Impressive All Blacks earn revenge over Argentina with a staggering 53 – 3 win. Video / Sky Sport
Pumas coach Michael Cheika doesn’t want his side to leave New Zealand taking the good with the bad.
After claiming an historic win in Christchurch a week ago, the Pumas were on the wrong end
of a 53-3 beatdown in Hamilton on Saturday night, with the All Blacks running riot from the first whistle to the last.
The match continued the season’s trend of nations splitting their two-test series and, with South Africa also beating Australia, each team goes into the final two rounds of the Rugby Championship with a 2-2 record.
And for all the heat they have taken, the All Blacks sit atop the standings on 10 points – a bonus point ahead of the rest.
Ahead of the final two rounds, Cheika said it was important for his side not to dwell too much on the loss and instead take the positives away from their New Zealand trip as they head into two matches against the Springboks.
“Rugby’s a thing where you’re only as good as your last game, and you’re only as good as your next game,” he said.
“There’s no summaries because there’s no average. If you want to be average, then you’ll take an average, but if you want to be the best, you have to try and be the best the next time you run out there.
“We weren’t, and we’ve got an opportunity against the world champs in a couple of weeks and we have to make sure we’re in the right mindset to take the good things we have done over the last couple of weeks and make sure we bring them into that one.
“That’s the key; to take those good things and try not to average it out. Because that’s where you’ll end up – being average.”
The Argentina side struggled to get going from the outset – knocking the ball on in the opening phases and struggling to recover as the All Blacks won the battle in the middle and made the most of their opportunities.
In assessing the match, Cheika said he expected the All Blacks to come back strong after suffering their first home loss to Argentina a week ago, and said the match came down to physicality.
“It’s not like it was a surprise,” he said of the way the All Blacks came out. “We just didn’t come with that physicality, especially around the rucks in the middle. We lost the battle in the middle and therefore we lost the game.
“New Zealand played well, we were below par, and the combination of those two things didn’t really end up very well for us. We just lost the battle, we lost the physicality. Pure and simple. You’ve got to own it.
“In the first game we owned the physicality and the second game we lost it. With the conditions as well, that becomes even more important and the game got away from us. We tried to get back in it early in the second half, but even when we got down to their line, we couldn’t just run hard and get over that line to get a try on the board and try claw our way back. You lose the physicality in this scenario and you lose the game. “