RWC 2011: New Zealand Player Ratings v Australia

New Zealand:

15. Israel Dagg – 7

Excellent work from the full back. He was dangerous with the ball in hand, frequently exploiting gaps in the Australian defensive line.

14. Cory Jane – 7

I have seen many references to the aviator circulating about Cory Jane’s performance under the high ball. In addition to this, he was full of little chips and kicks that kept the Australian defence on the back foot.

13. Conrad Smith – 6

Whilst not as starry as his colleagues in the backs, Conrad Smith had a great game. Plenty of physicality in his attack, and plenty more in defence.

12. Ma’a Nonu – 8

May have just become something of a hero in New Zealand, scoring the only try of the game. Was everywhere on the pitch, in attack and defence.

11. Richard Kahui – 6

Like Conrad Smith, he had a quieter game than his colleagues, characterized by a few mistakes, but still very solid.

10. Aaron Cruden – 7

Considering his inexperience Aaron Cruden, at times, displayed a calm and control that fly halves with treble his experience could learn from. A well-kicked drop goal kept New Zealand ahead, however he later missed a penalty.

9. Piri Weepu – 7

Not as accurate with the kicks this week as he was last week, but he was still in fine form. Troubling the Australians whenever and wherever he could.

8. Kieran Read – 7
After this performance I am really looking forward to seeing Read v Harinordoquy. Read was consistent with his tackles, had impeccable timing and was an all round asset to the team.

7. Richie McCaw (captain) – 8

Silencing those who had questioned his fitness again this week, a real force on the field, another player who was everywhere, at all times.

6. Jerome Kaino – 7

Worked incredibly hard throughout the game. Made a great tackle on Digby Ioane, that stopped an Australian try.

5. Sam Whitelock – 7

Another solid showing from Sam Whitelock, using his bulk and strength to repeatedly attack the Australian lines.

4. Brad Thorn – 8

The All Blacks certainly had the stronger lineout, and Brad Thorn was a big part of that. This was a great performance from Thorn.

3. Owen Franks – 7

The New Zealand front row are certainly a powerful trio, and during this game Franks demonstrated his importance to this. Fearsome in the scrum, and there will be plenty of Australian players nursing a bruise or two thanks to some huge tackles from this man.

2. Keven Mealamu – 7

Another big part of the successful All Black lineout, Mealamu was committed and forceful throughout the game.

1. Tony Woodcock – 7

Dominant in the scrum, and in the loose. Woodcock showed his class in this game.


16. Andrew Hore (64, Keven Mealamu) continued where the man he was replacing left off. Solid and sure.

17. Ben Franks (79, Owen Franks) with only a minute of play left to go, Franks had no time to impact on the game.

18. Ali Williams (57, Sam Whitelock) slotted seamlessly into the side, with a high calibre performance.

19. Victor Vito (79, Jerome Kaino) again, no time to impact.

20. Andy Ellis (57, Piri Weepu) this substitution was reversed when Ellis took a hit to the face, and had to go off to receive treatment.

21. Stephen Donald – Not used

22. Sonny Bill Williams (72, Ma’a Nonu) He came on, and then was promptly sent back off for not wrapping in the tackle.

by Christine Lester

35 thoughts on “RWC 2011: New Zealand Player Ratings v Australia

  1. Thanks to Bryce the world can not take the outcome of RWC 2011 seriously and all attempts to make RWC 2011 a success by New Zealand has been in vain after Bryces inability to do his job in the game between Australia and South Africa. Unfortunately who ever wins the RWC 2011 will sense it to be a hollow victory knowing that they were robbed of the opportunity to try take the title from the real champions the Boke. So the South Africa team and public should hold there heads high they are still the champions! Call it a dead heat. Till the next RWC hopefully we will see a true display of an amazing game.

  2. Very tough on Jane and Dagg who were both 8s. Kahui a poor 5. Smith a 7 – his tackling was immense, especially his one handed takedown in the last 10 minutes. If McCaw’s game wasn’t a 9/10, what is?

  3. Cramps

    I know the truth about the RWC 2011 hurts you can thank Bryce for that my boy. Did you watch how the fool took deciding who should win into his own hands? This is a sport we all love and he has no respect for rugby. Would NZ not have cherished a victory over South Africa (the current RWC title holders) more then Australia who we all know are not as good as South Africa?

    Or was there bribery?
    Maybe NZ was afraid of South Africa knowing that they are the stronger more experienced team?

    1. Shaun, Australia has beaten South Africa something like six of the last seven times they’ve played.

      Just let it go buddy. Just let it go.

  4. Cramps my boy….

    That is not true buddy. Try pull the wool over someone else’s eyes. Here are the facts, let me school you my boy, South Africa out played Australia and were robbed of a place in the semis by a blind fool who will probably never ref another world cup game again in his life unless he does some serious career maintenance…

    There are the facts.

    My boy……

    1. Chill out, South Africa were beaten fair and square. Yeah it was a close game but Australia won, and that is that. And i dont think the All Blacks care about who they play, they seem pretty untouchable.

      As previously said Jane and Dagg both deserve 8’s, McCaw a 9, he was outstanding, and an 8 for Mr Cruden, who has done pretty well considering he was the 3rd choice fly half.

  5. Yeah, it was very close, the aussie defense was quality.
    Dude I’m english, i am mega gutted that we went out early. But i joined into the spirit of the competition and supported Wales, who lost. There was no point in being saw.

  6. Have you seen all of the people who are complaining about the poor calls made by Bryce and there are a lot of them who are not South African. There are a lot of articles posted by professional rugby players and commentators who say the outcome of that game should have been different and that the ref made many poor calls which robbed SA of the victory they deserved. If the ref had called the game correctly the ausies would have lost by a large margin unless they stopped infringing in the breakdown…..

    I am providing you with facts. I don’t want to change your mind I just want people to see the truth.

  7. I guess that was fair enough, although nothing you have said has actually been fact. And you accusing the ref of bribery is completely unfounded. A real rugby man wouldn’t ever say that.

    1. Shaun, you wouldn’t be related to Peter de Villiers per chance? Your posts certainly seem to make about as much sense as his frequent outbursts!

      In all seriousness, this rubbish about Bryce Lawrence being paid off is just that – rubbish. In fact, if you’d asked I’m sure most Kiwis would have preferred to meet South Africa in the semis as they are more predictable (and I mean that in a good way) than Australia, who can run very, very hot or very, very cold. There’s certainly no giant, nationwide conspiracy to avoid playing South Africa as has been implied!

    2. Shaun, I have played rugby since the age of 8, played provincial level in NZ, and still play club rugby now. A basic fact of the game is that each and every ref, being human, calls the grey areas of the game slightly differently and in order to increase your chances of winning the game you need to play to the ref. The breakdown is the primary grey area in rugby.

      The way that Mr Lawrence called this game in particular gave the defensive ball fetchers an advantage as he had a tendency to allow players who weren’t the tacklers to attempt to steal the ball with their hands when other refs would have said the ruck had already formed. The problem for SA was that they didn’t have a dedicated ball stealer on the field once Brossouw left the field whereas Australia still had Pocock, which gave Australia the advantage due to the way the ref called the game.

      As good as Pocock is though SA still should of won the game and the responsibility for the loss lies on the shoulders of both the players and the coach.

      The coach could have come up with a better strategy for taking Pocock’s ball pilfering skills out of the equation but running at him and forcing him to tackle which would have put him on the ground and not allowed him to ‘bridge’ immediately. He could have also have gotten the players to play so that the support players were right up the ball carriers backside so to speak, to drive Pocock or the other players off the ball.

      The players could have taken drop goals and should have scored at least another try. They could have used their powerful maul to greater effect. They could have gotten more players in to support Jean de Villiers who was fantastic but wasn’t enough by himself. They missed an opportunity to score a try but made a basic mistake in passing the ball forward. They made another crucial mistake in not keeping the ball secure 5 metres from their own try line (Du Prez could have box kicked it out and the Boks probably could have won the ball back with their superior lineout).

      At the end of the day they just weren’t clinical enough and small mistakes cost them the game. Full stop.

      I have a huge amount of respect for the Springboks as a rugby team but am confident they wouldn’t have beaten the All Blacks on Sunday night either, given the way the All Blacks played. I think losing Frans Steyn was a bigger blow to SA than losing DC was to NZ.

      I know it is hard (losing to France last time was a bitter pill for me to swallow) but please pick yourself up and look at the positives: Lambie, F & M Steyn, Bismarck and others are fantastic players and will be even better next time with 4 more years of experience.

      And anyway, the worst that can happen is that NZ can equal the number of RWC caps that SA already has. There is also a chance that that might not even happen.

      And if worst comes to worse and you still can’t move on, then lets just assume that Bryce Lawrence is a cheating Kiwi and we’ll call it even for Suzie ;-D.

  8. I reckon there have been heaps of bad calls in this world cup, but that is sport.
    No one cared but the Kiwis after the shocking performance of Wayne Barnes in the 2007 game when they should have gone through to the semi finals.
    It happens and only time will heal the wound, but SA had all the territory and possession and still couldnt do it, so they should have a good hard look at themselves and think about the style they are playing.
    The winner of knock out rugby have to be able to change the game plan when things are not going their way, and I know its hard ( like the Welsh found out) when descisions dont go your way but……………

    1. yeah but it’s also more simple than that in a way. Every WC winning team has always had a great fly half there til the end. Priestland was shaping up to be one but who’s to say he wouldn’t have bottled in the France game. France have Parra, Trinh-Duc and Yashvilli and they’re all top class. You have to always have a first-rate kicker on the field who will kick the penalties and get you over the line. Jones and Hook didn’t deliver for Wales, and Priestland who wasn’t there, wouldn’t necessarily have either. You need drop-goal specialists with balls who will take on the tough kicks.Of course, this is all still assuming you can score tries if you need to score them. SA lack in the try scoring department against tough teams. They were lucky to get a try at the end against Wales, and failed against Australia. It was Australia that got the try against them.

  9. No matter how many shots you guys take at me personally it does not change the facts which show that game to be false. There are no facts to prove that Bryce was paid off but there are many facts to show that his calls were wrong and that SA were denied two trys. How many more should the Boks have gotten if the game was reffed correctly. Do your self a favor watch that game again and analyze his decisions to see if they were true. Do you know the rules? A Rugby team should not have to play according to the type of ref but according to the rules. This is not soccer! Rugby is a hooligans sport played by gentleman.

    The IRB needs to come up with a solution to this problem of poor reffing , let the touch judges and TV reff have more of a say so they can over rule bad calls.

    What are we teaching the youth? If you are unjust you can be an achiever and that cheaters do prosper….

    1. That article you posted was just a rant, again just someone’s opinion. I dont doubt there were some bad calls during the match, but that is the same with almost every match in this world cup. And it always will be with a sport like rugby where there are many different calls or intepretations for a situation. The aussies were the better sportsman, and the won. And it wasnt fluke either seeing as the aussies have beaten the boks several times in recent ecounters.

  10. Chris you clearly do not know the rules of the game and have not analyzed that game at all. Your opinion there for is useless. If you were a neutral supporter you would join the masses of people that think Bryce is a fool who should never ref again and that the Bokke clearly deserved that victory and there for in many peoples eyes the result of this world cup is false. Pity then for France who might catch NZ choking again….

  11. Whereas you just simply cant accept the fact the boks lost. Knock out rugby is a tough sport, and if you as a fan cant hack it then dont watch it, and certaintly dont pressume to tell anyone there opinion is worthless. I haven’t personally insulted you, so i dont see why you say something like that. This is a rugby blog and i think most readers would appreciate it if you could keep it that way.

  12. Come now kids, let’s not get into mud slinging. I personally think Shaun makes some very good points. Chris you are also right that there have been many bad calls in this RWC however I think we need to highlight the fact that the other bad calls were made in pool matches and non of them were match altering changes to the extent of the bok wallaby game. I don’t believe it is right to have such a low standard of refing in a knock out match, especially not one as important as a world cup quarter final. I sypothise with the Kiwi’s for their ref call in their quarter a few years back against the french. I really felt sorry for them, the difference I think between these 2 games is that the NZ game was 1 single terribly horrific call. The springbok ausie game was repeatedly bad calling and inconsistency… At the end of the day there is nothing we can do about it, its part of history now, it will go down as the worst reffed game in WCR history. I think that’s a fair reason to take a refs whistle away though??? Any thoughts on that?

    1. One wrong call you must be joking.
      The French were not penalised once in the second half of the game, and the penalty count in the first half was something like 10-2 with the All Blacks being hammered in that count and the French let off.
      The sin binning of Luke was a farce, not to mention the forward pass that won them the game.
      Wayne Barnes and the touchies destroyed the game.
      It was interesting to see that Barnes was demoted from international duties after his performance, I wonder if they will do the same to Bryce.
      The difference being that Bryce is and was a tested international ref, and Barnes had about 2 games under his belt.
      I think there should be an independant reveiw of performances carried out by a select panel, not the IRB appointed refs council.

  13. Truth tends to hurt.
    Accept the fact that Bryce hacked ,not the first time. sorry for getting personal I thought It was you Chris that originally got personal when it was Mars.

    You still need to watch that game again.
    Yes South Africa is out that can not be changed. The problem is that the mistakes made by Bryce have not been sorted out and IRB has problems to fix…

    1. Shaun,

      The truth does hurt. South Africa lost and Australia were lucky to go through to the semis, no one is denying that.

      Yet, there are some truths that you need to face.

      1 South Africa is not the best team in the world, they have been beaten consistently (home and away) by both Australia and New Zealand since 2007.

      2 South Africa received the benefit of a questionable refereeing decision against Wales in the pool match. That was not a match South Africa deserved to win, yet they did.

      3 Australia were not favoured by the referee. Have a look at Burger’s repeated infringement and then eye gouge of David Pocock in the 57th minute. It was worth at least a penalty, if not further sanction.

      4 No one cares who the winner of the RWC beats to get the title. Case in point, South Africa did not have to beat New Zealand or Australia to win in 2007. And why should they? If they couldn’t make the distance.

      5 Rugby is a man’s game. Being a man of character involves accepting decisions that go against you and moving on. South Africa have the opportunity to reflect that maybe the ‘experience’ of the side meant that older players past their peak should have made way for new blood, or that with such a large amount of possession, the team did not play smart enough to change tactics when plan A wasn’t working.

  14. Darren

    Great point…

    IRB has home work to do…….

    You would not want a repeat in the final and have the bad calls favor France would you?

    1. Don’t worry we have given all of the refs some spare sheep and possums that we had lying around, so they are all paid off. We might even throw in a few barrels of oil from a certain shipwrecked tanker as an extra incentive…

  15. Tana

    Thank you for your input I agree with you and you make a good point about the weaknesses of the SA team which are true.

    The calls on the, grey, area of the break down I don’t agree with as the calls were inconsistent. There for SA could not adjust to the refs idea of how a break down should be structured.

    Entering from the side of a ruck or is not allowed…

    The thing that really gets SA supporters upset is the inconsistency of Bryce which was blatantly clear in that game as seconds apart we saw the same infringements handled differently depending on which team was in the wrong.

    1. Fair enough Shaun, it is understandable that you are upset as a passionate supporter.

      As an aside, I was at Eden park on Sunday night for the AB vs WB game with an South African mate of mine. There were plenty of other Bokke supporters there too in their colours and it was great to see them proudly representing their country even though their team weren’t there. Even better was that most of them were cheering for the ABs and we can all guess why :-).

  16. That’s fantastic…..

    I pic NZ as my second team easily I enjoy the style of running rugby and there ability to almost always get over the advantage line with a mixture of brute force and talent, that is rugby.

    Did you happen to watch the South African curry cup match Sharks 3rd on the log vs Lions top of the log what an upset 53 – 9 to the Sharks now that the Spring boks are back in the team. It was as though they had learned something while in NZ.

    1. I didn’t manage to catch it unfortunately (there was far too much beer to be drunk in between the semis!). My mate will be well pleased with that result though as he is a Durban lad.

      One of the main NZ news sites was singing the Boks players’ praises for getting stuck straight back in to the local competition in such a short time – it’s the right attitude I say!


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