The Stats Don't Lie

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Can Argentina make history?

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Conrad Smith returns from injury to make his 55th start for the All Blacks, equalling Frank Bunce's record for starts at centre. Photo / Ron Burgin
Conrad Smith returns from injury to make his 55th start for the All Blacks, equalling Frank Bunce's record for starts at centre. Photo / Ron Burgin

This will be the 14th test match between New Zealand and Argentina, with the Pumas yet to win a game. The closest they have got was a 21-21 draw in Beunos Aires, November 1985.

The All Blacks' biggest win over Argentina came in Wellington in 1997 when they beat the Pumas 93-8, scoring 14 tries in the process.

The last match between these two teams was the Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Auckland last year, and the All Blacks won that game 33-10. There are 12 Pumas and eight All Blacks from that quarter-final who will front up again this weekend.

Argentina need just 10 points to bring up 200 points in test matches against New Zealand, while the All Blacks are 15 points short of 2000 points in the Rugby Championship (having scored 1985 points in 74 matches).

Aaron Cruden will be making his 13th appearance for the All Blacks, and this will be his second test match against Argentina after coming on as a substitute for Colin Slade in the 33rd minute of the quarter-final match last year.

Cruden has scored a total of 14 test points, made up of one try, three conversions and a drop goal.

Juan Martin Hernandez needs just 11 points to achieve 100 test points for Argentina. He will be playing his 34th test match for his country, and just his fourth test match in the last four years.

The combination of Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Owen Franks overtakes the Woodcock-Mealamu-Carl Hayman combination of 15 appearances to become the fourth most-capped All Black front row.

Conrad Smith returns from injury to make his 55th start for the All Blacks, equalling Frank Bunce's record for starts at centre.

The locking pair of Luke Romano and Brodie Retallick have just eight test caps between them, making them one of the least experienced locking combinations the All Blacks have fielded in recent years.

Eusebio Guinazu is the only Puma in the starting XV not to have played the All Blacks before, whereas it will be the first time Luke Romano, Brodie Retallick, Aaron Smith, Julian Savea and Israel Dagg have played Argentina.

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