Consistency is the aim for the All Blacks in Hamilton - Cane

First, it is a continuation in their quest for winning consistency. Secondly, it is to stay alive in what captain Sam Cane believes is probably the most open Championship in its 27-year history.


Cane said the All Blacks were not happy with the inconsistency of their game this season.


Their rollercoaster ride of the last month reinforced the highs and lows of professional sports.


"I think it just tests your resilience and your character. You've got to pick yourself back up and focus on what's important, and go again.


"There's no point sulking or dwelling on things. But when you put all your energy into things you can control, that helps. And you've just got to front up, and own it."


 All they could do was work hard in their training to achieve the required consistency.


Dealing with indiscipline was another issue for the side. During the first half in Christchurch, they felt they were more dominant than the scoreboard showed, but the lack of discipline allowed Argentina to stay in the game. And in the second half, the All Blacks over-played their hand and played into Argentina's strength which was their defence.



"It's definitely a statistic that we've highlighted. When we lose, the opposition kick a lot of penalties. That's from our ill-discipline.


"When you look at penalties, you look at the ones you can control…I think we had four offsides early in the first half. That's reacting to their cleanouts and extending the length of the ruck that changes the offside line.


"But then also we're pretty eager to get off the line…we've got to have the mental patience or discipline to still be eager to get off the line but have a clear line of discipline."


Pressure also forced individuals to do things they didn't want when trying to make a play. That was because they cared and wanted a good result. But sometimes, it had a detrimental effect on what they were trying to achieve.


"Test rugby's a big pressure cauldron, and penalties are what release pressure."


Cane said he didn't think the Christchurch loss had been a horrible performance, and he maintained they were not far off achieving the style they wanted.


"If we could've been a little more disciplined in that first half, we could've put them under a lot more pressure, and, potentially, the game changes from there.


"But we didn't do that. And they're a very good side – I don't think that can be under-estimated in this whole thing."


Argentina's win was similar to their Sydney victory in 2020 – their first win over the All Blacks. Emiliano Boffelli's goal-kicking had been outstanding, while they could feel in the last quarter, Argentina was going to defend with their lives.


It was what the All Blacks expected from them. Argentina were a very good well-rounded side, he said.


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