NZ & Argentina exchange tips
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 6:42p.m.
By Jim Kayes
The All Blacks have a few twinkle-toed players in their backline, and those skills have been put to the test ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Wellington, with an All Blacks tango lesson.
Ma'a Nonu will have someone different dancing beside him on Saturday, with Conrad Smith returning after missing the two Wallabies Tests with an eye injury.
“It's great to have him back,” says All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.
“He brings lots of leadership. He brings a lot of experience to the decision-making part of the game, particularly in the backs.”
Backs coach Ian Foster is aware the Pumas’ defence is much better than their attack.
“Defensively they've been quite a hard nut to break. You look back at the World Cup last year and their games this year, and they've been a very strong defensive team. Their backs are certainly very clued up in that area.”
The Pumas showed at last year's World Cup they can use the ball, but it's not their natural game. That is something Sir Graham Henry has told the Pumas' coaches has to change.
“The last couple of years we had a good defence but we have a lot to improve in our offensive game, so Graham gave us lots of confidence, lots of new training methods to improve that,” says Pumas prop Patricio Albacete.
“In attack they've probably got a limited formula but they still try to use the ball if we give them too many soft opportunities,” says Foster. “So we've still got to be on our game.”
The All Blacks know that while it takes two to tango, only one can lead.
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