Savea wary of ‘wounded and dangerous’ Pumas

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Returning captain Ardie Savea, who will play on the openside flank, said they needed to perform to that level to allow their game to flow the way the All Blacks wanted.

 

He was feeling fresh and excited about starting on Saturday. He said he liked to play consistently to get things going. And while he had an unexpected week off after suffering a concussion in Perth, he felt that would help him over the long term.

 

He said he enjoyed watching from the sideline and doing his water boy duties last week when the All Blacks beat Argentina 39-0.

 

"What they did last week was pretty special, but for us, even though there have been changes, it's about backing them up. If we turn up thinking the same performance as last week will be enough, then we're kidding ourselves. We know the Argie boys are wounded beasts, so they're dangerous right now.

 

"If we don't turn up, it could be a long day," he said.

 

 

With so many changes in the starting side, Savea didn't think lack of combination, or unfamiliarity, was a concern because the players were around each other all the time, and those chosen to play knew they had a job to do their jersey justice.

 

"The boys know what is expected of them, in terms of nailing their role, and doing their jobs. I'm a big words of affirmation dude, so I just like to encourage in small ways and remind the boys that they're here for a reason," he said.

 

"I'm really looking forward to the guys that are getting the opportunity this week to go out there and perform," he said.

 

There was pressure on the team's leadership group to ensure enthusiasm to play did not peak too soon among the less experienced players, and that they backed last week's example whereby patience in their game plan against Argentina's defensive determination was crucial to the outcome.

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