Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

Rugby: Julian Savea and Beauden Barrett tame the Pumas

If Julian Savea was the blunt instrument which helped to subdue the Pumas' self-styled "organised chaos" as Jerome Kaino so aptly put it during the week, it was his Hurricanes teammate and man of the moment Beauden Barrett who finally tamed it.

The Wallabies should take a close look at this test as an example of how the All Blacks can be pressured into making mistakes and missing tackles because Argentina were outstanding, particularly with their offloading and absolute refusal to give a centimetre at the breakdown. This was full-blooded stuff, a world away from the two Bledisloe Cup tests which the All Blacks bossed virtually from start to finish.

Argentina's pack looked tired as early as 30 minutes into this test, and while they wilted at the end and the score blew out to 57-22, they have every reason to be proud of their efforts in putting the All Blacks off their game for relatively long periods.

The All Blacks, who last lost in New Zealand on this ground back in 2009 (against South Africa) got there in the end thanks to the collective effort, but there were several who caught the eye, including Savea, their try-scoring phenomenon who has now scored 42 tries in 46 tests, including one in each of his last three matches, and Barrett the jet-heeled first-five who is a serious pest to opposition defences.

Barrett's brothers give him a hard time about his knack to get the ball to do exactly as he wishes. We saw it in the World Cup final when he put the seal on the victory over Australia, before that in Cardiff against Wales in 2014 when the ball sat up freakishly for him to score, and he did it once again here at Waikato Stadium, his run on to Ben Smith's kick through timed perfectly, the ball falling neatly into his grateful hands.

His work to set up Ryan Crotty in the second half was typical Barrett too, his feet and sense of space completely bamboozling the Argentina defence close to their line.

Savea's form issues with the Hurricanes and All Blacks seem a long time ago now. His try, when he was put through a big gap off an attacking scrum by Aaron Smith, was the first of the All Blacks' eight on the night and he was a force throughout the first half, running for 96m, beating four defenders and making three clean breaks. It was his burst down the left which resulted in Ben Smith's first try.

The 26-year-old had a relatively quiet second half, but it's his ability to make something from nothing which sets him apart. Apart from his clear value in accumulating points, his explosiveness from the back allow his team to turn defence into immediate attack.

For Barrett, it was more evidence that he is in the form of his life. With Aaron Cruden, who replaced him in the second half, and Lima Sopoaga, who can't make the match-day squad at the moment as his rivals, the All Blacks are blessed indeed.

- NZ Herald

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