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All Blacks expecting the unexpected - Crotty

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Lynn McConnell     26 Sep 2018     Getty Images

Second five-eighths Ryan Crotty said their ability to feed off unstructured play meant they could produce the sort of response which could catch the All Blacks off guard so they would be looking to deal with that.

Containing the Argentine capacity to unleash their backs would be important this week.

"We saw in Nelson how hard it was, right across their backline they are all skilful players.

"They like to razzle and their unstructured play is where they are most dangerous – their counterattack, the bobbled ball – the hardball gets is when they are most dangerous. It's all about shutting time and space down, giving them slow ball and giving our defence a chance to get set, number up and get line speed and take their time away so a big, big effort on defence this week," he said.

First five-eighths Nicolas Sanchez was 'massive' for the Pumas. He had been central to the Jaguares' in Super Rugby and had transferred that to the Test side.

"A lot of their play comes through his hands and through his direction so he's certainly one man we'll be keeping an eye on this week," he said.

Crotty said a feature of the Tuesday training resulting from the review process was the level of communication on both sides of the ball – attack and defence – had been really good.

The Springbok loss had highlighted how important those connections were especially when real pressure was applied.

"It was something we trained today and it was awesome to see the outsides talking well and really it was all just flowing from there," he said.

Wing Waisake Naholo said it was important for the back three to communicate with the inside because they had more time to see things.

Naholo said the Argentine outside backs were good athletes who, if they were given space, had the ability to show what they were capable of.

"With those types of players you've just got to take time and space from them and put them under a lot of pressure by doing your job in the wide channels," he said.

That would also be important given the continuation of the kicking tactics seen in Nelson.

Crotty said Sonny Bill Williams had been trying to tell all concerned ahead of the South African game that he was ready to go, but he had trained well on Tuesday and was feeling good.

"It's good to have him fit and healthy and available for selection. When he's out there training he's always offering especially as our midfield pod helping out there," he said.

The strength of the midfield at the moment came down to how hard they worked for each other.

"We all compete, but we don't compare. We genuinely help each other and whoever gets the opportunity to play is genuinely helped by the brothers that aren't so I think that's been a real strength for us," he said.

A few years ago they had been green as a unit but they had built their experience.