Ardie played well. The 'preferred' trio of squire, cane, and read doesn't do it for me. Too unreliable in terms of defence, discipline, and offload decisions/execution. anyone agree that squire and read are not the greatest defenders? often mis-communicating with the rest of the defensive line, or simply missing tackles, often out wide where they simply lack the agility to tackle sidestepping backs? and squire doesn't have the ball handling, distributing, skills of most new zealand forwards? and read makes some bad offload decisions? and cane, squire, and read, but particularly cane, give some dumb or cynical penalties away too often? Is there space for ardie? Read is captain so he's not going to be replaced. Ardie could come in for cane, but we don't want to be losing too much experience, and we'd then want a more industrious ruck focused 6 - could be hemopo. or maybe ardie just needs to stay a bench player, there's no doubt he's one of the best impact players in the world. in which case, hemopo is probably not the best 6 option to replace squire, as we'd lose quite a bit of carrying ability. Maybe frizzel or fifita are the answers, keeping the amps up while making the trio a bit more reliable. but frizzel has been thrown in a bit early for my liking (though he's doing surprisingly well), and fifita has gone out of favour. Scott barrett would do well at 6 but we probably don't want to take the focus off his locking role given he is clearly our number 3 lock. Any ideas? Experience on the bench might become a thing for pressure games, like in world cups. Instead of the typical impact player, experienced players you can rely on to close out a game. you could start Ardie and have Todd on the bench for example. But only if you can then justify starting Hemopo at 6, because leaving Cane out of the 23 is not really the best solution to my loose forward issues, Cane being the player I have least issue with. I'm not a fan of patrick tuipolotu; I do admire what he does well, but his hands just let him down too often for my liking. Ben Smith really hasn't been himself this year, though has shown glimpses of brilliance at times. It might just be a case of losing a bit of speed with age and needing a bit of time to re-adjust. But I do wonder whether he should start transitioning to a bench player, as if he had the energy at the end of games combined with his cool head he could help us either come from behind or close out a game, as necessary. Just a thought, you'd only do it if you wanted to make room for little mac or Beauden at fullback though Mo'unga was very very good, and kinda demonstrated his ability to be an impact player. It's rush defence we want to test our first fives against though, so I'd like to see him get some time against the Springboks. But i'd also like to see little mac get some time against the boks, and i'm not going to get both my wishes. Ione had some very good moments I thought, getting himself involved with good timing and lines, using his pace and acceleration to his advantage well. Scott Barret just gets better and better. Karl, whatever he might not have done perfectly ( he actually did quite well all round I thought), scrummaged very well, and that was enough. A big find for the All Blacks this year. A pretty good game from the ABs; they worked hard, communicated well, and had just that extra bit of focus to ensure they executed. I don't want to fall into the trap of saying what everyone says year after year - that the Pumas are improving, becoming a better team - despite the evidence. Their set-piece has been getting worse. The Pumas actually did pretty well considering how badly they got dominated in the set-piece.. Their speed and accuracy on attack has been very good at times this year, it has definitely improved. not by lots, but small margins make all the difference at this level.