How the All Blacks rated against Wales

LIAM NAPIER AND TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012

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OPINION: Liam Napier and Toby Robson run the rule over the All Blacks after yesterday's win against Wales.

Israel Dagg 9

Superb match and not just on attack. Three try-saving tackles were a highlight. Showed strength in contact to break free and linked well with Julian Savea to spark Liam Messam's try of the season.

Cory Jane 6

Mostly left out of the action. Harsh yellow card for intentional knockdown the main gripe.

Conrad Smith 8

The constant professional in the middle of the park. Smith was, once again, the glue of the backline. He knows when to give the pass and when to take it into contact. .

Julian Savea 7

One fumbled high ball, and possibly could have veered in-field when bundled out in the corner, but full of energy, strength and great skills for a big man.

Ma'a Nonu 8

A powerful display. Invalided his opposite Jamie Roberts in the first quarter and broke the advantage line with ease after that. A key figure of the impressive first half.

Aaron Cruden 8

Lifted significantly from Rome, despite getting two days' notice after Dan Carter went down at training. Kicked 18 points, directed the team and fed his outsides.

Aaron Smith 6.5

Snappy delivery as the All Blacks' pack regained its dominance. Still got caught on the odd occasion and would be nice to see a sniping run but overall a solid return to form.

Kieran Read 7

Strong carries off the back of the scrum and crunching work at the breakdown. Fell off a couple of tackles late in the match but after a long season that's being rather picky.

Richie McCaw 9

A deserved man-of-the-match, McCaw ripped into everything. He is a reluctant spectator and clearly benefited from a week's rest.

Liam Messam 8

Never stopped running. Snuffed out a quick tap late in the second half with a powerful hit to highlight his growing vision and fitness levels, and carried strongly when required.

Sam Whitelock 7.5

Held his own in the lineout and featured prominently around the track. Carried strongly and knocked the Welshmen back around the fringes.

Luke Romano 7

Tends to get caught too high with ball in hand and was punished for this early on. Otherwise hard to fault. Will be happy to cross the chalk for his first international try.

Owen Franks 7

Physical presence at the breakdown for 50 minutes and pushed the Welsh scrum around the park. Surprising passing skills from first receiver in lead-up to Messam's try.

Andrew Hore 3

Not a lot needs to be said. The video footage tells the story.

Tony Woodcock 7

Limped off with a calf injury after 50 minutes but was a cornerstone of a dominant All Black scrum.

Dane Coles 6

Did enough in his 26-minute stint to prove to Steve Hansen he is ready to start against England if Keven Mealamu does not recover from his calf injury. Will definitely play all four tests. Not bad for a rookie.

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Beauden Barrett 5

Not his best test. Dropped one pass cold but hard to stamp his mark in 13 minutes. Played under duress after Carter pulled out late.

Brodie Retallick 6

Showed energy off the bench but his workload is being monitored after a huge season with the Chiefs.

Charlie Faumuina 5

Scrummed well for half an hour. Is keeping Owen Franks on his toes.

Wyatt Crockett 5

Decent impact from Hansen's special project but will never offer the same power as Woodcock.

Piri Weepu 5

The final 30 minutes didn't suit Weepu's strengths. The All Blacks were backpedalling and spent much of the last quarter defending.

Not rated: Ben Smith, Victor Vito.

- Stuff

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