All Blacks keep lid on record chance

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Lynn McConnell     28 Sep 2016     Getty Images

Twice in recent years the All Blacks have stalled just short of the magic mark of 18 but the chance to claim that record depends on winning both away games on their tour to Argentina and South Africa, and for that reason, the record is not the goal.


The All Blacks know the winning of those two Tests are the more important goal at the moment. Any record will be the end result of maintaining their winning run in the Championship.

First five-eighths Beauden Barrett summed the team attitude up when saying: "At the moment it is about this game, this weekend.

"It's a huge challenge playing Argentina over here so if we don't win and focus on that we're never going to get to that point so it's first things first, just nailing our prep throughout the week, nailing each day and putting a performance in on Saturday."

Given the fright they received with Argentina's gutsy approach in their first outing in Hamilton this year, the All Blacks are wary, and respectful, of the home team.

Barrett and wing Israel Dagg were asked by a local journalist what it would take to beat the All Blacks.

Dagg didn't want to give anything away but Barrett summed up the All Blacks approach when he said Argentina had shown a lot of potential and if they could play rugby for 80 minutes that would be a greater chance for them to win. 
"We have seen Argentina play and challenge us for 50 minutes if they can play for the full 80 minutes it will make it very difficult for us."

Barrett added that it had been great since the Jaguares had been involved in Super Rugby because that helped Argentina's game.

"They're a top side in world rugby, we saw that at the World Cup last year and we're seeing that in this Championship so not only are they big strong boys they're very skilful as well and play a very nice brand of rugby," he said.

The players have had their own reasons to be a little on edge with the management having suggested that in order to achieve freshness and game development in the squad there could be some changes during the two-game tour.

"If there are changes this week everyone in the squad prepares to play so whatever the team will be those players will be ready to go and obviously if there are changes we have to work on the combinations to. The best thing about this team is we are all preparing to play and are ready to go," Barrett said.


Lots of changes were made during training with players in different positions and that was something that helped keep players sharp and he enjoyed it.

Dagg said he felt moving players around at training was a way of keeping players prepared for possible match situations because there were a lot of what-ifs that could happen in games.

In their preparation the All Blacks were paying attention to their start because Argentina came out firing for every game.

The All Blacks always wanted to start well but it wasn't always the case. However, they would have to match Argentina's ability to start well, especially at home.

"They're very passionate, the feed off their home crowd and we certainly want to get on top of that early," he said.