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All Blacks unsure of Pumas' intentions


Daniel Gilhooly

On point ... Graham Henry.

On point ... Graham Henry. Photo: Nathan Gilson

WELLINGTON: The All Blacks are unconvinced about Argentina's commitment to attack in Saturday's Rugby Championship Test.

A tight, tough style was the Pumas' default setting in their two opening Tests against the Springboks - a loss in Cape Town and draw in Mendoza.

Most pundits anticipate they will stick with the same tight, driving and kicking game against New Zealand in Wellington.

But the appearance of Argentina coaching consultant Graham Henry at training and the restoration of the classy Juan Martin Hernandez at five-eighth casts uncertainty over their style.

Hernandez added fuel to the fire when asked what role former All Blacks coach Henry was playing this week.

''In past years we've been good at defending so his focus is on attack,'' he said. ''Giving the advice to improve our decisions. To do a simple game but to execute it better than before.''

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster admitted it was not easy to plan for opponents they do not play often.

The last meeting was a torrid World Cup quarter-final when New Zealand pulled away late to win by 23 points.

''Those who played them speak very highly of how hard it was to break them down,'' Foster said.

''If you look back at the World Cup last year and then again this year, they're a very strong defensive team. Their backs are certainly very clued up in that area.

''On attack, they've probably got a limited formula but they'll still try to use the ball if we give them too many soft opportunities.''

Following a lacklustre All Blacks counter-attacking game against the Wallabies in Auckland, there is every indication wing Hosea Gear will make way for Hurricanes powerhouse Julian Savea when the team is announced today.

Also, centre Conrad Smith replaces Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield, with Ma'a Nonu returning to the No.12 jersey he hasn't worn since the World Cup.

Foster said there were enough wise heads to know how to repair a high error count in attack during the 22-0 defeat of Australia.

''We're creating a lot of opportunities, but we're a bit too excited or a bit too intense at times to take them,'' he said. ''You've got to focus on the small details of your game and try not to panic too much.''


Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
View All Fixtures
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