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New Zealand wary of Pumas best chance for first win over All Blacks

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 01:28s - Published < > Embed
New Zealand wary of Pumas best chance for first win over All Blacks

New Zealand wary of Pumas best chance for first win over All Blacks

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Argentina look confident as they hope to beat New Zealand for the first time.


New Zealand wary of Pumas best chance for first win over All Blacks


(SOUNDBITE) (English) ALL BLACKS COACH, STEVE HANSEN, SAYING: "History tells us the first test we play has always been hard work, because you've got five coaches who have been watching footie and excited about everything they know, and want to implement, and then you have a group of players who are coming from five different franchises and you're trying to cram it into a really short period of time.

So, coaches have had to take it easy a wee bit on the information that they're delivering, and the players have had to work hard to soak up the information they have been given.

So, whatever we do on Saturday (July 20) we'll improve from this for sure, but it's important that these guys go out and particularly from today on to just think about doing their job." 2.


(SOUNDBITE) (English) ALL BLACKS COACH, STEVE HANSEN, SAYING: "I think they (Pumas) are a very good rugby side, they have been for a very long time.

They've definitely got a lot of confidence in how they want to play the game.

They've got a big advantage I think in the fact that most of their squad has been playing together all year.

But to say this is the most, the biggest opportunity they've got, well yes in the sense that it's the next one but every time we play them it's a big opportunity." 4.


PLAYERS ON PRACTICE PITCH STORY: Argentina have never beaten New Zealand at rugby in 32 matches but momentum on one side and personnel changes on the other mean they may never have a better chance to end that run than on Saturday (July 20) in Buenos Aires.

The bulk of the Argentina team play for the Jaguares who this month reached the Super Rugby Championship final for the first time, beating three New Zealand sides on the way.

There is a sense among Argentine rugby fans that it could finally be their year and the addition of five European-based players to their squad has given the Pumas an extra boost.

They won't admit it, but the Argentines may also be lifted by the relative inexperience of the visitors.

The world champions are resting eight of the Crusaders players who faced the Jaguares in the Super Rugby final.

Uncapped winger Sevu Reece will start for the All Blacks and four others - prop Atu Moli, loose forward Luke Jacobson, flyhalf Josh Ioane and outside back Braydon Ennor - are expected to make their test debuts from the bench.

The world champions are still favourites, of course, and the men who flew halfway around the world know there is more at stake that points, with places up for grabs in the squad for September's World Cup.

As if that were not enough, the thought of losing that unbeaten streak in front of a sell-out crowd of 45,000 at the Velez Sarsfield stadium has given them an extra reason to perform.

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