Player ratings: Ardie Savea the standout for New Zealand

Date published: November 18 2018

Here’s our New Zealand player ratings following their 16-9 defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

15 Damian McKenzie: Struggled to make much impact with the pack outgunned and wasn’t dominant under the high ball. Will have better days but credit to Ireland, whose kicking game was excellent. 5/10

14 Ben Smith: Best of the back three, dealing with the aerial bombardment pretty well, and counter-attacking when given the opportunity. Rarely makes a mistake but not much chance to exert his influence on the game. 6/10

13 Jack Goodhue: Had it relatively easy prior to their northern hemisphere tour but has found it tough going over the past two weeks. Will be better for it going into World Cup year. 5/10

12 Ryan Crotty: Solid but unspectacular. Defended well but couldn’t really get into the game on attack as the Crusaders midfield axis failed to ignite. 5/10

11 Rieko Ioane: Barely noticed him in the first half with New Zealand starved of possession for half-an-hour. Improved after the break and made one good surge but another to struggle with Ireland’s suffocating defence. 5/10

10 Beauden Barrett: The All Blacks’ issues are not particularly his fault and the fly-half was a threat when moved to full-back. Kicked well off the tee, was solid in defence and landed another drop-goal. 6/10

9 Aaron Smith: Service was initially sharp but he lost the kicking battle. The scrum-half is just slightly off his game at the moment after a mediocre display against England. 5/10

8 Kieran Read: Was unfortunate to knock-on after showing good awareness and athleticism to charge down Jacob Stockdale’s kick, but contributed little else in the loose. Good at lineout time, however. 6/10

7 Ardie Savea: Comfortably New Zealand’s best forward. Won turnovers and carried effectively throughout, but was bizarrely taken off for a more defensive player when they were searching for a try. 8/10

6 Liam Squire: Again anonymous for his 32 minutes on the field in what has been an inauspicious northern hemisphere tour for Squire. 4/10

5 Sam Whitelock: One of the main culprits when it came to ill-discipline, giving away three in total, but was industrious as ever. Not one of his better days, though. 5/10

4 Brodie Retallick: Made a couple of mistakes and dropped below the high standards he has set himself, but had some good moments, particularly at the lineout once again. Rather summed up New Zealand’s game, however, when arguably the world’s best player knocked on at the end to seal the win for Ireland. 6/10

3 Owen Franks: New Zealand had scrum struggles in the first half but they seemed to mainly come on the other side. Put in an excellent defensive shift but wasn’t able to get front foot ball in the set-piece. 6/10

2 Codie Taylor: Had a couple of wobbles in the lineout but put himself about in the loose, although his influence faded as the first half went on. Like his front-row colleagues, replaced early in the second half. 5/10

1 Karl Tu’inukuafe: Has enjoyed an excellent first year for the All Blacks but was out-scrummed by Tadhg Furlong in the first half and was put under severe pressure. Did little in the loose too. 4/10


16 Dane Coles: Had little impact. 5/10

17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi: Scrum far better with him on the field but not enough pressure to make a significant impact. 6/10

18 Nepo Laulala: Similar to Tuungafasi, with Laulala enjoying the better of it against his opponent(s) in the scrum, but couldn’t truly turn the tide. 6/10

19 Scott Barrett: Had a significant impact last week but not so in Dublin, although still an upgrade on Squire. 6/10

20 Matt Todd: Not enough time on the field.

21 TJ Perenara: Upped the tempo and decision-making was better than Smith’s. 6/10

22 Richie Mo’unga: New Zealand started to have a bit more success with him on the field. 6/10

23 Anton Lienert-Brown: Displayed a couple of nice touches but couldn’t break Ireland’s defensive wall. 6/10