Opinion: All Blacks vs Springboks Rugby Championship test player ratings

OPINION: Newshub sports producer Brad Lewis breaks down the All Blacks' performance at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, where they were beaten 36-34 by the Springboks.

15. Jordie Barrett - 6

Not a great night for Jordie. Was in the right place for the opening try but it feels like he isn't there at the moment, and his horror quick-lineout throw shifted the momentum. Move 'Bender' to fullback, please.

14. Ben Smith - 8

Was out-of-this-world in the first 20 minutes. Has been the All Blacks' best all season, and last night was no different.

13. Anton Lienert-Brown - 5

At fault with a poor pass that led to Cheslin Kolbe's try and surprisingly had a few other sketchy defensive moments.

12. Ryan Crotty - 7

It was very nerve-wracking watching him every time he went into contact. Crotty was excellent throughout and was super busy with the ball in hand.

His combination with Jack Goodhue is excellent - the ABs looked better when they were on the park together.

11. Rieko Ioane - 6

Scored a try he had no right in scoring. Was left red-faced a couple of times on defence last night, but looked to be the ABs' best weapon until McKenzie came on.

Rieko Ioane.
Rieko Ioane. Photo credit: Photosport

10. Beauden Barrett - 5

Ouch. Always maintained that his goal-kicking would cost us a test, and that was the case last night. His general play wasn't all that bad, but you can't look past his awful display with the boot. Talkback radio will be a fun place to be today.

9. Aaron Smith - 5

One of his least-effective tests. Was outplayed by Faf de Klerk, who haunted Smith around the fringes. His passing lacked its usual zip.

Kieran Read - 6

His playing performance was probably more near an 8, but two things let him down. One: where was the instruction for the drop goal? Two: should have replaced Barrett with Damian McKenzie's boot in the second half. Played well, but lacked leadership at the end.

7. Sam Cane - 5

Was missing all night. Noticeable difference in the ABs' go-forward when Savea replaced him. Doesn't do enough as a ball runner and struggles for metres when he does run.

Sam Cane.
Sam Cane. Photo credit: Photosport

6. Liam Squire - 6

Was a defensive rock during his stay and is a decent lineout option. As with Cane, he struggled to make an impact with ball-in-hand.

5. Scott Barrett - 6

Ran out of puff in the second half. The selectors should leave him at lock until he's fully developed on the side of the scrum where he ended the game. Made a few handling errors, which were out of character.

4. Sam Whitelock - 6

Defended superbly and is a lineout beast. For once he lacked a bit physically with the ball when the ABs needed to be aggressive at contact.

3. Owen Franks - 6

Tacked himself to a standstill. Scrum was in control when he left the field.

2. Codie Taylor - 8

Another top-notch effort from the Crusaders hooker. He stepped up from a toughness perspective last night. Taylor continues to develop superbly in 2018 in the absence of Dane Coles.

Karl Tu'unukuafe.
Karl Tu'unukuafe. Photo credit: Photosport

1.Karl Tu'unukuafe - 7

That one-handed run was epic but his job is to scrum, and he also did that well. Provided punch around the ruck as well.

16. Liam Coltman - N/R

17. Tim Perry - N/R

18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi - 5

Multiple handling errors close to the line cost his side momentum. Scrum lost itself a bit when he came on.

19. Patrick Tuipuloutu - 5

Mixed showing. Provided much-needed physicality on arrival, but his hands let him down at least three times. It's good to see him back in black though as he provides something different than what our other locks do.

20. Ardie Savea - 7

Made an impact, and that is his job from the bench. Two very good back-to-back weeks for Savea.

Ardie Savea.
Ardie Savea. Photo credit: Photosport

21. TJ Perenara - 8

Followed up his best-ever test with his best bench performance. It's the first time in recent memory where Perenara has completely outshone Smith. He should start in the next All Blacks test.

22. Jack Goodhue - 7

Goodhue made a real impact when his number was called. The best centre in the country.

23. Damian McKenzie - 7

He was superb when replacing Barrett. If Shag and co want to rest Ben Smith next time out, McKenzie has earned a start in my opinion - yes he lost the ball in contact at the end, but provided the spark that got the ABs back in the game.

Brad Lewis is a Newshub sports producer.