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All Blacks player ratings: Samisoni Taukei’aho steps up again but Hoskins Sotutu fails to nail chance & More Breaking News

 

Paul Cully is a Stuff sports reporter

OPINION: The All Blacks have won two tests in a row for the first time this year, getting out of jail with a dramatic 39-37 win in Melbourne.

However, it was an error-riddled performance that almost ended in a shock loss to the depleted Wallabies.

Here are Stuff’s player ratings from Bledisloe I.

Jordie Barrett: Missed long-range penalty attempt and was turned over in contact before being moved into No 12 position after injuries decimated the backline in the first half. Looked better in midfield and scored the matchwinning try. 7.5

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Will Jordan: Virtually anonymous in the first half but stepped up in the second half and scored a great try that showed his pace. 7

Rieko Ioane: Rocks and diamonds. Trysaving tackle on Andrew Kellaway during the first half was superb, but was guilty of blowing a great chance when the Wallabies had two men in the sin bin. 6

David Havili: Played only 14 minutes before departing after a head collision with Sam Cane. Failed his HIA1 and didn’t return. N/A

Caleb Clarke: Made some big carries but was guilty of running away from his support at times as the All Blacks left plenty of points on the paddock. Caught out on defence, too. 5.5

All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho celebrates after his first try.

Morgan Hancock/Getty Images

All Blacks hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho celebrates after his first try.

Richie Mo’unga: Relishes playing against the Wallabies, where he enjoys the extra space and time. Took his try well and kicked six from six with the boot. 7.5

Aaron Smith: Distribution was slick as the All Blacks got into their groove at the start of the second half, but stop-start nature of the test overall didn’t suit him. 6

Hoskins Sotutu: Showed some subtle skills, but wasn’t at the same physical level as opposite Rob Valetini with ball in hand or on defence. Didn’t grab his chance in Ardie Savea’s absence and was replaced with 12 minutes to go. 5

Sam Cane (c): Failed his HIA 1 after 24 minutes and didn’t return as the All Blacks were forced to go to the bench early. 5

Scott Barrett: Struggled to get into the game with ball in hand in a scrappy, disjointed test that provided plenty of drama but showed that both sides have a lot of work to do. 6

Sam Whitelock: Another busy test from the lock, who was accurate on defence and got his hands on the ball plenty of time. 7

Brodie Retallick: All Blacks are still hoping that the rampaging Retallick of old returns, but he wasn’t seen in Melbourne. 6.5

Tyrel Lomax: Put James Slipper under early scrum pressure but the Wallabies fought back and put the All Blacks into reverse on more than once occasion. 5.5

Samisoni Taukei’aho: Barged over for the game’s first try and doubled his tally in the second half. Won one big ruck penalty and everything he did was stamped with quality. 8

Ethan de Groot: Started with plenty of intent but couldn’t stop Valetini for his try and gave away one scrum penalty. Replaced after 51 minutes. 5.5

Reserves

Dane Coles: Showed his experience in the last 20 minutes. 5.5

George Bower: Gave away a scrum penalty but was typically busy around the field. 5.5

Fletcher Newell: Solid 23 minutes but the All Blacks probably didn’t get the scrum dominance they were looking for. 5.5

Akira Ioane: Thrown on for the last 12 minutes. N/A

Dalton Papalii: Replaced Sam Cane (HIA) midway through first half and was almost immediately shown a yellow card for pulling down a maul. Improved as test went on but Wallabies’ loose-forwards were far superior. 5

Finlay Christie: On for the last six minutes only. N/A

Beauden Barrett: Played 45 minutes at fullback and mixed some nice touches with errors, summing up the entire performance. 6

Quinn Tupaea: Replaced Havili early and looked to be in strong form, but was taken out of the game just before halftime due to a cynical and dangerous piece of play by Wallabies lock Darcy Swain at a ruck. 5.5

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