The All Blacks squeezed past a plucky Barbarians side on Saturday. It was not their best performance, but it was a necessary stepping stone in their quest to build depth. While things didn’t go to plan for a few of the players, some put in a good account of themselves. Here is how we rated their performances:
David Havili: 5
Didn’t really set the field alight in his 45 minutes. Was one of several All Blacks who made a couple of errors during the match. Not his most memorable performance. He only gained nine total metres with ball in hand.
Waisake Naholo: 8
Dished up two wonderful offloads for the All Blacks first-half tries. Was a constant threat with ball in hand and showed wonderful awareness and power to handle himself in contact near the touchline. He was also solid on defence and a menace at the breakdown. Great performance.
Anton Lienert-Brown: 6
Did not get many opportunities in attack and though he made a few handling errors he cleaned up well when the ball was loose. Was good in defence and made more than his fair share of tackles.
Ngani Laumape: 8
Put in a polished shift. He displayed sheer power when he steamrolled over Richie Mo’unga for his try and then nearly forced his way over for a second one a few minutes later. Showed some deft touches in terms of his distribution, putting Vaea Fifita through a hole. A good performance.
Seta Tamanivalu: 7
Great in defence, containing Julian Savea and putting in some crunching tackles. Steven Luatua was on the receiving end of a superb hit of his in the second half. He made the most metres of the All Blacks with 84 to his name. Gave the first defender a hard time and pretty much always broke through the first tackle. A couple of errors, but on the whole a very promising performance.
Beauden Barrett: 6
Not the performance we expected from Beauden Barrett. Struggled in the miserable conditions and made a surprising number of error. Dropped balls and some aimless kicking plagued his performance. Not vintage Barrett at all.
TJ Perenara: 6
A fairly inconsistent performance from Perenara. His passing was not as accurate as usual and he threw two interceptions, one of which ended up in a try. Lacked patience and composure at times which was very uncharacteristic of him. He scored a try after getting on the end of a wonderful offload from Naholo.
Jerome Kaino: 6
Made 8 tackles in total and came off for Sam Cane after 45 minutes. Given how long it has been since he played this performance was to be expected. Not vintage Kaino but probably the last time we will see this sort of performance from him.
Ardie Savea: 7
Dynamic as ever in carrying the ball, he made life difficult for the Baa-Baa’s tacklers in the close exchanges. He also did well in defence, with a team-high 18 tackles, but didn’t make as many steals as we would have liked. Still a good performance from him.
Vaea Fifita: 7
Was on the end of a Naholo offload for a try and made what’s starting to look like a trademark bust for a long run. Was good in defence and really threw his weight around. Definitely an exciting young prospect.
Scott Barrett: 8
Carried well and really threw his weight around. He was very accurate with his cleaning at the breakdown and was physical in all areas. Defended well and made his hits count frequently. Good performance.
Luke Romano: 7
After a rather quiet first half, the big man fired into action in the second half. Used his bulk to good effect in his 13 carries and was as abrasive as ever.
Ofa Tu’ungafasi: 7
Scrummaged well and was particularly impressive in defence. Put in 15 tackles and was extremely physical.
Nathan Harris: 6
Scored a fortuitous try from a dropped high ball and his 100% success rate from the lineout means he executed his primary job well. Decent in defence but we would like to see more from him.
Kane Hames: 6
A decent 54 minutes from Hames. He made seven tackles and held up well at scrum time, but again we would like to see more from him in terms of ball carries.
Tim Perry: 6
Got a feel for it coming off the bench. Scrummed well and made his tackles.
Patrick Tuipulotu: 7
Did well when he came on for Scott Barrett and was his usual bullying self in defence.
Sam Cane: 8
Was influential when he came on for Kaino. Scored a try and provided some much-needed calm given the way things were going when he came on. Stellar cameo from Cane.
Tawera Kerr-Barlow: 8
Settled things down when he came on. He brought some good distribution and a rapid improvement in the All Blacks kicking game.
Lima Sopoaga: 6
Came on briefly in the first half as a blood sub for Barrett and then came on for Havili in the second half. Made some errors, most notably a bizarre missed touch kick just after he came on. Under plenty of pressure from Richie Mo’unga who is hot on his heels.
Matt Duffie: (67th minute sub)
Asafo Aumua: (67th minute sub)
Jeffery Toomaga-Allen: (67th minute sub)
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