“It was a reflex thing”.
Spared having to play against Hansen’s preferred starting XV, Namibia can reasonably expect to avoid a repeat of the record 142-0 thrashing they suffered against Australia in 2003.
Second-half tries from scrum half Aaron Smith and replacement flanker Sam Cane got the Kiwis out of trouble after Argentina had gone in 13-12 up at half time.
“He’s totally committed, so if you’re going to be in his part of the park and you’re carrying the ball you’ve got to be ready to get smashed”.
“The rest of the discipline was pretty good but we’ll have a chat about it. We can’t afford to keep playing with only 14 players on the track and at one point 13”.
New Zealand have the luxury of being able to regroup during the next few days, safe in the knowledge that only the mismatch against Namibia looms on Thursday.
And the biggest crowd at a Rugby World Cup game was treated to a fine contest between the New Zealanders and a solid Argentinian side.
Victory over Argentina already leaves New Zealand overwhelming favourites to top Pool C, with Namibia, Georgia and Tonga hardly expected to trouble the defending champions.
“Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you have a wee brain explosion”, said Hansen after the Pool C match.
But the gallant Pumas were worn down by the black machine in a fractious clash which saw three players yellow carded including All Blacks’ skipper Richie McCaw for the third time in his 143-Test career.
“World Rugby’s spent a lot of time and energy and money trying to help the so-called minnows of the game to improve and I think by and large they’ve been successful in doing that”.
While McCaw was cooling off, it was alarming that a team boasting more than 1,000 caps – the most in Rugby World Cup history – proved ponderous in defence.
“It was a very tough game, Uruguay made it tough for us right from the start”, Wales coach Warren Gatland told reporters.
For a little while it looked like we might have another shock on our hands.
All Blacks head coach Hansen paid tribute to Cane, who leads his country at the age of 23. Galarza, at his second World Cup, came on in the 22nd minute of the match at Wembley after fellow lock Guido Petti was injured scoring Argentina’s try. “Captaincy is something that over the last couple of years I’ve grown more comfortable with”. “If we can put up a great performance, we can take a lot of confidence away from that”.