The All Blacks' advance party to South Africa got the chance to be typical test spectators as their mates beat Argentina.

Sam Cane says the five players who bypassed the test in Buenos Aires set their alarms and watched the game in bed at their Cape Town hotel.

"We'd only just got into the time zone but we were like 'nah we've got to get up'," said Cane.

"I think it was quarter to one kickoff here, so we set the alarms and it took a few minutes to wake up. To be honest we just sat in bed and watched it... in our own rooms."


Cane, Sam Whitelock, Liam Squire, Ryan Crotty and Lima Sopoaga ended up being the early arrivals, with Beauden Barrett required in Buenos Aires and Brodie Retallick remaining home to deal with a personal matter.

The tough flanker did his best to talk up the old All Blacks-Springboks rivalry, despite the 57-0 thrashing at Albany.

"I think the scoreboard is not a true reflection of where they are as a team," he said.

"They've lost a lot of experience and a lot of iconic Springboks over the last few years.

"Talking to a few our their boys in the sheds after our game, they we obviously disappointed with how that game turned out but they were feeling they were building in a good place going forward.

"They'd established a new leadership group and a lot of new guys in the squad and a lot of youth so they feel like they're building towards something in the coming years. The scoreboards of the last three games probably aren't quite a fair reflection of maybe the feeling in that squad.

"We're very much in touch with the history and how tough past tests have been and we're also aware of the small margins in test footy. You only need a couple of things to go your way or you'll take opportunities early and they can put you on the back foot.

"At test footy is sometimes pretty hard to swing those back. We know we have to be right on our game to get the result we want and if we're not it can be a real arm wrestle."

This is Cane's third visit to Cape Town this year having played the Stormers twice this season already and has made the trip to Newlands five times since 2015. He said players liked the late afternoon kick offs.

"It's one of the destinations in South Africa the boys look forward to when you see it on the schedule. The weather is pretty primo at the moment and hopefully we can have a good week.

" takes a bit of sting out of you playing at altitude so being down at sea level is nice and to be honest the support we get here is crazy."