Brad Lewis: How the All Blacks rated against Italy

OPINION: The All Blacks demolished the Italian in Rome this morning in a bounce-back performance from last weekend's loss to the Irish.

Yes, the opposition was poor, but there were many standout performances in the dominant win.

15. Damian McKenzie - 9

Right place right time for his three tries, but he deserved the rewards. Was everywhere and pretty much mistake-free. Is developing nicely at the back with three solid tests in a row.

Jordie Barrett scored four tries for the All Blacks.
Jordie Barrett scored four tries for the All Blacks. Photo credit: Getty

14. Jordie Barrett - 8

Great confidence-booster for the Hurricanes utility. Has pace to burn and is as reliable as any in the world under the high-ball.

13. Anton Lienert-Brown - 8

Was a menace with ball-in-hand, breaking tackles for fun. Probably the most underrated player in the country, Lienert-Brown is 'Mr Reliable' for Steve Hansen.

12. Ngani Laumape - 8

Really enjoyed his combination with ALB. Has the ability to break any game open and his decision-making was excellent this morning.

11. Waisake Naholo - 6

One of those days when the other guys get all the plaudits. Play didn't really run his way, but he did a great job under Italian high-ball pressure.

10. Beauden Barrett - 7

Was a bit wayward with his kicking in the first half, but overall a vast improvement on last week. Excellent job in reading a cheeky Italian lineout move, running 50-odd metres to dot down, but his kick to brother Jordie at the end of the first half was a highlight.

TJ Perenara.
TJ Perenara. Photo credit: Getty

9. TJ Perenara - 8

Personally, his performances have surpassed Aaron Smith on this tour, but not sure the selectors see it that way. His pass was excellent this morning, and his energy on defence was noticeable.

8. Kieran Read - 7

Showed sublime deft hands in setting up McKenzie's first try, while he also played a part in a couple other attacking movements. Did his job superbly well in the lineout - nice bounce-back performance.

7. Ardie Savea - 7

After two stunning performances, Savea played within himself this morning, but he earned that right.

6. Vaea Fifita - 9

Wow. Unlimited potential in this guy. Has clearly worked hard on this tour given how much weight he appears to have lost. A couple of trademark runs that bear resemblance to the great Jonah Lomu. An in-shape Fifita is a dead-set certainty for the World Cup squad.

5. Scott Barrett - 6

Early handling error, but made up for it minutes later playing a role in the opening try. However, the mistakes did keep coming for the Crusaders lock, and there is a feeling he didn't kick on this year after a stellar performance in the series against France.

Patrick Tuipulotu in his second test start of 2018.
Patrick Tuipulotu in his second test start of 2018. Photo credit: Getty

4. Patrick Tuipulotu - 8

Like Fifita, the Auckland lock has really got himself in shape and he gives the selectors tremendous options in the locking position.  Couple handling errors aside, Tuipulotu was excellent this morning. Great ball handler.

3. Nepo Laulala - 6

Not really required at scrum time given the ABs' dominance around the park. The depth in the front row for the ABs is ridiculous at the moment.

2. Dane Coles - 9 

Did a great job in looping around Scott Barrett on a superb set-piece play to setup the Abs' first try and played his hand in a couple other try scoring movements. Welcome back Dane.

1. Ofa Tuungafasi - 7

Destroyed his counterpart on a couple of scrums. He has really established himself late in the year as a genuine top-class prop.


16. Nathan Harris - 7

17. Karl Tu'inukuafe - 7

18. Angus Ta'avao - 6

19. Brodie Retallick - 8

20. Dalton Papalii - 7

21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - 8

22. Richie Mo'unga - 7

23. Rieko Ioane - 6

Brad Lewis is a Newshub sports producer.