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PLAYER RATINGS: How the NEW ZEALAND media scored the All Blacks



The All Blacks roared back to secure an emotional 35-23 victory against the Springboks and vindicate coach Ian Foster’s prediction that “something special” was brewing.

READ | SPRINGBOKS STAY THIRD IN WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS – BUT ONLY JUST!

With improvements in every facet of their game, the All Blacks finished strongly against the Springboks, despite the altitude factor and a late yellow card to Beauden Barrett.

Below, Stuff website’s Paul Cully’s player ratings from the Test in Johannesburg.

PLAYER RATINGS | WHO FIRED – AND WHO FLOPPED – FOR THE SPRINGBOKS

Jordie Barrett. Lost first high-ball contest but pulled off a brilliant try-saving tackle on Pieter-Steph du Toit and was solid as a rock thereafter. 7.5

Will Jordan. Found Makazole Mapimpi a handful but his high-ball work improved as the test unfolded. Defused some important bombs in the latter stages. 7

Rieko Ioane. Chemistry with midfield partner David Havili is still building but used his pace deliver some match-turning moments on attack and defence. Stood up against the excellent Lukhanyo Am and was officially named man of the match. 9

David Havili. His best test by some distance. All Blacks found their way through and outside the vaunted Springboks defence. 8.5

Caleb Clarke. A major attacking force with his lung-busting runs, and contributed positively for long periods. However, will be disappointed about missed tackle that led to Springboks’ first try. 7

Richie Mo’unga. Delivered for his coach in a big way with 15 points off the boot and a tactical kicking game that was light years ahead of the All Blacks’ work so far this year. 8.5

Aaron Smith. Was finally given some clean ball to work with and the speed of his pass caused issues for South Africa. 7.5

Ardie Savea. Excellent early break in the wide channels and secured a crucial turnover after 55 minutes when the All Blacks were under siege. Set up Havili’s late try with a nice offload. World class. 8.5

Sam Cane (captain). Much-maligned captain scored opening try of the test with a nice finish in the corner. Sacrificed after 68 minutes for Quinn Tupaea when the All Blacks lost Beauden Barrett to a yellow card and missed a few tackles. 7

Shannon Frizell. Tackled himself to a standstill and put the Springboks’ lineout under pressure with his athleticism. 7.5

Sam Whitelock. Turned back the clock with an inspirational 80 minutes. Grabbed a lineout steal from first Springboks throw, muscled up on defence and won a crucial ruck turnover late in the test. 8.5

Scott Barrett. What an engine. Competed fiercely in every facet of play and, like Whitelock, managed tp pick one off from the Springboks’ lineout. Rewarded for his efforts with the match-sealing try. 8

Tyrel Lomax. Comfortably his best performance in the All Blacks jersey. A rock at scrum time and part of the excellent maul defence. 7.5

Samisoni Taukei’aho. Accurate at set-piece time and repeatedly trampled over would-be tacklers. The future has arrived in the No 2 jersey, and he has two or three more gears left in him. 8

Ethan de Groot. A performance that said, ‘I belong here’. Had the better of the early scrum exchanges but the momentum began to swing when the Springboks changed two-thirds of their front row before halftime. 7.5

PICTURE | FORMER SPRINGBOK SHOCKINGLY ASSAULTED AFTER MBOMBELA TEST

Bench:

Codie Taylor. Energetic 25 minutes as part of an impressive bench effort. 7

George Bower. Carried hard in the final stages as the All Blacks sensed a famous victory and raised the pressure on the Springboks. 7

Fletcher Newell. On for his debut after 55 minutes and shelled a tough pass from Whitelock in the phase that led to Beauden Barrett’s yellow card but redeemed himself with some telling touches in the buildup to Havili’s matchwinner. Looked at home. 7

Tupou Vaa’i. Came on for last three minutes only. N/A

Akira Ioane. Made some telling carries against the tired Springboks in a good 21 minutes. 7

Finlay Christie. Provided tempo in the last 12 minutes. N/A

Beauden Barrett. Replaced Clarke for the last 20 minutes, with Jordie Barrett moving to the wing. Shown a yellow card for impeding halfback Jaden Hendrikse when the All Blacks were under pressure. N/A

Quinn Tupaea. Some solid carries in his 12 minutes on the field. N/A

READ | SPRINGBOKS TO RETURN TO THE HOME OF RUGBY TO TAKE ON ENGLAND



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