RWC 2011: New Zealand Player Ratings v Australia
15. Israel Dagg – 7
Excellent work from the full back. He was dangerous with the ball in hand, frequently exploiting gaps in the Australian defensive line.
14. Cory Jane – 7
I have seen many references to the aviator circulating about Cory Jane’s performance under the high ball. In addition to this, he was full of little chips and kicks that kept the Australian defence on the back foot.
13. Conrad Smith – 6
Whilst not as starry as his colleagues in the backs, Conrad Smith had a great game. Plenty of physicality in his attack, and plenty more in defence.
12. Ma’a Nonu – 8
May have just become something of a hero in New Zealand, scoring the only try of the game. Was everywhere on the pitch, in attack and defence.
11. Richard Kahui – 6
Like Conrad Smith, he had a quieter game than his colleagues, characterized by a few mistakes, but still very solid.
10. Aaron Cruden – 7
Considering his inexperience Aaron Cruden, at times, displayed a calm and control that fly halves with treble his experience could learn from. A well-kicked drop goal kept New Zealand ahead, however he later missed a penalty.
9. Piri Weepu – 7
Not as accurate with the kicks this week as he was last week, but he was still in fine form. Troubling the Australians whenever and wherever he could.
8. Kieran Read – 7
After this performance I am really looking forward to seeing Read v Harinordoquy. Read was consistent with his tackles, had impeccable timing and was an all round asset to the team.
7. Richie McCaw (captain) – 8
Silencing those who had questioned his fitness again this week, a real force on the field, another player who was everywhere, at all times.
6. Jerome Kaino – 7
Worked incredibly hard throughout the game. Made a great tackle on Digby Ioane, that stopped an Australian try.
5. Sam Whitelock – 7
Another solid showing from Sam Whitelock, using his bulk and strength to repeatedly attack the Australian lines.
4. Brad Thorn – 8
The All Blacks certainly had the stronger lineout, and Brad Thorn was a big part of that. This was a great performance from Thorn.
3. Owen Franks – 7
The New Zealand front row are certainly a powerful trio, and during this game Franks demonstrated his importance to this. Fearsome in the scrum, and there will be plenty of Australian players nursing a bruise or two thanks to some huge tackles from this man.
2. Keven Mealamu – 7
Another big part of the successful All Black lineout, Mealamu was committed and forceful throughout the game.
1. Tony Woodcock – 7
Dominant in the scrum, and in the loose. Woodcock showed his class in this game.
16. Andrew Hore (64, Keven Mealamu) continued where the man he was replacing left off. Solid and sure.
17. Ben Franks (79, Owen Franks) with only a minute of play left to go, Franks had no time to impact on the game.
18. Ali Williams (57, Sam Whitelock) slotted seamlessly into the side, with a high calibre performance.
19. Victor Vito (79, Jerome Kaino) again, no time to impact.
20. Andy Ellis (57, Piri Weepu) this substitution was reversed when Ellis took a hit to the face, and had to go off to receive treatment.
21. Stephen Donald – Not used
22. Sonny Bill Williams (72, Ma’a Nonu) He came on, and then was promptly sent back off for not wrapping in the tackle.