Senior All Black Aaron Smith has criticised Argentina’s approach to their game in Christchurch, saying the visitors “Were trying not lose”.
“Argentina weren’t trying to win the game; they were just trying not to lose it. They used their defence for that, and we played into their hands.” Smith said.
Despite Smith’s assessment, Los Pumas went on to win the fixture picking up their first ever win in New Zealand and condemning the All Blacks to a third home loss in four outings this season.
The loss piled further pressure on the All Blacks playing group and coaching staff this week who are now in a position where a second loss to the Pumas would all but end their Rugby Championship defence.
Discussing how opposition teams are playing against them, Smith went on to say that their opponents are happier to play without the ball than with it.
“I think variety is key, but the mentality from our boys is to want to be able to hold the ball, build pressure and use our attack.”
“As we see with the north hemisphere teams and the teams so far in the Rugby Championship, they want to give us the ball.
Echoing the sentiments of his coach, Smith accused the opposition of slowing the game down and ruining the sceptical.
“They don’t really want to play and they’re really attacking our breakdown.
“If you attack with the ball for long periods of time, you’re giving them opportunities and they’re taking them.”
“Because teams at the moment are going 2-3 phases and just kicking it, because that’s their tactic, and they try to punish us at the breakdown and that’s what the Argies did.”
Smith and his All Black teammates have an opportunity to show that they have learnt from their previous loss again tomorrow as they once again take on Los Pumas at home.