Despite recording their 16th straight win, the All Blacks still have some areas they can improve. Niall Anderson looks at four ways the All Blacks can get better ahead of the final Rugby Championship clash against the Springboks.
The All Blacks found themselves on the wrong end of referee Jaco Peyper's whistle, being penalised 12 times compared to Argentina's five discretions. That penalty accumulation led to a yellow card for Liam Squire, while Joe Moody also spent time in the bin for a swinging arm. While some of Peyper's decisions were questionable, the All Blacks found themselves consistently offside, something which will presumably be a point of emphasis for the All Blacks' coaching staff in training this week.
Although it had a neglible impact on the scoreline, the All Blacks missed their most tackles of the 2016 season. Twenty-two tackles were missed, with Israel Dagg and Wyatt Crockett (4), and TJ Perenara and Julian Savea (3) the biggest culprits as Facundo Isa and Tomas Cubelli proved particularly elusive. To put it in context, the All Blacks average 12 missed tackles per contest, and although their first half defensive performance was near-perfect, their standards dropped in a disappointing second stanza.
3) Performing in South Africa
Having dominated all comers all over the world, the All Blacks will visit their toughest place to play when they travel to South Africa. While the Springboks are a shadow of their superb sides of yesteryear, South Africa is the only place where the All Blacks have a losing record, having won 21 games but lost 25. Despite five of their last eight losses having come in South Africa, the All Blacks will still be heavy favourites, and a victory on Sunday will remove any doubts about their abilities to win in every condition.
4) Putting together the perfect performance
The fact a 19-point win in Argentina still creates several areas of improvement is a sign of just how dominant the All Blacks have been. A superb first half gave them a 29-3 lead, but unlike games before, they couldn't use their superior depth to increase their advantage in the second half. The quest for the perfect performance fell apart as Steve Hansen's men lost their shape, committing too many errors and penalties as Argentina took out the second stanza 14-7. A more complete effort may be required against the Springboks.