty.

In the second half, he had some great footwork in the middle of the field to help create a linebreak.

Matt Philip – 6

Philip didn’t necessarily do anything wrong.

But last week he got over the gainline and gave the Wallabies some impetus in attack.

On Sunday, he took the ball forward just six times. He needed to do more.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – 6.5

One of the Wallabies’ best.

He showed good hands in attack and he trudged the ball up 10 times too, which was only bettered by Daugunu.

Salakaia-Loto had too good carries in the 64th minute, which was in a 10+ phase period for the Wallabies before Jake Gordon put in a clever box kick to find touch 10 metres out from the All Blacks line.

Taniela Tupou – 5.5

You couldn’t question the endeavor, but the polish wasn’t there from Tupou.

He dropped an early tough ball from To’omua in the second minute, which came from slow ball.

He then put in a silly kick in the 17th minute, which allowed Barrett to counter – they almost scored. In the end, the All Blacks got a penalty from a Daugunu off the ball hit and the home side went 3-0 up.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa – 6.5

Was the Wallabies hooker the best on ground?

Had he not been penalised for double movement in the 52nd minute he surely would have.

The Wallabies’ lineout functioned better than Bledisloe I. But it’s still not quite up to international standard. They were forced to throw over the top because of the pressure of the All Blacks at the lineout.

He also had a crucial lineout loss in the 46th minute.

But with ball-in-hand Paenga-Amosa was very good, including a great carry in the 28th minute out wide, where he stepped back on the inside.

James Slipper – 6.5

The Wallabies’ scrum was strong for the majority of the first half and Slipper earned his side a penalty in the fifth minute.

Four carries for 20 metres, as well as six tackles.


Jordan Uelese – 6

Uelese was solid when coming after 53 minutes.

He made 28 run metres from his four carries. Perenara did make one clever steal on him in attack though.

Uelese’s lineout throw was solid too.

Scott Sio – 7

Earned the Wallabies two penalties when coming on for Slipper.

Allan Alaalatoa – 6

Gave away one penalty from not staying straight, but Alaalatoa was pretty good when coming on early for Tupou.

Rob Simmons – 5

Came on midway through the second half and was solid but unspectacular.

The Wallabies need more from their lock/back-row reserves.

Liam Wright – 5

Once again, Wright came off the bench for the Wallabies at Eden Park and it was another afternoon where he didn’t quite have the impact he would have wanted.

He was stripped in the 57th minute by Perenara and the Wallabies conceded penalty from that next ruck a split second later.

He also threw an intercept in the 67th minute when he just needed to hold it with the Wallabies going backwards.

But Wright’s breakdown penalty win in the 69th minute on his own line was big and he followed it up with a good carry to follow it up.

Jake Gordon – 6

Coming on after 58 minutes, Gordon was a little indecisive at first, he often got to the ruck and had to turn and switch. That little bit of extra time helped the All Blacks’ defensive line get set.

One great box kick in the 64th minute.

A nice little linebreak in 83rd minute too.

Jordan Petaia– 6.5

You can forgive Petaia for giving the ball away because he was the only player on the field for the Wallabies that looked like being able to create something.

He’ll start in Sydney.

Petaia almost sent Koroibete in with a weaving run in the 50th minute.

He had another good run in the 54th minute, but was too loose in the contact and lost it short of halfway and the All Blacks score moments later through Cane.

But he also had some lovely hands in the 56th minute, which helped Koroibete break free.

Reece Hodge – N/A

 Came on late in the match.