Four tries to the All Blacks, a naked female streaker, and yet another poor performance by the referees was the order of the night at McLean Park as the men in black topped a lackluster Agrentine side.
Agrentina didn’t help themselves, the lost possession off a scrum which led to an All Black try that should never have happened right on the stroke of halftime absolutely destroyed the souls of every Argentine player after what they felt would have been a good position just a couple of points down at the break.
But they have nobody to blame but themselves.
The Argentine number 8 clearly had the ball at his disposal and should have whipped it out of the back of the scrum immediately. Halfback kicks into touch, half over. Yet Argentina coughed up possession, and let the All Blacks score a fairly soft try.
More so than any other team in world rugby, if the All Blacks have time at the scrum to turn and push, they will. Argentina should simply have known better.
Beauden Barrett was the most talked about player heading into the game as he finally got his first start at 10.
But Barrett, apart from a couple of nifty passes, one of which set up Savea’s second try, didn’t perform to his usual high standard.
Barrett missed more goals than he made, leading to the All Blacks subbing him off for Colin Slade at the 55 minute mark.
While All Black coach Steve Hansen says “we just wanted to give Slade a decent amount of game time” to the media, in reality the sub was made because the coaches predicted that should the game get close in the last 20, Barrett wasn’t kicking well enough for them to have confidence that he’d kick those important goals.
This shouldn’t put the selectors off giving Beauden another start in the future though, perhaps on a more dryer night.
Julian Savea came away from an All Blacks game being the person to score the most tries yet again. This seems to be the case more and more as of late, Savea just made some brilliant decisions when he was on the ball, or expecting to receive the ball.
While Isreal Dagg says he was just so happy to be playing in front of his home crowd, the fullback will be walking away from the match knowing he didn’t really do much to overly impress the selectors, more so justify his position at starting full back over Ben Smith.
None of the All Black back line really showed up apart from Savea, and at times Barrett, but given the wet and rainy conditions this cannot be too much of a surprise.
Another All Blacks win, but yet another poor showing from the so called “top level” referees of rugby union.