Player ratings: All Blacks come to life in second half to demolish brave Pumas

The Pumas made life extremely uncomfortable for the All Blacks for 50 minutes until the beast awoke and crushed any hope of a historic victory. Several players shone brightly, so who were they?

Ben Smith 9/10

Unbelievable speed for his second try and had the Midas touch everywhere else he popped up. Reversed the order and laid on the perfect grubber for Barrett's try. Outstanding throughout and authoritative in a testing first twenty minutes.

Israel Dagg 7/10

For a man who raps in a safety video song, he once again surprised everyone when he landed a 49 metre monster penalty kick in the first half. Well marked on the wing in what can only be described as a solid game. Savea and Smith's games to shine this time around.

Malakai Fekitoa 7.5/10

Didn't put a foot wrong but there's a growing impatience for something special to happen when he touches the pill. One great turnover stood out.

Ryan Crotty 8/10

Rugged display with a handful of well-timed and well-taken chances. Tackled and ran effectively in his most prominent Test in memory.

Julian Savea 8.5/10

A game of two halves for the Bus. Set the turf on fire in the first spell with clean breaks, bump offs and a try then went missing in the second forty. Return to form and looked light (and powerfully heavy) on his feet.

Beauden Barrett 8/10

Moments of astounding skill only he possesses. Slipped through narrow gaps to set up the try that broke the Pumas back and scorched earth to latch onto Smith's kick. Tackled well in first half when controlling the game from No.10 would have been impossible.

Aaron Smith 7/10

Conducted play well in a first half full of challenges but became rushed and a tad sloppy towards the end. A tough night with the Pumas pack making large metres up the centre. Asked to tackle a lot. Rare subbing with half hour left.

Kieran Read 8/10

Captaincy supreme. Knuckled down and got through a mountain of dirty work. Not his most accurate or polished performances but one key interjection stood out early in the second half.

Sam Cane 9/10

McCaw-like performance before his hamstring blew out. Had his radar honed on the breakdown and won two penalties plus a turnover. Warrior.

Jerome Kaino 8.5/10

Led the defensive line around the breakdown and hurt some bodies. Another standout Test in a purple patch that is adding to his legacy.

Sam Whitelock 8/10

Made to work big time early on and recouped well making multiple bootlace tackles with gaps calling. Part of the unsung collective that snuffed out the Pumas in minutes 40-50.

Brodie Retallick 8.5/10

Scratchy start like many then started to hum like an old Kingswood. Physically dominant with several touches of class we're accustomed to.

Owen Franks 6/10

Making midfield breaks for fun now. Chased his tail in the middle of the park a few times in that first half with a couple of missed tackles but who didn't.

Dane Coles 7/10

Nuts and bolts breakdown work not what he's famous for but just as crucially got to work. Fell off a couple of tackles in the first half frenzy of Pumas runners and shock horror, fluffed a lineout.

Joe Moody 7/10

Hot and cold night. High tackle and scrum penalty slightly blighted his great mobility on defence. Channelled his aggression well elsewhere and made some hits.


Codie Taylor 7/10

Got the luxury of loitering out on the wing a fair bit and kept the continuity going nicely.

Wyatt Crockett 8/10

Breakdown work sensational to go with his scrum wins. Moved bodies with haste.

Charlie Faumuina 8/10

Dynamic half hour. Got his hands on the ball and laid in a heavy shoulder often. Part of an ABs' scrum which had the wood in the second half.

Luke Romano 8/10

Barnstorming cameo rewarded with a try. Barged his way around the fringes with high energy.

Ardie Savea 7.5/10

Didn't start well with a penalty then got his steam train legs going.

TJ Perenara 8.5/10

Was Smith injured? Nope. Got the early boarding pass and didn't disappoint, directing the ruck with aplomb and upping the tempo to the point Argentina floundered. Answered a few questions with the prolonged game time.

Aaron Cruden 7.5/10

Great tackling, handful of useful snipes and added some creativity to the attack. Perfect kick for Romano's odd try.

Anton Lienert-Brown 7/10

Busy and involved for the last ten. Fast feet that threatened to get through the first tackle more than once.