All Blacks player ratings: First England test

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 08:50 09/06/2014
Richie McCaw
Reuters

EARLY PASSION: The All Blacks showed some fire during the haka, but their performances generally fizzled from there.

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It wasn't the prettiest of performances from the All Blacks, so there are no 10 out of 10s this week. Here's how Stuff sports writer Toby Robson rated them out of 10:

Israel Dagg 5

Had some decent moments in attack, but several uncharacteristic handling errors included a spilt pass, a completely missed high ball.

Ben Smith 6

Great hands to put Conrad Smith over for the crucial late try and looked good running in the middle of the park. Didn't get many opportunities to counter attack and spilled one high ball.

Conrad Smith 7

Defensively strong as he tried to corral big opposite Manu Tuilagi and astute to position himself wide for the match winning try. One of the few All Blacks backs with real energy on the night.

Ma'a Nonu 5

Heavily marked by a borderline offside England backline. A poor kick out on the full and a wobbly old pass that Dagg spilled before being subbed. Has played better.

Cory Jane 5

Kicked away an early touch and barely saw the ball thereafter. Wasn't a game for wings, but probably could have got more involved.

Aaron Cruden 6

Took a huge gamble with his quick tap and won. Defended well, but option taking was rusty. Missed a huge overlap early when he turned the ball inside and some of his kicks were a tad aimless.

Aaron Smith 7

Nipped away and did his best to get the attack going on a difficult night. Like Cruden he didn't quite nail his kicking game.

Jerome Kaino 7

Made a big impact defensively all night and carried strongly in the second half. Good pace to get close to scoring only to knock on with the try line beckoning.

Richie McCaw 6

Nothing flashy, but a workman like performance in defence was important to the overall cause.

Liam Messam 5

Started reasonably well and defended strongly but seemed to fade into the back ground a little and was absent when Ben Morgan broke down the blind from a defensive scrum.

Sam Whitelock 6

Looks a little jaded after a huge season. Chugged away, but not with his usual niggly impact on proceedings.

Brodie Retallick 7

The usual workrate was there and a couple of huge plays in the second half when he grabbed back an All Black kick off, then bolted up field from a ruck to earn a penalty and a yellow card to England wing Marland Yarde.

Owen Franks 7

The scrum was a tad shaky, but the tighthead's defence was rock solid. Some crunching hits while he was on the field and must have had a high tackle count.

Dane Coles 6

Ripped around with plenty of intent, but like the rest of the pack lacked real impact. Lineout throwing was largely sound other than one over throw.

Tony Woodcock 5

Didn't really feature strongly in a match when the scrum was inconsistent throughout.

RESERVES

Beauden Barrett

Dropped his first high ball and didn't get too many opportunities after that.

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Malakai Fekitoa

Did nothing wrong on debut. Made his tackles and carried well a couple of times. Good start for a guy who played out of position in a pressure situation.

Charlie Faumuina

Part of an inconsistent scrum, but toiled well around the park.

Victor Vito

Added some spark. Playing some good rugby right now.

Keven Mealamu

Solid influence. Grabbed a turnover that won a penalty and tackled strongly.

Wyatt Crockett

Featured strongly around the park and added some energy off the bench. Reckoned he scored a try, but the TMO disagreed.

TJ Perenara

Finally off the mark in test rugby. A late kick out on the full put the All Blacks under pressure, but the rest of his game was solid.

- Stuff

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Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

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