Nelson locals buzz with rugby fever as All Blacks play first ever Test at Trafalgar Park

Nelson's main street was packed with proud locals and thousands of visitors yesterday all preparing for the city's first ever All Blacks Test.

The Argentinian owners of Penguino Ice Cream café opened early in anticipation of the big day, but they weren't expecting their first customer so early - serving their first scoop of lemon at 8.30am.

“Yeah really early, I was like, 'oh really?'" Coki Verri said.

There was also a taste of home on the menu for Pumas fans.

“We have Dulce de leche (a type of caramel) which is very typical flavour in Argentina. I got my recipe from my dad."

There were at least 10,000 visitors in Nelson for last night's contest, including Puma supporters, which helped create a buzz around the city, Nelson mayor Rachel Reese said.

"I think what we can say is that money can't buy this sort of exposure!"

Nelson City Council invested up to $400,000 to make it happen. Ms Reese said it was worth every penny.

"The bid was a collaboration between Nelson business people, the Tasman Rugby Union and Nelson City Council and many, many other players.

Almost 150 years ago the first game of rugby was played in Nelson, and now, it’s getting a historic first All Blacks match. Source: 1 NEWS

"This is a great place for international teams. We've hosted the Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup. We've hosted the Black Caps, the Silver Ferns so I think this is going to be the start of a great relationship with the All Blacks,” she said.

Saturday's game brought plenty of confidence from fans on both sides.

"42-0!" predicted one Nelson All Blacks supporter.

"The score will be easy score, 31-30 to the Pumas, with a drop goal from Nico Sánchez at the last second!" challenged Nelson-based Argentinian Fermin Padilla.

"We know that we're a minority, it doesn't really matter, we're gonna make a lot of noise!"

In the end, the All Blacks came away on top with a 46-24 win in front of a sold out Trafalgar Park crowd.

However, the real winners appear to be the locals still buzzing over the historic weekend.

The city's main street was packed with proud locals and thousands of visitors yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: Steve Hansen gives SBW's boxing return his blessing - 'It's about raising money for the homeless'

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen appears to have no issue with Sonny Bill Williams' return to the boxing ring, with the star midfielder to put his gloves back on later this year.

Williams, 33, will return to the ring on December 1 this year, fighting to raise funds for the Exodus Foundation in Australia, and the Auckland City Mission, with his opponent to be named later this month.

Quizzed about his second-five's second career at the All Blacks' media conference this afternoon, Hansen said he was at peace with Williams' return to boxing.

"From my understanding, I think it's a very, very low key fight," Hansen began.

"It's about raising money for the homeless in Sydney, and for the Auckland City Mission.

"From what I understand, it shouldn't be too much of a task."

Hansen also appeared to have no issue with the timing of the fight, seeming to be scheduled for a week after the All Blacks' end of year tour.

"He's just going to get off the plane and do it, it's the sort of athlete he is."

The All Blacks star will return to the ring later this year. Source: 1 NEWS

'Run it straight' – soft-spoken Shannon Frizell breaks down performance against Argentina

All Blacks flanker Shannon Frizell was his usual, soft-spoken self in his appraisal of his performance in last night's 46-24 win over Argentina in Nelson.

The 24-year-old was playing just his second Test after making his debut earlier this year in Dunedin against France, managing multiple line breaks throughout the contest, before capping off his offensive performance with a try in the second half.

Speaking to 1 NEWS after the match, a shy Frizell spoke about playing in front of his home fans in Tasman.

"It was pretty special for me," he said.

"It's pretty easy playing with the best, you just do your job, play what's in front of you, run straight.

"It was all good."

The All Blacks loose forward shone in last night's 46-24 win. Source: 1 NEWS



'Hopefully I made her proud' – All Blacks rookie Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi dedicates debut to grandmother

All Blacks halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi's debut against Argentina in Nelson last night, revealing his grandmother had passed away during the week.

Tahuriorangi, 23, became All Black number 1174 when he entered the field at Trafalgar Park last night, fulfilling the childhood dream of just about every Kiwi rugby fan.

Speaking to media after the match however, the youngster revealed that what should have been a special week was instead tinged with sadness.

"This week was pretty hard because I lost my nan," he began.

"Hopefully I made her proud, hopefully I made all the community proud."

Tahuriorangi also spoke about performing the haka for the first time in the black jersey.

"My whanau was watching, I got a few kind messages.

"It was awesome, (I'm) really grateful for the opportunity to get out there."

The halfback made his first appearance in the black jersey against Argentina last night. Source: 1 NEWS


Patrick Tuipulotu called into the All Blacks, injured Retallick, Laumape to miss Springboks next Saturday

Patrick Tuipulotu has been called back into the All Blacks ahead of next Saturday night's Rugby Championship clash with South Africa in Wellington, after Brodie Retallick was ruled out with injury.

Retallick, 27, left the field early in last night's victory over Argentina in Nelson, with Steve Hansen today confirming that the lock has suffered a rotator cuff shoulder injury, likely to miss six weeks.

The news sees Tuipulotu, who has played 16 tests, welcomed back into the international fold, after a barnstorming start to the Mitre 10 Cup season, including a hat-trick of tries against Tasman last week.

Elsewhere, second-five Ngani Laumape is another casualty of last night's win, suffering a grade one knee ligament injury, expected to be out for two to three weeks.

Patrick Tuipulotu during the All Blacks captains run. Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA), Sept. 30, 2016: Captain's Run before the International Test Match between Argentina v New Zealand during the Rugby Championship at Estadio Jose Amalfitani, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Copyright photo: Pablo Gasparini /
Patrick Tuipulotu Source: Photosport