La Plata, Argentina: New Zealand coach Steve Hansen revelled in his team’s performance after they hammered Argentina on Saturday but was happy to enjoy the moment rather than look ahead to a possible record run of victories.
The world champions outscored the Pumas seven tries to two at the Estadio Unico to claim the Rugby Championship title and extend their unbeaten stretch to 15 matches, two shy of the mark set by their predecessors between 1965 and 1970.
“Records are something that reflect what you’ve done rather than something you should be chasing,” said Hansen, whose team face South Africa and Australia in their next two matches.
While praising the All Black display, Hansen, who said his chief goal is for New Zealand to confirm their status as world champions, also gave credit to Argentina for their intention to play running rugby.
“It was one our best performances of the season,” said the coach, who took charge after last year’s World Cup triumph. “The manner we did it was very satisfying. To be able to attack like that, you have to have a platform and the forwards played very well today.”
Argentina, who scored the first try of each half, played their part in an open game in which they attempted to attack more than in their previous matches. This produced some exciting moves from both teams across the width of the pitch but New Zealand’s pace and movement eventually wore down the Pumas’ normally excellent defence.
“We set put to try to do things better with the ball but we took a step back in our defensive organisation,” Pumas coach Santiago Phelan said. “Some of their tries came from our mistakes but others were due to [New Zealand’s] effectiveness.”
Pumas captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe agreed. “We wanted to try and play more but our defence is what feeds us and today we made too many mistakes in that area,” he said.