New Zealand 15 Lions 15: All Blacks player ratings

Aaron Smith remains the best scrumhalf in world rugby while Retallick and Whitelock immense

Jordie Barrett scores his try against the Lions on his first Test start. Photo:  Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Jordie Barrett scores his try against the Lions on his first Test start. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

 

Jordie Barrett - A 20-year-old with limitless potential but exposed behind the gainline by Jonathan Davies. Still, stunning leaps into the air, one which created the Laumape try, and streaking through for his own score promises a bright future. Rating: 7/10

Israel Dagg - Superb in the first half when he claimed every ball he sought, attacking and defending like an ox in wide channels, but like the collective seemed paralysed in the last quarter as the Lions turned it into a test match. Rating: 6/10

Anton Lienert-Brown - Serious talent, already nailed on as the All Black 13 - hence Fekitoa is Toulon-bound - with simple effective distribution, timing, gluey tackles and dominance over the ball. Rating: 7/10

Ngani Laumape - Ma’a Nonu reborn. Buckets of handling errors highlight a rawness but the offload leading to Barrett’s try was from the Sonny Bill locker. Long term resident as All Black 12 on view. Rating: 7/10

Julian Savea - Another hampered by uncharacteristic handling errors. Otherwise, the series would have had a bow on it by half-time. Still, his physical ferocity justified the recall. Rating: 6/10

Beauden Barrett - A stunningly gifted outhalf, with a better kick pass than distribution from hand, which the game has never seen before, and the pace of a gazelle. But the series hinged on his place-kicking, of which he failed to deliver to test match standard. Rating: 6/10

Aaron Smith - The best scrumhalf on the planet crown remains his. The pace generated from the base - albeit assisted by the brutality of his pack - makes New Zealand appear an unstoppable force. Unrivalled passer. Rating: 8/10

Joe Moody - Seemed to have Tadhg Furlong’s number in the first half scrums and increased his impact at the breakdown while adding nine tackles, a ridiculously high number for a prop. Rating: 7/10

Codie Taylor - Looked as active around the park as the flankers, outclassing his opposite number and finding his jumpers out of touch with 14 throws delivered to Kiwi paws.  Rating: 7/10

Owen Franks - Another scarred by last week as much as anyone, this crossfit session hit a new level and he put enormous pressure on Vunipola’s neck in the scrum. Unrelenting. Rating: 7/10

Brodie Retallick - Incredible, dominant figure in the collision zone - be it carrying or disrupting - and seemed the primary route New Zealand would take to securing the series. Somehow fate conjured up a draw. Rating: 8/10

Sam Whitelock - Sensational turnover of possession appeared to create enough momentum for New Zealand to plough on for a 2-1 series win but not even his monumental showing was enough. Rating: 8/10

Jerome Kaino - Accursed series for the great blindside. Forced off in second test due to Sonny Bill’s antics, a yellow card here landed at his feet for the forearm into Wyn Jones’s jaw but, otherwise, he was freakishly dominant. Rating: 7/10

Sam Cane - The tackle count (10), the turnovers (two), the physical presence are all in evidence but Richie McCaw he can never be, because nobody will repeat his majesty, his achievements. Rating: 7/10

Kieran Read - Haunted by McCaw’s shadow. Twice on separate Saturdays lost his composure with French referees as an utterly dominant All Black side had their grip on this series prised lose. “Mate. Aw,” was all he could say to an unbending Poite as it was confirmed that history will reflect cruelly of his captaincy. Rating: 6/10

Bench - Strength in depth is where New Zealand are supposed to be untouchable but the French-bound Cruden and Fekitoa were needed and were unable to make the difference. No All Black forward arrived to hurt the Lions. Rating: 4/10

Coach - Only Hilary Clinton could relate to the momentum swing. The mana ebbed away from these All Blacks ever since Steve Hansen expressed a conciliatory tone after Gatland’s clown treatment on the front page of the NZ Herald. Talk about blowback. Rating: 5/10

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