New Zealand captain Cane proud of All Blacks' response after successive defeats

Oleh Patric Ridge 28 November 2020 42
New Zealand captain Cane proud of All Blacks' response after successive defeats

Sam Cane expressed his pride in New Zealand's response to two successive Test defeats, after the All Blacks ran out 38-0 winners over Argentina.

Will Jordan's late double helped cap off a supreme display in Newcastle, as New Zealand took a huge step towards securing the Tri Nations crown.

Their campaign is now over, with two wins and two defeats, though their points difference (+64) should see them clear of Argentina or Australia, who meet next week.

Argentina made history with their first Test win over New Zealand on November 14, but the All Blacks were always in complete control on Saturday as the Pumas were kept out in a game for the first time since June 2016.

"It's extremely satisfying. There's no hiding that we had a tough few weeks, we've had a week off after the loss," said Cane, who laid down a signed All Blacks jersey in tribute to Argentinian legend Diego Maradona prior to kick-off.

"Pretty proud of the work we've put in over the last two weeks. The scoreboard doesn't reflect the first 60 minutes, I reckon.

"Will Jordan's got an uncanny ability to get the ball in open space, so it was awesome for him to come on and have such impact. The way that the Pumas defended to keep us out multiple times is a real credit to how they played and their desire.

"I'm really proud of the way we were able to stay patient, we didn't allow that to frustrate us. We stayed patient and got there in the end."

The last time the All Blacks went on a longer losing streak than two Tests was a five-match span from July to August in 1998, but Cane insists the entire squad understands the expectancy of playing for the three-time world champions.

"It's tough and there's pressure but that’s what playing for the All Blacks is all about," Cane, sporting a nasty cut above his right eye, added.

"I'm proud of how the group stuck together in camp. A happy group and we've worked really hard to get better."

Jordan's cameo from the bench was particularly eye-catching, with the 22-year-old making three clean breaks for a total of 125 metres, scoring his first two international tries and playing a key part in creating Patrick Tuipulotu's late five-pointer.

It merely added gloss to a fine team display, with New Zealand controlling 71 per cent of the ball at McDonald Jones Stadium, the All Blacks having amassed 203 metres by half-time – Argentina managing just 35 in comparison in the opening 40 minutes.

It was a performance with Argentina skipper Pablo Matera put down to the entire team, rather than any individual mistakes.

"We were not clinical. Not enough pressure on the ball. Silly mistakes in defence as well. Not a good day for us," he said.

"I don't think [the changes] were the problem. The guys who played for the first time in the tournament put in a lot of energy.

"It was the whole team, many mistakes and handling errors, so I wouldn't put the mistakes to a name, it was something from the whole team.

"We have to watch the game again, analyse, be really hard on ourselves. Prepare for a good game, a lot of work for the last game of the season. We deserve that, we work really hard."

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