Player ratings: NZ shift up two gears
Andrew Duncan rates the All Blacks following their 39-18 trouncing of the Pumas in Christchurch on Friday.
The All Blacks ramped up their World Cup preparation on Friday when they made short work of Argentina with a 39-18 victory in Christchurch on Friday.
Although still short of their championship best, the All Blacks five tries to two domination was a marked improvement on their ragged warm-up outing against Samoa last week.
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter produced all the tricks in his playbook, while Sonny Bill Williams had his trademark offloads and led the defensive line.
Kieran Read and Richie McCaw backed up their reputations with monster performances while Israel Dagg showed why he is still one of the best in the business.
Andrew Duncan rates the All Blacks!
15 Israel Dagg
Silenced his critics with a solid performance at the back. He ran well, offloaded well and was always in the right position for receiving kicks.
14 Waisake Naholo
Great debut from the Highlanders wing – a shaky start with a couple of handling errors but got into the swing of things with devastating breaks and tackle busts.
13 Ma'a Nonu
Still not convinced on Nonu at outside centre, he looked a bit out of place but the usual strong performance with a strong finish to a try.
12 Sonny Bill Williams
Ruthless on defence and outrageous offloads throughout the game. Bone-crunching performance.
11 Charles Piutau
Looked dangerous with ball-in-hand when he had the chance. Always managed to beat the first defender plus scored a five-pointer.
10 Daniel Carter
Controlled the game for the All Blacks. Tried to reignite his running game but that wasn't really happening. Kicked well and distribution was quality.
9 TJ Perenara
Had big shoes to fill as a starting No.9. and he did not disappoint. Gave Dan Carter crisp fast service.
8 Kieran Read
Very prominent on the park, featured along the trams of the field with storming runs and threw numerous perfect back-door offloads. Topped it off with a try.
7 Richie McCaw (Captain)
Tireless effort doing ruck-work throughout the game. He won classic turnover penalties and wreacked havoc in the Pumas breakdown.
6 Jerome Kaino
Worked well in tandem with Riche McCaw. Kaino put in some big hits on defence pushing Argentina backwards while also grafting hard in the rucks.
5 Brody Retallick
A big engine on the Chiefs lock. He wasn't shy of a ruck or two doing plenty of dirty work and was a force in the line-outs.
4 Luke Romano
Proved he can mix it with the best in a very well rounded enforcing game. He cleaned rucks and made strong carries.
3 Owen Franks
Besides a slightly above average scrumming performance he just got smashed by Manual Carizza in a tackle.
2 Keven Mealamu
Prominent in the first-half, scrummed well but was seemingly quiet after that.
1 Tony Woodcock
Good scrumming effort by the loosehead – a great bounce on Nicolas Sanchez in the first-half.
16 Codie Taylor (on for Mealamu, 60 mins)
Was energized when he ran on for his debut and scored a try after being denied one moments before.
17 Wyatt Crockett (on for Woodcock, 60 mins)
Didn't have much time to contribute.
18 Nepo Lualala (on for Franks, 55 mins)
19 Jeremy Thrush (on for Romano, 60 mins)
Did his duties when he came onto the park in a vintage No.4 role.
20 Liam Messam (on for Kaino, 70 mins)
Was aggressive and quick to the breakdown. An awesome super-sub to bring on with twenty minutes left.
21 Andy Ellis (on for Perenara, 70 mins)
Continued where TJ Perenara left off with quick service and quality passing.
22 Colin Slade (on for Naholo, 51 mins)
Made two runs and spilled the ball both times.
23 Ryan Crotty (on for Nonu, 73 mins)
Not much of an opportunity for the Crusaders centre but ran hard when he touched the ball.
By Andrew Duncan