New Zealand player ratings: Dalton Papali’i continues growth but bench blown away by England

All Blacks flanker Dalton Papali'i scoring Credit: Alamy
All Blacks flanker Dalton Papali'i scoring Credit: Alamy

Following their 25-25 draw with England in their Autumn Nations Series clash at Twickenham on Saturday, here’s our player ratings for New Zealand.

15 Beauden Barrett: Moved back to the full-back jersey this week due to the return of Richie Mo’unga and seemed a touch isolated from the action. A late drop-goal was a positive before a somewhat harsh yellow card for a ruck offence followed. 6

14 Mark Telea: Enjoyed his second successive start in the black shirt and caused the English defence problems every time he had ball in hand. Telea also won an excellent breakdown turnover on the hour mark that pleased his teammates no end. 7

13 Rieko Ioane: An outstanding performance from the Blues man as he racked up the metres with ball in hand (122) and looked keen for work throughout. His long-range score was a personal highlight as he once again showed what pace he has. 8

12 Jordie Barrett: Looking more and more at home in the 12 jersey at international level in a solid, if not spectacular, performance. His shift to 12 has definitely been a success story of this Autumn Nations Series for New Zealand moving forward. 7

11 Caleb Clarke: Hasn’t been among the tries on the end-of-year tour but another positive effort from the wing, who will be desperate to end his recent drought. That shouldn’t concern him though as he once again did everything asked of him today. 7

10 Richie Mo’unga: A class act in possession as he regularly slipped tackles with his neat footwork. Going up against Marcus Smith was always going to worth the entrance fee alone and he, like his team, dominated until the final 10 minutes or so. 8

9 Aaron Smith: The voice of this New Zealand side was vocal early on as his team impressed at the breakdown and won seemingly all the mini battles on the field. However, he was well short of his Scotland performance with his running game absent. 6

Is Dalton Papali’i now undroppable?

8 Ardie Savea: So physical both around the field and at the breakdown, his ruck penalty on the hour was the stuff of legend. How he was not nominated for the World Rugby Player of the Year award remains a mystery, with his defence today superb. 8

7 Dalton Papali’i: Grabbed his first-half try like a thief in the Twickenham night and went on to put in another showing that should make All Blacks selectors feel like he is undroppable once Sam Cane returns to fitness. 67 running metres and 13 tackles. 8

6 Scott Barrett: Moved back to the blindside flank this week, he got through plenty of unseen work as the All Blacks’ pack enjoyed flexing their muscles, especially early on. Was replaced after 68 minutes so cannot be at fault for their dramatic collapse. 7

5 Sam Whitelock (c): A rock throughout in the engine room and he clearly enjoyed having his old mate back alongside him. The veteran made an impressive seven carries and he backed that up with 16 tackles in a typically workmanlike performance. 7

4 Brodie Retallick: He has been like a caged animal at training in recent weeks, according to his team-mates, and on the occasion of his 100th cap, the stalwart got stuck into England early on, finishing with 15 tackles and was a good lineout option too. 7

3 Tyrel Lomax: Another strong showing from the mobile prop as he was solid in the set-piece and put his body about defensively. Lomax has enjoyed an impressive tour which caps a fine year on a personal note as he’s become the first-choice tighthead. 6

2 Codie Taylor: There has been a massive deal of pressure on Taylor due to the outstanding form of Samisoni Taukei’aho in 2022, but the Crusader certainly rose to the occasion at Twickenham and deserved his try. He also made 10 tackles in a solid shift. 8

1 Ethan de Groot: Much like Lomax, De Groot can hold his head high after a hugely positive season. Very much a modern day prop, that was in evidence again as he offered solidity at the set-piece, was a willing carrier and also got through seven tackles. 6

Replacements: In stark contrast to England’s bench, it was a disaster from the All Blacks as none of their pack really stepped up to meet the late onslaught from the hosts. Despite the fresh legs, there was so much space for the English, who capitalised. 3

READ MORE: England player ratings: Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell axis kicks into gear late on as Red Rose salvage draw

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