All Blacks dig deep to beat the Pumas

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The new All Black coaching panel seems determined to put their own stamp on this team, taking things to a new level with a high velocity, quick passing game.

Article By: Tony, Johnson


The All Blacks are six points clear at the top of the Rugby Championship.

They are unbeaten after six tests this season, only one of which they looked to be in any danger of losing, and they have stretched their winning run to 13.

All Blacks

Any other country would kill to be in that position, and yet there seems to be a growing sense of frustration amongst New Zealanders about the way this team is performing.

New Zealand, it seems, is the one country in world where just winning rugby is not enough to satisfy the masses. We demand perfection in a game that can only rarely, by it’s very nature, be played to perfection. That attitude is one of the reasons New Zealand fans are viewed around the world as being a bit arrogant.

It is true that the All Blacks have not played to their potential, that they are making too many mistakes, and that this could cost them a game somewhere down the line, but the fact is they have still managed to place a firm grip on the Rugby Championship at the halfway stage, and can put it all but beyond reach with a win over the Springboks in Dunedin this weekend.

There were some obvious mitigating factors in their 21-5 struggle against the Pumas. Extremely difficult conditions pervaded the first half in particular, and Argentina came up with a resolute, inspired and extremely forceful effort, especially on defence.

The Pumas are not just “happy to be here”, they don’t just want to prove they deserve to be here, they want to win, and it is commendable to see a side trying hell bent to do that, when others might be satisfied with damage limitation.

The new All Black coaching panel seems determined to put their own stamp on this team, taking things to a new level with a high velocity, quick passing game.

At the moment it is not totally coming off, but it will no doubt be persevered with. When and if it comes together someone will pay a terrible price for it, but on Saturday night the conditions certainly did not suit and a more tempered approach might have produced a better dividend.

Still, it had the effect of running the Pumas all over the place, and they fatigued noticeably later in the game, made a yellow card mistake under heavy pressure and the game was put way beyond doubt.

The All Blacks may get their chance to break out under the roof in Dunedin next week, although the Boks will…or at least should be stung by their failure in Perth.

They threw away a winning position with some poor defence, and some dreadful lapses in judgment, and showed once again that their style of play might be effective when they’re in front, but it is not come from behind rugby.

They are missing some big names, the Boks, but so too were Australia, and it seems to me that they have plumped for a coach who is trying to replicate a style of rugby that was successful in the past for the Bulls, but has been superseded.

The result will have kept the wolves from Robbie Deans door for a while, but more of that from the Boks and they will be howling for Heyneke Meyer.

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  • Funkyjam says
    A great game, well done the Pumas for giving the AB's a good run for their money.
  • RW says
    The Pumas came to play!! A.B's got lucky after The Pumas were down a player. Real talk. Haha!
  • T says
    Good game. Good on the Pumas. Atrocious weather, but the ABs came to the party only in the final stages.
  • Mate what a crap house night that was. The wind and the rain were atrocious. The Pumas did well and bought their A game, but the AB's pushed the passing and were not accurate in their execution (B Game) thats the only reason it looked so close. Bu well done to all the players. A wins a win!!!
  • NotTheMan says
    As an amateur rugby fan I would just like to see more tries but as players winning is always the ultimate aim. There seems to be a lot of pride and satisfaction if a team can just restrict the ABs around the park and keep the scoring down. We are currently lacking a real backline star so I hope we see them cut loose soon hopefully on South African soil. Now that really would bring a sense of satisfaction to NZ fans.
  • Jeni says
    lousy weather and wind and rain - ABs you did us proud. Bad luck Sth Africa but at the end of the day we are the better team.
  • SA were taking on our best, what did you expect.

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