The All Blacks' post-match assessment at FMG Stadium Waikato have indicated how tough the 57-22 victory over Argentina in Hamilton on Saturday.
Speaking from the All Blacks' changing rooms shortly after the win, inspirational flanker Jerome Kaino spoke of the challenge the Pumas laid down to the New Zealanders.
"It was tough, man," the 33-year-old said.
"That first half... they tested us, throwing offloads, and coming up the middle of the rucks.
"We knew we were a step off the pace in the first half, but it's a good sight being a forward and you get up and you see Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett running those holes and scoring those tries, it's awesome.
"The scoreboard didn't really refelct how tough that game was, but we'll take it and move onto next week."
Teammate Ben Smith added to Kaino's claims.
"That second half they really tested us, and luckily we made the most of the opportunities that we got, but I think that scoreline flattered us a wee bit."
"It was tough that first half," hooker Dane Coles said.
"We just couldn't really slow their ball down, but I thought the way we came out in that second half, especially our reserves when they came on and added impact, was good."
The All Blacks continue their quest for a fourth Rugby Championship title this Saturday, facing off against the Springboks at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.