All Blacks player ratings: Barretts and Telea shine, props fail in historic defeat

All Blacks' fullback Beauden Barrett and team-mates appear dejected after Rugby World Cup loss to France. Credit: Alamy
All Blacks' fullback Beauden Barrett and team-mates appear dejected after Rugby World Cup loss to France. Credit: Alamy

Following their first-ever defeat in a Rugby World Cup pool match, here is how we rated the All Blacks players who lost 27-13 to France.

Barrett stars at full-back

15 Beauden Barrett: One of the best All Blacks in defeat, Barrett looks to be getting back to his usual highs once again. He kicked brilliantly out of hand, covered the backfield superbly and racked up the most running metres in the match. He also set the tone for his performance with a stunning cross-kick for the opening try. 8

14 Will Jordan: The exciting winger tried to impose himself on the game and got it all wrong as he took Thomas Ramos out in the air twice. The first time he visited the sin bin, and while New Zealand conceded just three points while he was off the pitch, it was a momentum swinger. He managed to get his hands on the ball quite a bit but failed to make a telling impact besides collecting Ardie Savea’s chip through for Mark Telea’s second try. 4

13 Rieko Ioane: Superb break in the build-up to the opening try and threw the skip pass out to Telea for the second score. Two great moments from the centre, who also made a few good cover tackles on defence. 7

12 Anton Lienert-Brown: Fantastic hands to Ioane in the lead-up to the first try, but was nearly anonymous from there. He shifted the ball on more often than not and did not gain much when carrying the ball to the win. 4

Recording breaking Telea

11 Mark Telea: The scorer of the quickest first try in an opening Rugby World Cup match, dotting down 1.32 minutes into the encounter. That set the tone for his match as he went from strength to strength and was near flawless for the first time. He scored shortly after the break too, and was solid under the high ball. He shrugged off several tackles and enjoyed an excellent game until he got his read on Matthieu Jalibert all wrong for Damian Penaud’s second score. 7

10 Richie Mo’unga: A solid game from the pivot until the final quarter when it all came apart. He was beaten in the air by Melvyn Jaminet to seal the win. Before then, he kicked well and made an excellent try-saving tackle; that mattered little as Penaud would not be denied soon after. 6

9 Aaron Smith: Hassled and hurried Antoine Dupont during his time on the pitch, suffocating his opposite number at the back of the scrums. During his time on the pitch, New Zealand were in the game, and he limited Dupont’s impact with the picture changing when he departed. 7

Stand-in captain Savea

8 Ardie Savea: Stand-in captain, and while the number eight played to his usual high standard, he became the first All Blacks skipper to lose a World Cup pool stage match. He was accurate and sharp on both sides of the ball and produced a marvellous chip in the build-up to Telea’s second score.7

7 Dalton Papali’i: Shifted into his more favoured openside role after Sam Cane’s withdrawal, and he made a good fist of his opportunity in the starting XV. He hammered into tackles and was effective when taking the ball to the line, too, gaining over 30 metres. His one downside was his two penalties conceded. 6

6 Tupou Vaa’i: Elevated into the starting role after Cane’s late withdrawal and did not make the most of his chance. He split a pass badly that cost his side and made a poor pass. He missed a few tackles and didn’t carry to the line. 4

Underwhelming tight five

5 Scott Barrett: Like his older brother Beauden, Scott was one of the All Blacks best in defeat. He led the way on defence, pestered the breakdown and was tenacious on defence. He was a good lineout option too, and regularly dominated contact. 7

4 Sam Whitelock: The All Blacks veteran always gets through a heap of work, and the opener was no different. He relentlessly thundered into rucks and tackles and ran the lineout well. He did concede a silly penalty, but it was a solid shift from the experienced second-row. 6

3 Nepo Laulala: He had an uncomfortable day at the office in the scrums against Reda Wardi but managed to just about hang on at times. Got his hands on the ball more often than his fellow front-rowers and did gain some ground, but there is a clear drop in quality to Tyrel Lomax. 5

2 Codie Taylor: He was accurate at the lineout and with the All Blacks setting the platform for New Zealand’s first two tries. Taylor had precious few opportunities with the ball in hand but was one of the busier tacklers while on the pitch. 6

1 Ethan de Groot: The loosehead had a torrid time in the scrums where, by and large, Uini Atonio schooled him. He was under pressure, conceded two penalties in the first half, and did little around the park. 4

Replacements: Luke Jacobson was one of the few notable performers from the bench, with the replacements barely adding any bite or energy as France took control of the match and the outcome. 3

READ MORE: France hand the All Blacks their first-ever Rugby World Cup pool stage defeat

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