Argentina coach Mario Ledesma has delivered a scathing critique of his team who he said failed to deliver at home against an All Black side he wasn't particularly impressed with.

Ledesma spoke of his frustration and disappointment at the performance of his men today in their 35-17 defeat by the All Blacks at Estadio José Amalfitani.

Some of the All Black finishing was exquisite – especially as far as Rieko Ioane is concerned – but Ledesma said the visitors weren't as clinical as he was expecting.

"They weren't the normal All Blacks that we were playing tonight," Ledesma said. "I don't think they were that clinical but we couldn't deliver; we under-performed in terms of delivery from scrum and lineout. In your [All Black] scrums we got dominated and we couldn't do the simple things right.


"We had a lot of missed opportunities from scrum and lineout and even simple breaks. I think we had as many breaks as you did but we couldn't score."

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Most of Ledesma's frustration would have stemmed from his pack's abysmal scrum which was pushed around almost at will by the All Blacks.

But his attitude and expectation stems too from the fact that his side had gone into the test after victories against the Springboks and Wallabies. He expected far more and fair enough, but in reality the Pumas were sunk by halftime, the All Blacks taking a 21-3 lead to the break and refusing to break even in the absence of the sinbinned Sonny Bill Williams.

Ledesma's counterpart Steve Hansen didn't sound a lot happier afterwards but he will be pleased his side responded to the defeat in Wellington and retained the Rugby Championship before next weekend's test in Pretoria.

"We got better game management, I'm not sure we're the finished product yet," he said. "They were a young team out there for large parts of tonight. It was pretty pleasing. I thought our kicking was better. Maybe it wasn't as accurate as we would like but I thought we kicked to the right places at the right times a lot more than we did a couple of weeks ago."

Beauden Barrett was perfect from the tee against the Pumas. Photo / AP
Beauden Barrett was perfect from the tee against the Pumas. Photo / AP

The performance of Ardie Savea, a late call-up to No 8 due to Luke Whitelock's illness will be one of the more pleasing aspects for Hansen.

"He certainly played well," Hansen said. "He was very good at controlling the ball behind a very dominant scrum and then also he launched off it pretty well. Around the park he did his job as well with and without the ball."


Hansen said Savea had prepared at No 8 during the week but the man himself said he hadn't. "I didn't spend any time at No 8 but it's one of those things that can happen and you just have to adapt and adjust," Savea said.

The pack's scrum dominance certainly helped with that and here the All Blacks can thank in particular their two starting props Karl Tu'inukuafe, rapidly turning into a cult figure, and Ofa Tuungafasi, who had one of his best ever tests.

Tu'inukuafe, who started the year without a contract, was rightly described as a "diamond" by Hansen, who added: "He could become great, I think. He can certainly scrum and lift in the lineout and we're starting to see other parts of his game too, but he'll be the first to tell you he isn't the finished product."

For backs coach Ian Foster, the performances of Beauden Barrett at No 10 and Sonny Bill Williams outside him were meritorious.

"He put his normal amount of work into this week," Foster said of Barrett's 100 per cent goalkicking success. "He was determined to kick well. Every kicker has an off night, he knows that, but the way he came back was pleasing, particularly with a couple of them near the sideline. It was the result of a good week at work.

Of returning offloading expert Williams, yellow carded for offside in the first half, Foster said: "He's been out for a while. He didn't get a lot of touches on attack early but the ones he did he was pretty effective with."