Monday, 24 September 2007

All Blacks V Scotland: NZ Player Ratings

Fullback: Leon MacDonald 6/10: Held the Scottish defence beautifully to set up Howlett’s first try. Unfortunately - injured for his troubles and subbed by Evans in the first ten.

Wing: Doug Howlett 9/10: Another cracker game. One of the few ABs that didn’t let himself down with butterfingers. Went looking for the ball and suitably rewarded with two test tries and the record for most tries ever scored by an All Black – stripping Christian Cullen of his longstanding record.

Centre: Conrad Smith 6/10: Left out for large parts of the test. Didn’t do much to make you feel either way he had a good or bad game at centre.

Inside centre: Luke McAlister 7/10: Some good breaks and crunching defence. Beginning to show why he is preferred inside centre to Mauger. But does he have the tactical mind that Mauger brings to both the All Blacks and Carter's game?

Wing: Sitiveni Sivivatu 3/10: Absolute crap. Terrible finishing and I have no tolerance for wingers who fumble the ball. Especially All Black wingers. Bring back Joe.

Flyhalf: Dan Carter 6/10: Opposition defences have worked him out recently. And they target him. His goal kicking percentages were poor. Hopefully just an off-night.

Halfback: Byron Kelleher 7/10: Some good kicking out of hand but some fumbles too. I don’t believe his form as is sharp as in recent years. Scored a strong try though.

Number 8: Rodney So'oialo 7/10: A tireless worker. Needed to have more vision at the back of such a dominant All Black scrum. Some good things but some bad things too.

Flanker: Richie Mccaw 8: Tireless as ever.

Flanker: Chris Masoe 7/10: Had a good game. Don’t know whether I would have awarded him man of the match. Definite improvement from his game in Portugal. Some storming runs and great tackles.

Lock: Reuben Thorne 6/10: Another hard worker. Got his fairshare of lineout too. As usual – more a behind the scenes worker than a flashy show pony.

Lock: Ali Williams 8/10: I think this guy adds x-factor to the ABs and we need someone like that at lock. We missed him when he was injured during the Tri-Nations. It wasn’t the perfect game by a long shot but he popped up in the right places. Great try too.

Prop: Tony Woodcock 8/10: One of the few All Blacks that I think is really on-form at the moment. He has played well all year. A strong outing.

Hooker: Anton Oliver 6/10: I know, I know. The front row had it over the Scots, but so they should have against a tartan B team. I don’t think Oliver should be in the starting 15 when we get to the quarters.

Prop: Carl Hayman 7/10: Seems to get more belligerent every time I watch him. One of the star men in the All blacks and rightfully so. I still worry about his discipline in the big games.

Notable Mentions

Nick Evans: Came on for McDonald. Can find a gap and has great acceleration. A useful back up at fullback – especially with his prodigious punt.

Sione Lauaki: Had a few storming runs in the dying minutes of his impact time. But you would expect your granny to have a storming run against a depleted Scottish side after they’ve tackled their intestines out for 70 minutes. He has yet to prove himself at test level as far as I’m concerned.

Andrew Hore: I believe he has really stood up in the last couple of games and is showing a lot of promise. Prefer him to Oliver by a country mile, (but Mealamu is still my main man). Still angry at him about the seal episode.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wot? Only 9/10 for Doug?