Julian Savea, one of the most dangerous attacking players in world rugby and with a try-scoring record to match, has only a vague idea of the identity of the top try-scorer in All Black history.

After his two tries against Argentina at McLean Park, which takes his phenomenal record to 26 tries in 25 tests, he was asked who he thought the record holder was.

He paused. "Is it Dougie?"

It is. Doug Howlett's 49 tries in 61 tests is the benchmark, Christian Cullen (46 in 58 tests) and Joe Rokocoko (46 in 68 tests) not far behind.


Savea now sits in 11th place overall, alongside Ma'a Nonu - his midfield teammate having taken 92 tests to score 26 tries.

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It's not difficult to see how Savea has managed it. He is a huge man for a back - 1.92m and 107kg - with thighs like tree trunks which generate his explosive speed and bounce would-be tacklers back from whence they came. He has developed into a valuable asset for the All Blacks, announcing himself on the world stage with three tries on debut against Ireland at Eden Park in 2012 and rarely failing to cross the line since.

One of the pleasing things for the coaches is the way he has continued to develop his game, including safety under the high ball, work rate and defence, something touched on by assistant coach Ian Foster on Saturday night.

The All Blacks picked up a bonus point with the win against the Pumas, head coach Steve Hansen was very pleased with that achievement and a very good defensive effort which kept Argentina tryless in the 28-9 victory.

"It's really the other stuff that's impressing us," Foster said when asked about Savea's accumulation of tries. "It's his kick-chase game, his defence has improved dramatically - he's on top of his game."

For the modest 24-year-old, who had another opportunity early in the first half when chasing a Beauden Barrett kick only to mishandle it after being held back, the try-scoring record means little.

"I'm not aware of it," he said. "I've just got to keep doing my job and if I'm able to finish off some opportunities ... I have to be in the right place at the right time."

After capitalising on a Conrad Smith left-foot kick through the defence, and a set move when he received a perfectly delayed Barrett pass to score near the posts, Savea was especially happy with the latter.

Herald rugby scribes Gregor Paul & Patrick McKendry are joined by Radio Sport Nigel Yalden to give their expert opinion and analysis after the All Blacks were victoriuos against a difficult Pumas team in Napier 28-9.

Strike power

Best strike rates for tier-one test players with 25 or more tries:
Julian Savea (NZ) 26 tries, 25 tests S/R 104%
Christian Cullen (NZ) 46 tries, 58 tests S/R 79%
Doug Howlett (NZ) 49 tries, 62 tests S/R 79%
Jeff Wilson (NZ) 44 tries, 60 tests S/R 73%
Sitiveni Sivivatu (NZ/PI) 33 tries, 48 tests S/R 69%
Joe Rokocoko (NZ) 46 tries, 68 tests S/R 68%
Shane Williams (Wal/ Lions) 60 tries, 91 tests S/R 66%
David Campese (Aus) 64, 101S/R 63%