Damn the last half hour.

The Buenos Aires test felt like an opportunity to suggest Steve Hansen is our greatest All Black coach.

The stage had been set for another mandatory victory, another successful stop on the All Blacks' world domination tour, and they were winning in typical style. Topics are becoming hard to find, with each All Black victory looking like the next.

Then the test against Argentina collapsed like a drunk on a high wire and I felt obliged to backtrack quicker than Steve Tew heading for an airport. It was one of the ugliest half-hours of test rugby you could imagine, and there have been a few. Greatest was an inappropriate word.


Rugby has a serious problem if it wants to sell that muck to the world. Best to keep it in the backyard, methinks.

But what the hell. On with the Steve Hansen theory. The All Blacks still won, and had been very impressive up until then. Buenos Aires is a tough place to play and Argentina showed their class in the last World Cup. They are certainly no easybeats - just ask France - and include tough hombres led by their captain Agustin Creevy and No8 Facundo Isa.

Isa had one of the greatest games I've seen from a test forward. He carted the ball ahead over and over again, and his skilful work included one amazing release of the ball when he was being bundled over the touchline. He shouldered a staggering workload with the ball.

In the end though, none of these things end up mattering when it comes to playing the All Blacks these days. The scoreboard always says the same thing, and it is hardly ever close.

Hansen has got one impressive World Cup triumph locked up, has another on the CV as an assistant, and has risen from the ashes of 2007 to win over what is usually a fairly critical home audience.

Undoubtedly a huge part of the secret sauce is the people he has surrounded himself with: Wayne Smith, Ian Foster, Grant Fox in particular. But that's all part of the deal. No previous coach has had the national side humming along in such a dominant fashion. There might be claims the poor state of world rugby is the foundation for this stunning run of success, but you can only play what's there, and the victories are generally by big margins.

Hansen has certainly got the cattle, but you still need to know how to use them. When it comes to world rugby, there is a great divide.

There are intriguing and hopefully genuine, tough challenges ahead for the All Blacks - the Lions, England and the next World Cup. Maybe there is a fall in there somewhere. For now, though, Hansen is untouchable.