A magnificent performance by the All Blacks in wet and windy conditions. Keeping the Wallabies scoreless was perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the night.
Only one player (Dane Coles) can put his hand up as lacking, but he has enough history to be allowed the odd mare.
1. Joe Moody (7)
Part of a reversal in the All Blacks’ forward pack from last week. Not as dominant around the field as Nepo Laulala but held up his end of the scrum.
2. Dane Coles (5)
Worst performance I can recall from Coles. Lineout was dysfunctional and copped a rather rough yellow card.
3. Nepo Laulala (9)
Dominant in the scum and around the field. Has Owen Franks played his last test?
4. Patrick Tuipoluto (9)
A colossus in the forwards, his best game for any team I have seen him play. Looks like he’s lost 20 pounds and replaced it with muscle. The All Blacks have locking options to burn.
5. Sam Whitelock (6)
Part of a dominant scrum, but largely missing-in-action around the field. As the chief lineout caller, has to take some responsibility for the dysfunction. However, has a history that makes any faults at Eden Park irrelevant.
6. Ardie Savea (9)
Massive game from the number 6, or should that be 8? A physical shadow of the giant Jerome Kaino, but with as much go forward and stopping power. Runs like he’s got a dozen Energizer batteries inside him.
7. Sam Cane (7)
A standard performance by Sam Cane. Made a number of turnovers and a lot of tackles. Unfairly penalized.
8. Kieran Read (7)
His best game for the All Blacks for some time. But with Savea playing 8 for attacking scums and his go forward while playing 6 for defensive scums and his stopping power, you have to wonder if Read is hanging on by way of being captain. Great effort at lock for Tuipoluto.
9. Smith (8)
His best game for the All Blacks, again for some time. Box kicking was excellent, his retrieving his own box kicks was just as impressive. Good service to Mo’unga who thrived under the service.
10. Richie Mo’unga (9)
Easily his best game for the All Blacks ever. Kicking, running, passing and defense were all impressive. As one of his harshest critics, he has proved me wrong. However, needs to back it up in the 4 tests before the RWC playoffs.
11. George Bridge (10)
Absolutely into everything. Couldn’t put a foot wrong and was a constant threat. Scored a well-deserved try. Cannot give the man enough praise. My player of the day.
12. Sonny Bill Williams (7)
Another player who had his best ever game for the All Blacks. Good defense, some good offloads and a very good try. Would have got an 8 but for all the time he spent looking at himself on the big screen.
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (8)
This was a night of the bests from the All Blacks as ALB was yet another player who put in his best performance for the team. Great distribution, excellent tackling and a constant threat in the backline all night for the Wallabies.
14. Sevu Reece (9)
A serious threat to any team. Denied a try when the ref decided a knock-on advantage gets the same consideration of a penalty advantage.
Yes, we knocked on after the kick-off but Australia had secured the ball and released their backline. Advantage over. Absolutely brilliant try earlier though.
15. Beauden Barrett (8)
Hardly put a foot wrong. Did very well under the high ball on a wet and greasy night. Nailed his one kick attempt from wideout and with his nemesis Adidas ball. Excellent defense as evident in the giant doughnut for the Wallabies.
Overall, the best performance we have seen from the All Blacks in many a year. Hansen proved me wrong and alleviated my fears. He does have a plan. He has been keeping his powder dry and watch out world, here we come!