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Player ratings – All Blacks v Tonga

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE Player rankings from the Rugby World Cup pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland: 5 – Richard Kahui - The big Waikato centre made the most of his chances playing on the right wing. He popped up all over the place and showed his power to score his second try. He has set the tournament standard for the All Blacks now in this most competitive position. 4 – Jerome Kaino - Fronted against the physical challenge of the Tongans. With Kieran Read out, Kaino has extra responsibilities on his shoulders and he stepped up to those. Big hits and big runs made for a busy night. 3 – Sonny Bill Williams – Suffered the embarrassment of an early dropped ball inside the New Zealand 22. But he got busy from there and his trademark offloads flowed from there. With the ball alive in the midfield there was danger looming all the time for Tonga and SBW was in the thick of that. Got a huge cheer when he had to change his skin-tight shirt early in the second spell! 2 – Aleki Lutui – The Tongan hooker knows the New Zealand game as well as anyone. He was at the heart of his team’s solid second half when the Tongan forwards frustrated the All Blacks and eventually engineered a try from close range. 1 – Israel Dagg – A brilliant first half saw him have the honour of scoring the tournament’s first try and notched a second in a performance that will certainly add to the debate over whether he is ready to take over from veteran fullback Mils Muliaina in the bigger matches ahead. Like most of the All Blacks backs, he didn’t feature too much in a tighter second spell. – Stuff 20 comments Nonu played out of his skin, what an awesome game playing out of position at centre! I thought DC played awesome as well, his passing game was superb and he definitly steered the ship tonight. Go the All Blacks!

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