Opinion: All Blacks vs England player ratings

OPINION: The All Blacks may or may not have got out of jail at Twickenham this morning with a controversial `16-15 win over England.

But what is for certain is some thrived but some faltered in the intense pressure of a test in front of a hostile British crowd.

Here is how the All Blacks rated

15. Damian McKenzie – 6

Is there a more rocks and diamonds player in world rugby? Moments of brilliance were suffocated by some poor decision making. Looked to be the All Blacks most dangerous broken play runner but his option taking was poor at times.

14. Ben Smith – 8

Another super solid test from Smith. As safe as a bank under the high-ball, Smith was also very good with ball in hand. Can’t help but think he provides a bigger threat in the 15 jersey.

13. Jack Goodhue – 6

Struggled to maintain a constant presence in the game but what he did do he did very well and kept the England midfield quiet.

12. Sonny Bill Williams – 5

Only got a half hour but he failed to make an impact outside of a delicious offload early doors. Injury put an end to his test, possibly his season and maybe even his All Blacks career.

11. Rieko Ioane – 7

Thought he was excellent with ball in hand in the first spell – ball stayed away from him in the second. Was caught horribly out of position for Ashton’s opener but managed to keep him quiet for the remainder.

10. Beauden Barrett – 7

Ultimately his place kicking won the test for his side. Was clearly under direction to kick in open play for the first half hour which was horribly executed. The All Blacks and Barrett played much better once that was quashed.

9. Aaron Smith – 6

Outplayed by Youngs in every facet. Had a great spell from minute 35-40 though which was pivotal in the All Blacks getting back in the game.

8. Kieran Read – 9

That was Kieran Read at his absolute best. He was a colossus around the park and provided a great lineout option for Taylor and Coles. Led the team superbly well after the shocking start and made all the right captaincy decisions.

7. Ardie Savea – 10

Man of the match for me. He has absolutely thrived in the starting role in Sam Cane’s absence and offers more with ball in hand than the injured Chief. Combative at the breakdown and a metre eater with the ball – simply superb.

6. Liam Squire – 7

Was missing in the first half on offence but tackled himself to a stand still. Goes in and out of games sometimes but overall is developing nicely.

5. Sam Whitelock – 9

When the going gets tough Whitelock punches it right in the face. Not sure the All Blacks would have won that test without his influence. Was a rock on defence, very good at lineout and was all over the park.

4. Brodie Retallick – 8

Up against one of the best in the world in Mario Itoje, Retallick struggled a bit in the first half but he dominated the second. Won four England lineouts and got himself about the park well.

3. Owen Franks – 7

Scrummed well and defended stoutly. Franks was also prominent in the last five minutes of the first half when the ABs had their best spell of the match.

2. Codie Taylor – 5

His least impressive test of 2018. A couple wayward throws, handling errors and two missed tackles for the Crusaders hooker. He’s allowed a pass though given he’s been the All Blacks best forward all year.

1. Karl Tu’inukuafe – 8

Was a beast at scrum time winning a first half penalty for his side. Great around the park and had a very good game defensively.

Replacements

16. Dane Coles  7

17. Ofa Tuungafasi  6

18. Nepo Laulala  7

19. Scott Barrett  6

20. Matt Todd  N/A

21. TJ Perenara   7

22. Richie Mo’unga  N/A

23. Ryan Crotty  8

Brad Lewis is a Newshub sports producer. 

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