Revitalised by Springboks loss, All Blacks 'jumping out of their skin' for Argentina Test

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster revealed that there was a new revitalised energy at training amongst the team, ahead of their Sunday Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

After reviewing their 36-34 loss to the Springboks a fortnight ago in Wellington, Foster said the players were eager to correct their mistakes.

"I think everyone was jumping out of their skin to get onto the training park and have a good blowout today," said Foster.

"Two or three days of recovering and our normal processes of reviewing and planning, a bit of added spice to it from our last game."

Argentina will have a lot of confidence going into Sunday's Test, after defeating Australia 23-19 in the Gold Coast two weeks ago.

"We try to keep our processes as consistent as possible because what we are trying to do is review a performance, not just a result," Foster said.

"It does add a little bit when you come off a poor performance and the fact that that performance equated to a loss is a bit of a double whammy."

The All Blacks need a bonus point victory against the Pumas this weekend to secure the Rugby Championship title for a third consecutive year.

"We've pulled a few things apart and we are pretty happy as to where we have got to," Foster said.

Argentina defeated the Springboks last month 32-19 in Mendoza but were outclassed 46-24 by the All Blacks the last time they met at Trafalgar Park in Nelson earlier this month.

Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks fends off Tomas Lezana of Argentina during a Rugby Championship match, All Blacks V Argentina , Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand, 8th September, 2018. Copyright photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz
Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks fends off Tomas Lezana of Argentina during a Rugby Championship match in Nelson. Source: Photosport


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'It's been one of those years' - All Blacks prop Joe Moody positive ahead of fourth injury comeback of 2018

All Blacks prop Joe Moody is itching to return to action for Canterbury this weekend, after an injury ravaged 12 months.

After missing the second half of 2017 with a shoulder injury, Moody was most recently struck down this year with a broken thumb, while also suffering injuries to his finger and knee.

However, preparing for his fourth return from injury this year alone, Moody is looking forward to gearing up for Canterbury against Counties Manukau in Pukekohe this weekend, looking to prove his fitness before the All Blacks' end of year tour.

"It's been one of those years for me," Moody told Stuff.

I haven't been able to string a lot of games together. But, at the same time, from now, it's just all on the way up."

Moody's time on the sideline hasn't had too much of a negative affect on the All Blacks though, with Karl Tu'inukuafe emerging as a contender for the number one jersey. Moody though, welcomes the competition.

"Karl is going well and there is no guarantees in sport. I've just been doing everything I can at my end. Keep fit, keep strong."

"Hopefully I can get out on the field and put some good performances in and get my spot back."

Moody won't be the only All Black making their return from injury this weekend, with fellow prop Nepo Laulala to line up against him for Canterbury, while hooker Dane Coles will be hoping to appear for Wellington off the bench.

Joe Moody leaves the field injured
Joe Moody leaves the field injured Source: Photosport


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'It will change a few lives' - Lima Sopoaga using English payday to help family

Former All Blacks first-five Lima Sopoaga has opened up about his decision to trade the black jersey for financial security, leaving New Zealand for English side Wasps earlier this year.

Sopoaga, 27, became yet another All Black to head abroad, signing a lucrative deal with English Premiership side Wasps, forgoing the chance to turn out for New Zealand at next year's World Cup in Japan.

In an interview with The Times though, Sopoaga says that the financial security on offer from the English club was too great to turn down.

"To come over here, to uproot my partner [Miriam] and daughter [Milla, aged one] was a very big decision," Sopoaga said.

"But in the long run, it will be the right one. Guys in New Zealand who are second or third string, we're not getting paid the same as the Beauden Barretts.

"I fell into that category, I've no qualms about it, that's the way it goes."

Sopoaga also said that his English payday is going towards helping his extended family, rather than on extravagant purchases.

"I'm not just playing for myself over here, it's about making a better life for my family, making Mum and Dad's life a bit easier, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.

"Now, if I'm smart and make the right choices, if I'm not buying stupid cars and stuff like that, this money will be put to good use. It won't just change my life, it will change a few lives."

Sopoaga concluded by saying he has no regrets about his exit from New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks jersey.

"Yeah, you can say, who wouldn't want to play 50 Tests and go to a World Cup?"

But I've been an All Black, it was an awesome part of my life. But life's not always that simple and it's time to write a new chapter."

Lima Sopoaga celebrates against South Africa
Lima Sopoaga celebrates against South Africa Source: Photosport


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Dane Coles prepares for long-awaited return to action - ‘He'll bring some fire and niggle off the bench’

It's been almost a year since he was last seen on the rugby field, but Dane Coles is finally set to make his long-awaited return from injury.

The 56-time capped All Black hooker hasn't played since last November, but will come off the bench in Wellington's crucial Mitre 10 Cup clash against Taranaki tomorrow night.

The plan is for him to have 20 minutes off the bench in the final round robin game of the season.

It's been close to a year since Coles injured his knee against France.

"Having played with him for a few years, it's really encouraging and I'm really pumped to have him back in the team," said fellow front row forward Jeff Toomaga-Allen.

"And I know he'll bring some fire and niggle off the bench." 

The All Blacks hooker will turn out for Wellington tomorrow, having not played since last November. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala shows off scars from broken arm as he prepares for rugby return

After nearly seven months on the sidelines, All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala is firming for his return to action, named on the bench for Counties' Mitre 10 Cup season finale against Canterbury on Saturday.

Having cemented his spot in the All Blacks' front row towards the end of 2017, Laulala's season was derailed just two weeks into his 2018 campaign, suffering a broken arm playing for the Chiefs. 

However, after a long road to recovery, Laulala is just one of three All Blacks front rowers to make their returns this weekend, with the Counties prop having seen the silver lining in his time away from rugby.

"It feels like an eternity," he began.

"I'm just really grateful for the time I got with my family - especially my wife. We're expecting our first child, (I'm) just trying to stay on the positive side of it all."

This isn't Laulala's first brush with serious injury, snapping three ligaments in 2015, ruled out for a year afterwards and fearing he'd never play again.

The burly front rower has used his experience though, helping him to come back stronger for a second time.

"I've been through some pretty intense trainings lately."

"This is my first full week with the boys. I'm going for whatever minutes I get, even if I get five minutes, I'll just be grateful to get back on the field, and just get an opportunity again."

Laulala will make his Counties debut, should he come off the bench.

After injury at the start of Super Rugby, Laulala will play for Counties this week. Source: 1 NEWS


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