No Brodie Retallick and now no Kieran Read in Buenos Aires. The All Blacks will attempt to bounce back from their painful defeat to South Africa with what for them will be an extremely inexperienced pack.

There's no Joe Moody either, but Karl Tu'inukuafe has made such a good fist of the start of his international career that the All Blacks are unlikely to miss Moody's 36 caps of experience.

Retallick, who has played 71 tests, was badly missed in Wellington against the Springboks and the All Blacks could miss the 113-cap Read's leadership against the Pumas at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani, as they seek to dramatically improve their game management after the failure there at Westpac Stadium.

The resting of Read from the Argentina leg – he will fly direct to South Africa to meet up with the squad before their test against the Boks in Pretoria on October 7 – has been long planned as a strategy to reduce the wear and tear on his back. He had back surgery at the end of last year and sitting in planes for long periods is not considered an ideal activity for him, or any athlete for that matter.


The All Blacks starting loose forwards against Argentina a week on Sunday are likely to consist of Shannon Frizell – probably at No 8 – Jackson Hemopo and Sam Cane. Frizell and Hemopo have three tests between them.

Vaea Fifita, back in the fold as Read's replacement is an option to start ahead of Hemopo but will probably be named on the reserves bench.

"Not too much, no," was coach Steve Hansen's reply as to whether there was a level of anxiety among the coaching group at his young loose forwards' lack of experience.

"They're all good players so they have to play at some stage. There's no point in losing sleep over it. We've just got to trust them and make sure they're comfortable in the environment, they're comfortable in their role, and they know what they need to do. One of those new guys is Shannon Frizell and he didn't do too badly last time."

Frizell, who started at blindside flanker against Argentina in Nelson a week before the Boks defeat, put in a coming-of-age type performance and now the spotlight will probably turn on tough fellow Highlander Hemopo to see if he can follow suit.

The All Blacks were a bit loose against the Pumas at Trafalgar Park but such was their intensity and ability to keep asking questions of the opposition defence that they ended up running over the top of the visitors.

There was no such joy a week later against the fired-up South Africans and Hansen had to go back to the 2007 World Cup quarter-final defeat to France for the last time he saw such a lack of awareness from his men.

"Our game management was next door to zero … that was our biggest problem," he said. "No one's going to get hung out to dry for us losing. We just have to pick up on the little things.

"I think back to 2007 as the last time I can think of the game that we so poorly managed. It was the pressure of the scoreboard and the pressure of the event and this time the same thing happened.

"We got really individualistic and tried to do it all by ourselves. All we had to do was take a big breath and maybe take a shot at goal in the 66th minute and that gives you three points and maybe get a try and that puts you in front. That's one example.

"A dropped goal wouldn't be bad either would it, and we couldn't do one of those in 2007 because it's not the thing that the five-eighth at that time is used to doing. It's not one that Beauden [Barrett] has done, I don't think he's ever got one [in tests]."