All Blacks not the main attraction in Argentina
James Mortimer 23 Sep 2012 Getty Images
Welcome to Argentina, where rugby is growing, but football is still king.
The supporters were gearing up for a local Primera match (the top level of Argentine domestic football), while even at the All Blacks hotel, a wedding took attention away from the arrival of the number one ranked rugby team.
Only four of the current 28-man touring party have played in Argentina, with Dan Carter,Piri Weepu, Tony Woodcock and Andrew Hore featuring in 2006, while Ma’a Nonu was an unused sub off the bench.
That match saw the All Blacks captained by Jerry Collins, and despite trailing at halftime, the visitors were able to close out the match 25-19, a typical test on Argentine soil at the Ferrocaril Oeste.
There were no illusions as to how tough the challenge would be, although All Blacks wing Cory Jane embraced this.
"A few of the guys who have been here in the past have said it's a tough place to play,” he said.
“We'll have our work cut out but it'll be good.”
"They play on passion so we have to try and quieten them down as much as we can. If they get their heads up it's going to be a tough day."
Jane’s Super Rugby captain Conrad Smith, who missed the last Argentine tour with a broken leg, said that the home crowd factor was one aspect the All Blacks had prepared for.
“History has shown they're a particularly tough team to beat on their home soil, so that indicates what an advantage it is to them," he said.
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