All Blacks player ratings: The best and worst from the Rugby World Cup final
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ANALYSIS: The All Blacks will look back at the 12-11 Rugby World Cup final loss to South Africa as the one that got away.  

Their inaccuracy hurt them against a Springboks side that looked like it was running on fumes for the second 40 minutes.

A missed conversion and a missed penalty meant that the All Blacks left five points on the field.

But, captain Sam Cane’s mistimed high tackle was the turning point in the game – had he stayed on the field the All Blacks may well have turned their second-half superiority into a fourth Rugby World Cup crown.

Here are Stuff’s ratings from an agonising night in Paris.

15 Beauden Barrett: Put into some difficult situations defensively due to the Springboks’ educated kicking game, but showed great hands to pick up Telea’s pass for his try. 6

14 Will Jordan: Didn’t look like adding to his eight-try tally as he was outpointed by opposite Cheslin Kolbe. Conditions favoured kick-chase rugby – and that’s not Jordan’s game. 4

13 Rieko Ioane: Denied a try by a superb tackle by Kurt-Lee Arendse but carried strongly all evening. Ran some great tight lines beside Jordie Barrett in midfield. 6

12 Jordie Barrett: None braver in the All Blacks as he repeatedly carted the ball up into the heaviest traffic, but his late penalty miss from distance will live with him. 8

11 Mark Telea: The All Blacks’ sharpest attacking weapon, and he didn’t deserve to lose. Beat nine defenders – easily the game high – ran for 67 metres and created the try for Beauden Barrett, although the final transfer appeared to go forward. 9

10 Richie Mo’unga: Dealt well with high balls and made a trysaving tackle, but shelled one pass in a great attacking position and his missed conversion from a tough angle proved costly. 6

9 Aaron Smith: Box kicking was strong, distribution was sharp and he pulled off one brave tackle on Kolbe in full flight. Will be sorely missed. 7

8 Ardie Savea: Channelled his obvious first-half frustration with referee Wayne Barnes to come out like a man possessed in the second spell. The most damaging ball carrier in the pack. 8

7 Sam Cane: Sent off for a high tackle on midfielder Jesse Kriel as the All Blacks’ discipline – their Achilles heel for the whole tournament – proved costly again. 2

6 Shannon Frizell: Shown a yellow card after just two minutes for a clumsy cleanout on Bongi Mbonambi, which forced the Springboks hooker from the field. Couldn’t match the outstanding Pieter-Steph du Toit. Replaced after 55 minutes. 4

5 Scott Barrett: Busy on defence with 10 tackles, but the All Blacks lineout came under pressure in the first half and Barrett struggled to get over the gainline. 6

4 Brodie Retallick: A strong performance from the big lock in his final test. Physical with ball in hand and challenged the Springboks’ lineout. 7

3 Tyrel Lomax: Huge shift as the Springboks couldn’t budge the scrum: in fact by the second half the All Blacks were clearly in the ascendancy. 7

2 Codie Taylor: Lineout throwing came under pressure in the first half, but his work around the field was strong. Led the tackle count with 11 tackles. 6

1 Ethan de Groot: Strong in the scrum and ran himself into the ground for 65 minutes as one of the All Blacks’ most prominent ball carriers in tight. 7


16 Samisoni Taukei’aho: Front-row replacements did their job and negated the Springboks’ Bomb Squad. 6

17 Tamaiti Williams: Big set-piece performance down the home straight from a 23-year-old prop. 6

18 Nepo Laulala: Had the edge on the Ox Nche at scrum time with a powerful 15 minutes. 6

19 Sam Whitelock: Came on for the last 25 minutes as Scott Barrett shifted to the side of the scrum. 5

20 Dalton Papalii: On for the last nine minutes only. N/A

21 Finlay Christie: Couldn’t change the picture on attack in the final 14 minutes, and had one kick charged down. 5

22 Damian McKenzie: Thrown on with five minutes to go. N/A

23 Anton Lienert-Brown: Replaced Jordan for the last nine minutes only. N/A