Big Charlie reflects on one of his toughest All Blacks outings

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James Mortimer     10 Sep 2013     Getty Images

Playing in his 10th Test, the Blues front row forward admitted that it wasn’t easy against a powerful Argentine scrum that seemed to take offence when the All Blacks shoved.

As a consequence, the likes of Faumuina had one of their toughest Tests, especially considering the selectors made the Blues number three the bedrock, with Dane Coles and Wyatt Crockett coming off the bench to replace Andrew Hore and Tony Woodcock respectively.

Faumuina was required to play on.

“I was looking to the sidelines after 50 or 60, thinking I was going to come off, but obviously the coaches were happy with what I was doing,” he said.

The 26-year-old giant is no stranger to the Pumas, making his Test debut against Argentina the year before, and hailed them as one of his toughest ever opponents.

“It was a tough night, tougher at scrum time,” he said.

“Credit to Argentina. We as a unit knew what they were going to bring, but we did the work we needed to as a team.

“Set piece wise, it was probably the toughest match I’ve ever encountered

The 10-Test All Black also joined many of his team-mates in criticising the fact that the team didn’t adjust to the conditions, with the likes of Steve Hansen and Aaron Smith suggesting that the side didn’t strike the right balance.

“Obviously we knew it was going to rain, but we didn’t adapt as well as we should have in these conditions,” Faumuina said.

There was also the notable depowering of the scrum from the team that had to feed the ball, and it was noted that if anything the hookers were wary to destabilise the hit as they must rake the ball while their opposite front row turns on the heat.

Faumuina said that the team was working to overcome this, with the Pumas presenting the World Champion’s scrum with a slight reality check after they were dominant against the Wallabies.

“You’ve got to adapt to it (the feed), both hookers are a bit scared to hook as the pressure can come off,” he said.

“We’re working on techniques to overcome that.”