The All Blacks Top 20
James Mortimer 11 Sep 2013 Getty Images
Yes he limped off the field after 60 minutes, subsequently ruled out for six weeks, but in that time he still managed to be the best All Black forward on display, dominating most of the statistics.
The All Blacks don’t really use second five-eighths anymore
Francis Saili became All Black number 1126 over the weekend, a player in the mould of his idol Ma’a Nonu. Gone are the days of a second playmaker, a ball carrier and strike runner is now in vogue.
Well done Dan
Carter became the first player in Test history to breach 1400 points, now with 1409 in total. In the old days many thought no one would break four figures…
Kieran the colossus
Could he get any better? Another huge performance and the creation of calm knowing that the All Blacks have a top class man to assume the captaincy.
Don’t mess with Sam and Brodie
The two front line All Blacks locks are growing with each outing. They wouldn’t mind tidying up their lineout, but in the loose the men are monsters.
Nothing beats experience up front
While Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina will be better for their outing, when 178 Tests in the form of Andrew and Tony left the field, the scrum didn’t look as powerful.
The best start ever
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen now boasts the best start to an international coaching career. That Twickenham defeat remains the only reverse suffered by the current World Champions under his watch.
One more win
With 382 Test victories, one more will see the All Blacks pass the French with the most international triumphs, potentially achieved in 184 less Tests.
Average margin increases
The victory over the Pumas over the weekend saw the All Blacks average margin over 504 Tests increase to 26-13.
Steve or Liam?
Chiefs Investec Super Rugby winner Liam Messam was in the form of his life before his injury, confirming his place as the incumbent blindside. Then a big lad from Auckland was given a chance. A nice selection dilemma.
Should Smith move to the centres?
Cory Jane hopes he doesn’t so he can fight for his jersey, but either way Ben Smith is so effective out wide there may now be some doubt to shift him closer to the action.
The Pumas are one team that doesn’t seem to be frightened by Black
The old saying that many nations would defeat themselves prior to a match by believing the myth doesn’t sit with the Pumas. Sure they believe it, but they embrace it with such passion that they now can compete with the world’s best.
There is no place like home
The 28-13 victory was win number 204 at home for the All Blacks. Only 37 times has a visitor won on Kiwi soil in a Test match.
The big one resumes
The All Blacks will play their 86th Test against the Springboks, winning 48 of them (56.5%)
Nonu is back!
All Blacks second five-eighths will be in the selection running, and his direct style could be valuable against a powerful Springboks outfit.
Welcome to the big time boys
Dane Coles, Charlie Faumuina and Wyatt Crockett will all be better for their torrid battle against the Pumas scrum. Faumuina said it was his toughest set piece match ever.
Heavy as she goes
The All Blacks starting forward pack against Argentina was one of their heaviest of all time, clocking in at 928kg.
Stranded on the record
Richie matched George Gregan with 48 appearances in the tournament, but will have to wait to break the mark...
Read to become number two number eight
Kieran Read will overtake Rodney So'oialo as the most second capped starting No.8 with his 47th Test start. Zinzan Brooke started 51 Tests in the jersey.
Old, not likely
Pending on selections the All Blacks could have an average age of 26 this weekend, younger than the other three teams in The Investec Rugby Championship.
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