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All Blacks v Canada - player ratings

opinion

By Alex Coogan-Reeves

Published: 7:40PM Sunday October 02, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

All Blacks' player ratings from their win over Canada today.

15 - Mils Muliaina 7/10
It was a solid performance from the custodian in his first opportunity of the World Cup. He was solid as ever at the back and was rewarded for his good work with a try. Mils should get the opportunity to bring up the century in next weekend's quarterfinal, especially with and injury cloud hovering over Israel Dagg. He was replaced by Piri Weepu in the 51st minute.

14 - Israel Dagg 7.5/10
It was another strong performance from one of the All Blacks' World Cup stand outs. He took his try-scoring tally to five with a good finish to a move from his mate Zac Guildford. Dagg hobbled off the field in the 48th minute with another injury worry. Graham Henry will be desperately hoping it's nothing too serious.

13 - Conrad Smith 7.5/10
Smith is known for being Mr Consistent in the All Blacks' backline and his effort today was no different. He worked well in midfield with Sonny Bill Williams, most notably when he ran a beautiful line onto a trademark offload to set up Jimmy Cowan for a try.

12 - Sonny Bill Williams 8/10
It's no surprise to see SBW as the top offloader today with four. He also had a brilliant day with the ball in hand making two clean linebreaks and showing his speed and power down the flank to score his fourth Test try. Cameo performances off the bench still look likely to be his lot in the business end of the tournament.

11 - Zac Guildford 9/10
With out a doubt this was Guildford's best game in the black jersey. Whether it was scoring tries or setting them up, the Hawke's Bay winger could hardly put a foot wrong. He has certainly given the coach something to think about when he mulls over his outside back selections for the quarterfinal.

10 - Colin Slade (Goal-kicking 5/9) 6.5/10
There's no doubt that Slade was the most scrutinised man on the park tonight, with Dan Carter's tournament-ending injury thrusting him into the spotlight. He looked to be in trouble when his first kick of the match was charged down, but he recovered well. His combination with Guildford was a highlight as he attacked beautifully. However his goal kicking is a real worry and while the eight points he missed matter little today, it could be the winning or losing of a match in knockout footy. Moved out to the wing in the 51st minute and limped off the field in the dying stages of the match in what we can only hope was a precautionary move.

9 - Jimmy Cowan 5/10
Not the best performance from the Southland halfback in his 50th Test match. A poor pass just after halftime resulted in seven points to Canada and his service wasn't overly reliable all night. He remains third choice halfback after Weepu and Andy Ellis, but Weepu's ability to play first five-eighth may give Cowan a lifeline.

8 - Kieran Read 7/10
It was a solid return from injury for Read as he played a strong 50 minutes. He was all over the park and the most pleasing aspect of his performance was that he got through it!

7 - Victor Vito 7.5/10
A great performance Vito when you consider he was called in late to play a position that is fairly foreign to him. He showed his strength with the ball in hand throughout the match, scoring two tries, although he did spill it on a couple of occasions. He even did a Radike Samo and filled in on the wing when Slade had to leave the field in the final minutes.

6 - Jerome Kaino 9.5/10
It's becoming more and more apparent how important Jerome Kaino is to this All Blacks pack. The blindside flanker was an absolute monster all around the park. Whether it was carrying the ball, making tackles or hitting the breakdowns he was everywhere. Won man of the match and even scored a couple of tries.

5 - Ali Williams 6/10
His lineout work was exceptional as always, but his game around the park wasn't quite up to scratch. Williams was responsible for three of the All Blacks' 14 handling errors.

4 - Sam Whitelock 6/10
Was also good in the lineout, but let himself down spilling two restart receptions. They are mistakes than can be fatal when playing against more competitive opposition. Played at blindside flanker after Kieran Read left the field early in the second half.

3 - Owen Franks 8/10
Was a significant part of a front row that absolutely destroyed the Canadians at scrum time. He was replaced by his brother Ben on the 56 minute mark before coming back on when Tony Woodcock was involved in a head on collision.

2 - Andrew Hore 7/10
Hore will have enjoyed that his first experience as All Blacks captain was a winning one and he seemed to lead the side well. His line out work was also efficient. Was replaced in the final stages by Keven Mealamu.

1 - Tony Woodcock 8/10
Woodcock's scrummaging was strong all afternoon, as was his play around the field throughout the match. Was involved in a nasty head clash with Canada's Adam Kleeberger in the 74th minute which ended his match.

Reserves:

16 - Keven Mealamu - Made a brief cameo in the final stages.
17 - Ben Franks - Played the final 20 minutes and continued the dominance at scrumtime.
18 - Brad Thorn - In one of the strangest substitutions in the history of Test rugby, Thorn replaced Colin Slade when he went off injured in the 65th minute. Was a workhorse - as you'd expect.
19 - Anthony Boric - Replaced Kieran Read in the second half and had a solid if unspectacular game.
20 - Andy Ellis - Replaced Cowan in the second half and offered better service from the base of the rucks.
21 - Piri Weepu - An assured performance off the bench at first five-eighth. His deft touches set up two tries and he slotted four conversions, including one from the sideline. Could well be the man who wears No 10 for the rest of the tournament.
22 - Isaia Toeava - Replaced Israel Dagg in the second half, but never really made an impression.

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