Jordie Barrett expecting aerial assault to continue against Argentina

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Barrett said Argentina was outstanding in the air against Australia in their last outing, and he expects more aerial challenges.


"They've scored quite a few tries from kick pressure and guys getting up and retaining the ball.


"We spent a lot of time preparing for South Africa catching contestables, but I think we'll have to prepare the same for the Argentinians, if not more.


Pressure on the halfbacks in the win over South Africa at Ellis Park through counter rucking and charge downs had made things messier and made his job easier in contesting kicks, and the All Blacks would need to do the same again in Christchurch.


"They've got some outstanding athletes, great on their feet and awesome in the air, so it's going to be a big week for the back three.


"They're a physical and passionate team, and also Dave Kidwell [is] there for their defence, so they're a quality side.


"They can score tries from anywhere, and a lot of the time it is, I say, unconventional in the most respectful way.



"They've got some outstanding footwork, particularly midfield and outside backs, and their forwards have a good short-passing game now. I've seen a lot of variation in their game where their props and locks and hookers are tipping and throwing inside balls. They've got a diverse game plan we have to come prepared for."


There was still plenty to play for in the tournament, and there was no clear favourite for the honours.


"It's anyone's Championship at the moment. Everyone is on similar points, but by no means that game counts for everything.


"We've got a different beast in Argentina, who just put a few points on Australia. They're coming to Christchurch, and they want us."


Barrett, who played for the Crusaders in 2016, said he enjoyed training at Rugby Park and was looking forward to playing at Orangetheory Stadium on Saturday.


Having former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt with the group had produced a positive vibe for the side. Barrett said he would be looking to pick his brain as he did with all the coaches, and to prepare as best he could.


"He's a confident coach and he watches a lot of clips from what I've been hearing. I've got a couple of tips off the Blues boys in where his strengths are so I'll be looking to get the best out of them."


There was also some relief from the pressure on the team after the series loss to Ireland.


"For obvious reasons a bit of certainty helps everyone in the group. We've spoken about that game and how it can be used as a Launchpad for the rest of this Rugby Championship," he said.



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