Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue's All Blacks player ratings: Aaron Smith 'a disaster'

Chris Rattue rates the All Blacks and Irish players after this morning's epic 40-29 battle won by the men in green.

All Blacks

Ben Smith 7
One great finish in the corner aside, average by his standards and missed a key bomb.

Waisake Naholo 5
Great bust to set up early try and then disappeared by and large.

George Moala 5
The trouble is, he looks like a tractor compared to the Anton Lienert-Brown Ferrari. Odd good moment, bad injury.

Ryan Crotty 6
Looked up to his usual high standards before being injured early.

Julian Savea 5
Think's he's faster than he actually is these days. Has lost top gear.

Beauden Barrett 5
Supplied fine pass for Smith try, but ordinary. Sexton out-played him, including on re-starts.

Aaron Smith 4
A disaster. Started with poor clearance, dumb offside. Needs to do more than firing out passes. Should have started on the bench.

Kieran Read 6
Captaincy lacked direction in the bad times, and he wasn't all that prominent during the good. Lineout combo with Coles mis-fired.

Sam Cane 8
The best of the starters probably. Burrowed away as per usual with short runs and lots of tackles.

Liam Squire 6
Still looks more of an impact player than starter. Bad forced pass when comeback still on but lovely pass for Barrett try.

Jerome Kaino 5
Harsh call, moving him to lock. Lucky he wasn't needed there at the World Cup. Held up too often.

Patrick Tuipulotu 5
Hardly the Retallick/Whitelock dream team here. Okay at times. Lacked zap, stamina, lineout authority. Better off bench.

Owen Franks 5
There or thereabouts. Looked like the old Franks with valium added.

Dane Coles 5
First half lineout shocker at the heart of the problem. Lack of physicality exposed. Great work in Perenara try though.

Joe Moody 2
Deserved red card for ridiculous spear tackle on Henshaw. Yellow hurt his team, as did other penalties. Someone give him a rule book.

Reserves

Codie Taylor (Moala, 73m) 4
Played at flanker.

Ofa Tu'ungafasi (Moody, 59m) 4
Crazy selection ahead of Wyatt Crockett and failed badly.

Charlie Faumuina (Owen Franks, 59m) 3
Two fumbles including one shocker when All Blacks on attack and only trailing by four.

Scott Barrett (Kaino, 45m) 8
Scored amazing try with great line and finish to give hope. Gets 8 for that on debut.

Ardie Savea (Tuipulotu, 59m) 5
A couple of good runs but nothing to change the course of the game.

TJ Perenara (A.Smith, 45m) 8
Immediate impact, tough, won a turnover, and scored genius try. Huge mistake to bench him.

Aaron Cruden (Naholo, 55m) 4
For once all the mixing and matching looked like frivolous nonsense.

Malakai Fekitoa (Crotty, 26m) 4
Big chance...but drifted further out of calculations. Struggles to read the game.

Video

Ireland

Rob Kearney 9
Magnificent including nice wide defensive reads. Missed Naholo early but more than made up it - great angle for Ireland's second try. Kick off threat.

Andrew Trimble 6
A couple of fine defensive moments including tackle on Savea. Irish wings not used as running threats.

Jared Payne 8
Knew exactly when to hold 'em and hit 'em on defence.

Robbie Henshaw 9
Smashing and clever defence, and one of Ireland's best. Finished by crashing over for game sealing try.

Simon Zebo 8
You name it he did it, apart from any long runs. Game of many excellent parts.

Johnny Sexton 9
His pinpoint re-starts were pivotal alone. Great line kicking. Sharp passes, runs. No longer haunted by Dublin 2013.

Conor Murray 9
Had the game on a string. Brilliant tactically, and scored one of the great test tries, fooling his opposite Smith.

Jamie Heaslip 7
Tackled well, set up final try from scrum, but not a big danger with ball in hand.

Jordi Murphy 4
Scored a driving maul try but not a lot else before struck early by injury.

CJ Stander 7
Busy rather than brilliant. Plenty with and without the ball.

Devin Toner 6
Impossible to miss the big man. Lumbering game, and big miss on Barrett.

Donnacha Ryan 6
Like his locking mate, solid rather than spectacular by the best of test locking standards.

Tadhg Furlong 6
Not a game for scrum analysis, but Ireland might have done a bit better in that area give the All Blacks forward shambles.

Rory Best 9
Sensational captaincy - things such as penalty decisions played huge part in game. Grinding runs, loads of defence.

Jack McGrath 8
Another standout, and no longer haunted by that penalty decision in Dublin three years ago.

Reserves

Sean Cronin (Best, 70m) 5
Not a lot, and Best a hard act to follow.

Cian Healy (McGrath, 62m) 6
Did his job.

Finlay Bealham (Furlong, 58m) 6
Did his job.

Ultan Dillane (Ryan) 6
Ditto above.

Josh van der Flier (Murphy, 26m) 7
Huge effort on defence - among game's top tacklers.

Kieran Marmion
DNP

Joey Carberry (Sexton, 59m) 8
Wonderful and composed extended cameo. Continued where battered Sexton left off.

Garry Ringrose
DNP

- NZ Herald

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