“It’s bloody boring, though”.
Hansen called Naholo’s debut performance really good.
“In deciding on the squad to travel to South Africa, the selectors based their selections on three criteria”, said coach Steve Hansen.
The Pumas showed character to rally midway through the second half with two tries from massed lineout drives, both scored by captain Agustin Creevy in his 37th Test. Argentina went to attacking lineouts from penalties in the 56th and 62nd minutes, and on both occasions created controlled rolling mauls from which Creevy speared over.
“We are all a bit shocked about it because he was weight-bearing on it and pretty good”, Hansen added.
One of New Zealand’s five five-pointers against Argentina, to skipper Richie McCaw, also came from a lineout drive.
Explosive winger Waisake Naholo’s Rugby World Cup dreams have been shattered by a lower leg injury. But he also indicated a lack of discipline put the All Blacks in a vulnerable situation against the Pumas.
“We’ve got to get combinations”. “There was a patch there in the second half where, if anything, our discipline let us down and they scored a couple of tries on the back end of that”.
Meanwhile, McCaw allowed himself little time to reflect on a match billed as the last Test in Christchurch for two Canterbury rugby favourites.
Having him play in the All Blacks with Julian Savea on the other wing in the Rugby World Cup was a prospect many New Zealand rugby fans had hoped for. Carter is heading to French club Racing Metro after the tournament.
That was McCaw’s 27th Test try and, with the possibility of the 34-year-old Crusaders flanker hanging up his boots after this year’s World Cup, it could well have been his last in front of his own fans at AMI Stadium.
While “getting a wee meat pie” was something he was “quite happy about”, he didn’t dwell on the personal significance of the night after the final whistle.
“I wasn’t too keen on getting too caught up in that because you could have that every week”, he said. I’m not talking about doing it illegally but we just didn’t get in on the ball or on their wedges quick enough and they got a platform set and as soon as they took it off centre we were in trouble.
However, by that stage the All Blacks were starting to apply some serious pressure and they were rewarded when McCaw was pushed over in the 20th minute by team-mate Read after Jerome Kaino had collected a line-out.
He agreed it was a difficult decision to leave the pair out of a Test as big as one against the Springboks at Ellis Park.