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Saili happy he was able to put aside 'that pass' to focus on next task

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James Mortimer     10 Sep 2013     Getty Images

Saili, who replaced the All Blacks most capped second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu to make his Test debut, said that as he took the field it was a case of just keeping a lid of his nerves.

“There were a lot of emotions on my mind before the game,” the North Harbour centre said.

“(After that mistake) I knew I shouldn’t dwell on what happened. I just had to move onto the next task.

“I was glad to have a few of the senior boys come up to me and say move onto the next task and not look too far ahead of myself.”

Saili, the 17th player to make his Test debut under head coach Steve Hansen’s watch, did admit that international rugby caught him off guard initially.

“It is quite physical and faster than Super Rugby, my lungs were burning after just a couple of minutes,” he said.

“Lucky I found my second wind and felt like I got my flow on as the game went on. It felt great to bounce back.”

Saili said the presence of Dan Carter and Conrad Smith helped him as the match progressed, even if he wasn’t able to execute his own game due to wet conditions.

“I had two world class players either side of me,” Saili said.

“They were encouraging. They weren’t putting me down, just kept having faith I would bounce back.

“I wanted it to be dry weather so I couldn’t do what I wanted to do (as much), run straight, run direct, run hard.”

Saili topped the attacking charts for the All Blacks, carrying the ball 14 times while making 74 metres against a committed Argentine defence. His former Under-20 team-mate Steven Luatua was right behind him, with 11 carries for 68 metres gained.