Zinzan Brooke

Brooke played for the All Blacks between 1987 and 1997, playing 58 tests and 42 matches. Across the 100 matches, Brooke scored 195 points, made up of 42 tries and three drop goals. He is considered one of the best number eights to have ever played for the All Blacks with running and kicking skills of a back along with the strength and mobility of a great loose forward.

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Complacency can bite you - Brooke

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Zinzan Brooke     06 Sep 2017     Getty Images

Something that's had people up here talking is the Australians and their ability to bounce back. It's being labelled one of the best Tests most pundits here have seen, and to be fair I agree with them. It's just a shame that in games like that there have to be winners and losers - thankfully it was our boys with their frantic finish to seal the win.


They've had a week off, and are preparing for a bit of argy bargy from some the blue and white of Argentina.

Composure isn't really a word you can throw at the Pumas. I watched their game against South Africa last week and it was a mixed performance, really. Plenty of basic errors, and a real lack of execution against a growing Springbok team.

Here's the thing. The All Blacks should, and that's a big should, get the job done over Argentina comfortably. I'm talking a 15-20 point margin here. But if the All Blacks' last game was anything to go by, complacency can come back to almost bite you in the backside.
The visitors have got lots to do if they're to make it a tight game in New Plymouth. Firstly, they need to string phases together. Last week they were guilty of going four or five phases before making a basic error like a forward pass or a knock on. If you want to compete with the All Blacks you need to put them under sustained pressure - I'm talking 12-15 phases to really test their defence and discipline. They've got quality players, but that ball retention on attack is the first area they need to improve before Saturday.

They could also take a leaf out of the All Blacks' book when it comes to composure. They can't get rattled. Their temper started to accelerate as they continued to chase the game and that can make them even more vulnerable. They've got to make sure they stay composed, and get the most out of some of their fantastic players like Matias Alemanno, Manuel Montero and Pablo Mantera.

The All Blacks, on the other side of the coin, need to keep the pressure on in the forwards. The Argentine scrum is one of the five best in world rugby, and parity at the breakdown will go a long way to chopping down some of their threats. To be honest though, and this is no disrespect to Argentina, this should be a formality for the hosts who have had a week off, will come back refreshed, and stay focused after that Dunedin test.

Fingers crossed the All Blacks will stay on top and get the Taranaki crowd fired up on Saturday night!