Patrick McKendry is a rugby writer for the Herald.

All Blacks: Significant improvements required

The All Blacks put more than 50 points on Argentina in Hamilton, including 33 unanswered points in the final 27 minutes as they raised their speed to a level the visitors couldn't live with, but they have judged themselves harshly in their review today, saying significant improvements are required before their test against a "hurting" South Africa.

Chief among their deficiencies was the way the Pumas were able to burst through the middle of the All Blacks' defence at Waikato Stadium with their offloading game; the Argentine pack showing a level of directness and handling that appeared to surprise the home side, who struggled initially to get their hands on the ball.

The lineout too, flawless in the two Bledisloe Cup tests, had its wobbles during the 57-22 win, with Dane Coles overthrowing twice, and the Springbok pack will look to put pressure on there at Christchurch's AMI Stadium on Saturday, the first time the Boks have played at the venue. Their last visit here was in 2007, a 33-6 victory for the All Blacks at the old Lancaster Park before the Boks won the World Cup final in Paris a few months later.

Allister Coetzee's South Africans looked muddled at times in losing 23-17 to the Wallabies in Brisbane at the weekend, but, after cruising through their Bledisloe Cup victories, the All Blacks will be expecting a level of intensity similar to that of the Pumas.
The senior All Blacks led the review, and Jerome Kaino said they didn't need to be told where they went wrong in Hamilton.

"We point it out before the coaches," the loose forward said. "If the coaches have to tell you that this is where you have to improve before you point it out then there's something wrong. As leaders we take it personally, we take it on ourselves to initiate that and our coaches give us guidance on how we can improve.

"You know when you're in there whether you've nailed your role as a team and as a pack. We've taken the scoreboard out of it, we know that wasn't a true reflection of how tough that match was and how much pressure we were under.

"We've really drilled down to those periods when we were put under pressure and how we can do better in those areas.

"At lineout time and as a pack we want to have more influence on a game. I take my hat off to Argentina, they didn't allow us to play that way."

Halfback Aaron Smith cut a frustrated figure throughout as he was forced to contend with a Pumas pack determined to stamp their mark at the breakdown, and Kaino said the contact area was put under the microscope.

"That was one of the areas that we focused on - our physicality in the tackle, but also our cleanout. We pride ourselves on quick ball and for Aaron to have an easy night. In the first half we didn't do that, we didn't provide it. As a pack we took that personally so that's one massive area we want to improve on this week.

"Attitude and physicality is at the top of the list. They put a lot of pressure through our heart with the offloads ... South Africa will have had look at that and I'm sure they will want to add a bit of that at the weekend."

The South Africans have arrived in Christchurch without injured lock Lood de Jager, and with their recent performances in losing to Argentina and Australia pilloried by their media, who say their team are "chaotic".

The All Blacks will be expecting a response, but have a few points to prove themselves.

All Black dominance
After three tests in the Rugby Championship the All Blacks lead the way in terms of:
Tackling success: 92% (South Africa next with 85%)
Points per game: 42.7 (Argentina and South Africa next with 23.7)
Tries per game: 6 (South Africa next with 2.3)
Defenders beaten: 30.7 (South Africa next with 18.3)
Metres with ball: 621.7 (Argentina next with 442.3

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