TODAY |

Player ratings: All Blacks put in a supreme team effort against Italy but who stood out the tallest?

While the Italians were there to make up the numbers, the All Blacks were mechanical in the way they stuck to their systems and swept the floor with ten tries. It was a supreme team effort but who stood the tallest?

Damian McKenzie 7.5/10

Are we to take the very good with the average? Tries and creates so much there's invariably a few wobbles but his positive influence is contagious. Was overworked by the Italian kick addiction and returned the ball with variety and purpose. Belongs but not ready for the top tier just yet.

Israel Dagg 8/10

Dropped the mic at 50 minutes after an impressive stint. Allowed to stretch the legs, set up team mates and have a crack from deep.

Malakai Fekitoa 7.5/10

Two tries and some big hits in a game he needed to have. Pressure was off somewhat and he ran with more freedom.

Anton Lienert-Brown 8.5/10

Yes, it's only Italy but ALB showed what was missing in Chicago. Makes the smart decisions and knows exactly where his support is. Sees one play/five seconds ahead and now making a serious habit of creating tries.

Waisake Naholo 7.5/10

Surprisingly good under the high ball. Was round up adequately by the cover defence and perhaps should have made his way infield where a few gaps were opening up. Solid outing but likely to be No.23 or No.24 next week in Dublin.

Aaron Cruden 7.5/10

Puppeteer pulling all the strings. Showed the full arsenal of tricks from kicks, chips, steps and passes. Not everything went right but a lot did and he had more ball than usual. Trustworthy off the tee.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow 8.5/10

Passing was slick, made most of the breakdowns and kicking from hand was to script. Made a few nice bootlace tackles at the base of the ruck. Best Test in memory.

Steven Luatua 8/10

While he won't be usurping Captain Read he went a long way to staying in the mix. Huge work rate, some physicality as requested and lovely touches in contact. Lineout went excellently in a great return after two years.

Sam Cane 7/10

Will wish every Test was that undemanding. Able to take a back seat as far as damaging his body goes as his pack was in control at the breakdown from the first minute. Still a busy performer but there was less solo heroics and he can thank his seven mates.

Elliot Dixon 7.5/10

Branched out in the second half after a tradesman like first forty. Doing the business but hasn't come out of his shell yet.

Scott Barrett 8.5/10

How at home is this guy in the ABs' jersey?! Lusty barges over the advantage line, owning the lineout and chewing through everything else in the dossier.

Patrick Tuipulotu 8.5/10

Physical presence in the middle of the park and has the all-round game to challenge the incumbent pairing. Steals at both lineout and breakdown.

Charlie Faumuina 8.5/10

Like Crockett, added some pizazz to propping if that's even possible. Ran into slim holes, popped up some offloads, scored a try and nailed his core brief.

Codie Taylor 8/10

Only one lineout went south in an important match for him. Mobile and busy around the track and while he lacks the X-factor of his No.1 he proved he can handle the start. Brilliant skills on the side line to set up Luatua try.

Wyatt Crockett 9/10

Man of the Match. Made breaks, scored a try, set up a try and did everything else asked of him for an unheard of 70 minutes. Refreshing to see a change from the Franks/Moody snore fest.

November 12 2016 - Rome, Italy
Rugby test match Italy v New Zealand at Olimpico Stadium
In the photo Lima Sopoaga (A) 
Photo Matteo Ciambelli / Photosport
All Blacks first-five Lima Sopoaga. Source: Photosport

Subs:

Liam Coltman 7/10

Member of a scrum that started to bully and generally toed the line to give Aaron Smith instant ball.

Joe Moody n/a

Last ten minutes, bashed his way into rucks.

Ofa Tu'ungafasi 7.5/10

Quiet achiever. Dominant scrum, lineout ticked along and the ball at the breakdown kept coming back like a vending machine.

Brodie Retallick 7.5/10

Started with a handling error then made amends by becoming a playmaker. Heavily involved during his 25 minutes in prep for Dublin.

Matt Todd 8/10

International Test, Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy 12/11/2016
Italy vs New Zealand
New Zealand All Blacks Rieko Ioane scores a try
Copyright photo: Dan Sheridan / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand All Blacks utility back Rieko Ioane scores a try against Italy. Source: Photosport

Busy twenty minutes. Made busts and was the first man to many a breakdown. You get the sense he wouldn't let the team down in a World Cup Final.

Aaron Smith 8/10

Easy wins in the past has seen the last quarter turn into a carnival rabble but Smith kept the structures and continued the fine distribution. A healthy dart for Dixon's try will boost his confidence. Would it be such a bad idea to play him off the bench?

Lima Sopoaga 8/10

High cameo points. Took the ball to the line with authority and instigated plenty with his running game.

Rieko Ioane 7/10

Try on debut, some metres past the advantage line but mostly corralled on the right wing by the Italian slide. Didn't get a chance to show his straight line speed. Deserves a Test of substance to see where he's at. Paris in two weeks?