Lions tour: Opinion - All Blacks player ratings for the second Test

during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Westpac Stadium on July 1, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Photo credit: Getty Images

OPINION: The Lions evened up the ledger, sending us to a blockbusting decider in Auckland next week.

But given the incident that we dare to mention, that had such an impact, how did the All Blacks rate?

Joe Moody: 6 - was relatively unseen but was reliable as usual. Has shaped up as the All Blacks starting tight head and for good reason. Solid in contact and held the ball well when passed to him in close as the second pod.

Codie Taylor: 5.5 - didn't nearly have the same effect as he did last week and was unreliable with ball in hand at times. Still, his work rate is off the chain and he'll look forward to a big match in Auckland next time out.

Owen Franks: 7 - did another very good job on Mako Vunipola and asserted himself as one of the best props on the planet. Missed his pillar defense after he was substituted but with only 7 men in the scrum after Jerome Kaino was replaced, he can be very proud of his shift.

Brodie Retallick: 7 - tried his heart out but didn't get his own way with the forward pack down one for 60 minutes. Will be hurting after being held pretty well by Maro Itoje and you can expect him to be massive next week.

Brodie Retallick makes a crushing tackle on Owen Farrell
Brodie Retallick makes a crushing tackle on Owen Farrell Photo credit: Getty Images

Sam Whitelock: 5.5 - not his finest Test match but as it is with the rest of the All Blacks forward pack, it's hard to judge after going one man down. Was influential at the breakdown but wasn't as reactive as he could have been.

Jerome Kaino: 6 - hard to rate after tactically being subbed for Ngani Laumape after the red card. Will be hungry for the third Test where you can expect him to be huge. Fresh and fit which will be a positive for Steve Hansen and co.

Sam Cane: 8.5 - wow, what a player. After Kaino was replaced, he had to be bigger than he already was and boy did he put in a shift. Dangerous at the breakdown, great at setting up ball after he has a run, Cane is shaping up as every bit of the McCaw replacement he was originally billed as.

Kieran Read: 7.5 - the amount of work asked of him increased 10-fold after Kaino's substitution and, like an All Black captain, he came through well. His role was minimalised but he did everything he could.

Aaron Smith: 7 - you have to wonder whether he's as quick on his box kick as he could be but his decision making was fairly faultless. Milked a couple of penalties and played well in a team of 14 men. 

Beauden Barrett: 4 - game was ultimately won and lost on his boot. Three missed kicks on his home ground is unforgivable.

Beauden Barrett kicks three-points for the All Blacks
Beauden Barrett kicks three-points for the All Blacks Photo credit: Getty Images

Rieko Ioane: 5.5 - did what was required of him although the game never looked to be going his way. Needs to work harder at injecting himself into the game.

Sonny Bill Williams: 2 - game didn't go his way in the opening 20 and showed his frustrating with an errant shoulder. Should be cited and will likely miss 4-5 weeks. 

Sonny Bill Williams sees red for his tackle on Anthony Watson
Sonny Bill Williams sees red for his tackle on Anthony Watson Photo credit: Getty Images
A dejected Sonny Bill Williams leaves the field after the game
A dejected Sonny Bill Williams leaves the field after the game Photo credit: Getty Images

Anton Lienert-Brown: 7 - put in a shift on the side of the attacking scrum and tried to be inventive when the All Blacks went wide. He was badly let down by his center partner but did what he could.

Waisake Naholo: 5 - got involved early but as the game drifted away from him, he struggled to get involved. His work under the high ball is coming on well, you just wonder whether his one dimensional play will cost the All Blacks.

Waisake Naholo in the opening minutes of the Test match
Waisake Naholo in the opening minutes of the Test match Photo credit: Getty Images

Israel Dagg: 6 - did well under the high ball but gave Taulupe Faletau too much space when he should have come out to meet him. A big conundrum for Hansen next week is whether to keep him there or move Beauden to the back.

Nathan Harris: 5 - came on way too late to make a reasonable score.

Wyatt Crockett: 6 - the game seemed ready for him and he did well when he came on. Suspect pillar defense which arguably let in the Conor Murray try. Will be hungrier for next week

Charlie Faumuina: 5 - really tough on Faumuina to concede the match winning penalty after tackling a player who jumped to catch the ball as first receiver. Unlucky.

Scott Barrett: 7 - won a Lions lineout in the final five minutes to give the All Blacks a sniff at an unlikely penalty. Undoubtedly the All Blacks bench lock now and will be there when it counts next week.

TJ Perenara: 7 - when he came on, it was hard to see the All Blacks losing but he's only one man. The leadership and the game management he offers is irreplaceable.

Aaron Cruden: 6 - fans will criticise his choice to effect a wipers kick in the final few minutes with the game on the line but you have to have cojanes to attempt that kind of play. Arguably should have taken the kicking duties in the second half.

Ngani Laumape: 6 - ran hard but you can't help but feel he needs another dimension to his game. Brought on early and did exactly what was asked of him. Despite his contribution, I'd be surprised if he got another chance as the All Blacks need a player with a better range.

Matt Tewhatu is a digital sports producer for Newshub.