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How the All Blacks rated against England

Last updated 05:00 03/12/2012

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Fairfax rugby reporters Toby Robson and Liam Napier grade the All Blacks' performance against England at Twickenham.

Israel Dagg: 6

Went solo on counter-attack too often. Was caught out of position by some astute tactical kicking from the English and sliced a couple of clearing kicks under pressure.

Cory Jane: 7.5

After a horrid start where he missed a tackle, threw a pressure pass to Ma'a Nonu and kicked out on the full, Jane was superb. Had a role in all three tries.

Conrad Smith: 6

Cleaned up a lot of shoddy passes by taking the ball into contact and twice provided quick hands for tries. Made a blunder when he rushed out of the line, thinking Kieran Read had his inside when second-five Brad Barritt strolled through.

Ma'a Nonu: 6.5

Huge workrate. Had to deal with static, backward ball but attempted to make the best of a bad situation. Part of a midfield that was overshadowed though.

Julian Savea: 7

Another test, two more tries. Like Dagg, guilty of being individualistic at times but was solid under the high ball.

Dan Carter: 5

Something wasn't right with the off-kilter playmaker. He didn't admit to a ginger Achilles, but two pulled regulation kicks suggest otherwise. Unforgivably missed tackle on Tuilagi and, behind well beaten pack, there was no sign of his running game.

Aaron Smith: 6

Tailing form continued. Late to breakdown and wild passes contributed to a sub-par performance. Wasn't helped by timid forward display.

Kieran Read: 6

Not his usual high standard. Read has shouldered a massive workload this year and may have hit the wall. He gifted Tuilagi a try with an intercept pass and made a couple of defensive errors.

Richie McCaw: 6

Well looked after by England's loose trio. Didn't have his usual influence at the breakdown. Ran hard and defended with determination but quiet by his standards.

Liam Messam: 6

Went largely unnoticed throughout, other than looking after the bloke who manhandled Carter. A more physically imposing performance was required.

Sam Whitelock 5.5

Safe at kick-off reception and got one steal off in the lineout, but part of a well-beaten and out-muscled engine room.

Brodie Retallick 5

Being pulled just after half-time in search of more physicality wasn't a good sign. Didn't dominate the collisions but continues to have high energy and worked hard off the ball.

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Owen Franks 5

Had a tough time with English loose-head Alex Corbisiero and, like Retallick, was pulled early in the second half.

Keven Mealamu 5

Short of a gallop after returning from injury. Easily contained with ball in hand and his opposite, Tom Youngs, was man-of-the-match.

Tony Woodcock 7

Probably the only tight forward to emerge with the ledger square. Had a ding dong battle with impressive tighthead Dan Cole. Carried strongly and defended the fringes with vigour.

Reserves:

Victor Vito: 5

Few good charges off the bench but needed more time to get into match.

Charlie Faumuina: 4

Test had opened up by the time he arrived. Hard for a prop to stand out in those circumstances.

Piri Weepu: 5

Had minimal ball to work with and, as was the case in Cardiff, spent much of his stint defending.

Luke Romano: 4

Turned to for physicality but couldn't find or puncture any holes in rock-solid England defensive line.

Dane Coles: 5

Sharp impact in the final 20 minutes, produced a strong fend and featured regularly in general play.

Wyatt Crockett: 4

Gave away a penalty by intentionally knocking ball down. Limited impact.

Not rated: Ben Smith

- Fairfax Media

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