All Blacks keep focused in Buenos Aires

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Lynn McConnell     26 Sep 2016     Getty Images

All Blacks props Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina said a trip to Argentina was probably a nightmare for the team's nutritionist.

"If you wanted to go mad on meat you certainly could in this country," Crockett said.

"They certainly cater well for us at the restaurants," he said. There was an endless supply of meat and the big boys in the team were 'pretty happy'.

But they were limited in what they could attempt to eat and they stuck to their nutrionist's guidelines, Crockett said.

Faumuina said he was looking forward to another contest 'up front' with the Argentina pack and the All Blacks would be looking to take some of their strengths away from them.

"They're a much better team than when they first started [in the Championship]. Nothing really changes with their forward pack in the maul and scrum, that's a battle in itself, but they are a lot more calmer now and they love to off-load.

"They'll be the same as always, a forward pack who want to give it to us in the scrum and mauls, their pick-and-goes, they enjoy those," he said.

The All Blacks were respectful of the way Argentina's hooker Agustin Creevy operated around the mauls and with his ability on the off-load. There was also a need for all the pack to be wary of the ability of Pumas halfbacks to snipe around the edges of rucks and mauls.

Crockett said the latter part of the season would be a good test of how much impact the extended season had on some of the Pumas who had been involved throughout the Super Rugby season and the Championship.

"There's a lot of travel, a lot of time away from home during Super Rugby, particularly for those boys and I'm sure they've got some strategies to deal with it.

"I think the good thing about this competition is you play two tough games and you get a week at home to recover so those boys would have had a week at home to recover, re-energise and get ready for this game. I'm pretty sure they'll be excited to play against us in front of their own people," he said.

Crockett said the All Blacks' pack was always well prepared when coming up against Argentina because they knew the scrum was a big strength of theirs. While they tried to prepare well every week at the back of their minds was the knowledge that Argentina were the sort of side with the potential to embarrass opponents on their day.

"We put in a lot of work, a lot of mental preparation and we scrummage pretty hard at training to get ready for that," he said.