All Blacks

Wallabies vs All Blacks first TriNations test player ratings

Wallabies vs All Blacks first TriNations test player ratings

With so many great performances across the park for Australia, this was a tough one. The 6-7-8 and 9-10-12 combos fought evenly for honours in which group swayed the game the most, but what a dilemma to have eh?

15 Adam Ashley-Cooper From nervy and out of place last week, to star 15 in the making. What a turn-around. His pinpoint high balls had the kiwis on the rack and his never say die tackling was gutsy. Most impressive though is the acceleration and swerve he can inject in open play. Very Latham-esque 8

14 Peter Hynes – Another good game, came looking for work off his wing to pick up the toed through try from Tuqiri 6

13 Ryan Cross, Might not have the same power to take defenders with him like Mortlock does, but has more outside gas which he showed once or twice. Also has the knack of scoring tries, which is a good knack to have 6

12 Berrick Barnes, considering his size, the most devastating tackler in the Wallabies. He cut Nonu in half more than once and turned up with try-savers when needed. Kicking was a little predictable in the first half, but deadly in the second. 8

11 Lote Tuqiri, this guy is sh1tting gold bars this year. Intimately involved in 3 of the 4 Wallaby tries and put the first big hit on Muliaina to set the tone for the match. He’s easily two yards quicker than last year. However, did come in on his man too early a couple of times. 8

10 Matt Giteau, all doubts as to whether this guy is an international 10 were put to bed on Saturday. 5/5 place kicks, a drop goal off his wrong foot, a golden pill to Cross and sledgehammer tackles. I still don’t know how he made some of those 50m touch finders. Missing one or two big tackles a game (Carter & Sivivatu) but still gets G&GRs Man of the Match. 9

9 Luke Burgess, Almost flawless passing this week with the same speed of delivery that made Cowan and Ellis look like club pro’s, (whichever time of the match it was they decided to come on or off). Took high balls and is covering the hole behind the ruck like a sledgehammer. Nailed Nonu, Thorne and Lauaki to name a few. 8

8 Wycliff Palu, what a time to step up to the plate. Finally showed us in a crunch match what he’d been doing all year for NSW. Bulldozed through their gain line in the toughest of situations, most notably setting up Horwills try. Also loving the solid link with Burgess of the base 8

7 George Smith, the guy’s a legend. Dominated the break down on Saturday just as he did the week before. I think they took the AB 7 Braid off just because the guy had been made to look too silly by Smith. Was too good for the ref Joubert to keep up with and was the only Wallaby who seemed to be able to tackle Sivivatu, notably around the bootlaces. 9

6 Rocky Elsom, yet another stellar performance, and this week with a buggered foot. How many 6’s could have played 60 minutes and still be able to slice open the AB defensive line from a standing start and then do an in and out on Muliaina to score untouched? Did miss Sivivatu a few times (who didn’t though). Will be hard to replace next week 8

5 Nathan Sharpe, Nothing spectacular from Sharpe, but showed fantastic ball security when carrying in the heaviest of traffic 6

4 James Horwill, another guy with the happy knack of finding the try-line, is that 4 tries this international season? Showing great rugby nouse (cunning) as well, this week with the call “I’ve got Rocky!” as he stood in the AB defensive line and pointed at Elsom who scooted past for a try. Interestingly stayed on the pitch when Sharpe went off for Vickerman 7

3 Al Baxter, It’s taken him a record number of caps for an Aussie prop, but I’m happy to say he had a great match. Scrum pretty much worked, he did a power of work in defence and is probably the best counter-rucker in the team 7 (yes, I meant seven points)

2 Stephen Moore, Throwing combinations still working well, which is probably what’s keeping Polota-Nau on the bench, so far. 5

1 Benn Robinson, Looks like he’s been playing internationals for years. 6

Replacements:
16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Daniel Vickerman, 19 Phil Waugh, 20 Sam Cordingley, 21 Timana Tahu, 22 Drew Mitchell.
Only Waugh and TPN made much of an impact. Waugh immediately with a turnover and his usual torpedo tackles. Yet to see what Tim Tam and Mitchell have to bring

19 – Sione Lauaki, A master-stroke by Ming the Merciless! 10

Rating system:
10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Man of the match worthy performance
8 – Outstanding
7 – Good game, great in parts
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke

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