How the players rated in RWC final

HOW THE PLAYERS RATED IN RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL

ALL BLACKS

BEN SMITH: Made some uncustomary errors and Australia scored 14 points while he was sin-binned for a lifting tackle. 6.5.

NEHE MILNER-SKUDDER: The hot-stepping winger scored his third try from as many games against the Wallabies and his sixth from sixth matches at the World Cup. 7.

CONRAD SMITH: Set the tone with a crunching early tackle on Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper and instrumental in Milner-Skudder’s try. 7.

MA’A NONU: A dominant performance from the retiring centre, proving a handful for the Australian defence and scoring a 45-metre try to kick the All Blacks clear. 8.5.

JULIAN SAVEA: Busy in the early exchanges, but well contained and guilty of turning the ball over on a couple of occasions. 7.

DAN CARTER: Cometh the hour cometh the Dan. A 19-point haul for the star five-eighth and a masterful man-of-the-match display on the game’s biggest stage. 9.

AARON SMITH: The livewire halfback ensured Carter could use the quick ball he got and made a number of key tackles when the All Blacks were a man short. 8.

KIERAN READ: Hobbled early on with an ankle injury he battled on to put in an industrious display and his lineout work was impressive. 7.5.

RICHIE MCCAW: Another mighty performance in possibly his last in an All Blacks jumper. Was everywhere and played a key role in the build-up to the first try. 8.5.

JEROME KAINO: Stirring defence and strong running with the ball, the blindside flanker helped the All Blacks achieve parity with the Wallabies at the breakdown. 7.5.

SAM WHITELOCK: The workaholic lock covered almost every blade of the Twickenham turf and tackled himself to a standstill. 8.

BRODIE RETALLICK: Effected a key turnover, helped disrupt Australia’s lineout and put in some punishing hits on defence. 8.

OWEN FRANKS: Strong at scrum time and showed nice hands at times, but handed Australia their first penalty. 7.

DANE COLES: Played tighter than in previous matches, but still got the chance to show his pace down the sideline in the second half in a solid display. 7.

JOE MOODY: Busy around the park and a solid anchor at scrum time. 7.

KEY RESERVES

KEVEN MEALAMU: Limited minutes for the retiring veteran but enjoyed one good run after entering the fray. 6.5

BEN FRANKS: Another to bow out after this Test he made his mark in his 21-minute outing. 7.

CHARLIE FAUMUINA: Busy after coming on in the 53rd minute, putting in a host of punishing tackles. 7.

BEAUDEN BARRETT: Popped up with the crowning try, showing his pace to outstrip the defence. Kicked well. 7.5.

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS: Made his mark soon after coming on at halftime with the pass to send Nonu away. Always a threat. 8.

WALLABIES

ISRAEL FOLAU: A vastly improved showing from his past two outings, making 99 metres and assured under the high ball but still unable to leave his mark on the tournament. 7.

ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER: Barely had an opportunity in attack but didn’t do much wrong and hardly missed a beat after moving to outside centre. 7.

TEVITA KURIDRANI: Defensively strong and put Australia within touching distance of victory with a well taken try that took some finishing. 7.5.

MATT GITEAU: The only player backing up from the 2003 final only lasted 25 minutes and his defence, experience and long clearing kicks were missed after he was concussed. 7.

DREW MITCHELL: A strong afternoon full of purposeful running and a fine clearance was interrupted by a head injury assessment. 7.5.

BERNARD FOLEY: One of his quieter games but still ran Australia’s backline with calm efficiency. Kicked all his goals. 7.

WILL GENIA: Put Australia on the back foot with an early charge down and knock-on but atoned with smart kick for Kuridrani’s try that gave the Wallabies hope. 7.

SCOTT SIO: Recovered from an elbow injury to battle up front in Australia’s scrum and front row, but found it tough going. 6.5.

STEPHEN MOORE: Wore a bloodied nose in the opening minute and also found himself offside early with referee Nigel Owens but was brave throughout. 7.

SEKOPE KEPU: The tighthead targeted Dan Carter all afternoon, hitting him late and then high without shaking the All Blacks match-winner. 6.5.

KANE DOUGLAS: Lasted just 15 minutes before hurting his leg in a nasty fall. The Wallabies lineout never recovered. 7.

ROB SIMMONS: Tackled strongly but will rue his inability to get Australia’s lineout functioning and allowing the All Blacks the lion’s share of possession. 6.5.

SCOTT FARDY: Gave everything for a well-beaten Wallabies pack but unable to replicate his semi-final heroics. 7.

MICHAEL HOOPER: Another tireless and courageous performance and helped keep the Wallabies in the contest as the All Blacks dominated first-half possession. 8.

DAVID POCOCK: Not as influential as in previous matches but still a force in a titanic showdown at Twickenham. 8.5.

KEY RESERVES

KURTLEY BEALE: Australia’s best and most creative back after replacing Giteau. Probably wished he’d have started. 8.

DEAN MUMM: Topped the tackle count after replacing Douglas early but unable to fill the physical void. 7.

TATAFU POLATA-NAU: Threw himself into everything in final 25 minutes but couldn’t solve Australia’s lineout woes when it mattered most. 6.

JAMES SLIPPER: Hit the rucks and desperate to make an impact when injected late. 6

GREG HOLMES: Had little chance to shine in the final. 6

BEN MCCALMAN: Knocked on at a key point with the Wallabies still clinging to hope of a comeback. 6.

NICK PHIPPS: On a hiding to nothing with the Wallabies chasing their tail in the final 10 minutes. 6.5.

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