James Mortimer 25.Sep.2012Getty Images
Four wins from four tests in The Investec Rugby Championship should have the All Blacks brimming with confidence, but it was an unhappy Mealamu who said that the team’s forwards haven’t walked off the field lately with the feeling that comes with a job well done.
"To be blunt we've been adequate," he said.
"We've been able to provide a bit of ball but we haven't been where we want to be.
“As an All Black forward we want to come off the field feeling like we've done well and we've been able to get on top of opposition. It feels, maybe, in the last couple of weeks we haven't been able to do that."
Some would argue that it has only been the prowess of the World Champions pack that has enabled them to remain unbeaten, saying that it has been the backline that hasn’t been able to convert opportunities.
Mealamu disagreed, saying that the backs job was set up by the men up front.
"If they're having a great game it means we're doing our job well,” he said.
“(But) if they're there or thereabouts it means we need to really step it up. We want them, to be able to be in the game, and for them to be able to do that we need clean, fast front foot ball."
Mealamu, who will look to bring up his 98th test for the All Blacks in La Plata, said that the forwards have been adjusting to life without two of the enforcers of the World Champions.
"They (Jerome Kaino and Brad Thorn) left a big hole,” Mealamu admitted.
“They're guys with a lot of experience in the jersey and their presence on the field has been huge so it's a new pack finding its way at the moment."