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'Our backline was keen to play': Rieko Ioane on his starring performance against Los Pumas

By Ben Smith
Rieko Ioane of the All Blacks makes a break during The Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Argentina Pumas at FMG Stadium Waikato on September 03, 2022 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
All Blacks centre Rieko Ioane has continued his blistering form in Hamilton after winning the man-of-the-match award against the Springboks at Ellis Park last month.
The Blues midfielder had a big night out against Argentina registering three line breaks from 100 metres while also scoring a try and setting up another for Caleb Clarke to help the All Blacks reverse last week’s result.
Speaking with Kirstie Stanway during the Sky Sport NZ post-game show, Ioane said that the team probably got carried away after breaking their losing streak in Johannesburg.
“Definitely proud of the boys, it’s been the theme of our year, we’ve been one down and the response the next week,” Ioane told Sky Sport NZ.
“We’re happy with where it is, but need to gain momentum into the next round.
“We probably did get caught up after that win in South Africa, we started slow against Argentina who were kicking like that last week.
“Our discipline let us down but we corrected it tonight. Very happy with that result.”
Ioane’s explosive attacking performance started midway through the first half after Will Jordan snatched a well-placed Richie Mo’unga kick in the Pumas backfield. With the momentum on their side, a pretty pass from Cane to Ioane freed up the centre who left Emiliano Boffelli tumbling with an in-and-away run.


The All Blacks centre showed his improved playmaking by providing a late pass after beating Boffelli to draw the last man and put Caleb Clarke away for a try.
He was then the recipient when his midfield partner David Havili played a perfect short ball on a scrum play for Ioane to ghost over untouched under the bar.
His biggest play of the night came on a 90-metre break out that ended with a try to Jordie Barrett a couple of phases later.
With the All Blacks free-wheeling under advantage following a scrum 10-metres from their own line, Jordan switched play back over to Ioane who stepped Pablo Matera on the inside and broke away upfied.
He said that the All Blacks backs were keen to show their skills even in wet conditions.
“Even though the weather was pretty poor, our backline was keen to play. It’s the type of rugby that we as a team love,” he said.
Ioane has flicked the switch since the disappointing Ireland series with many areas of his game showing rapid improvement with the addition of former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt joining the staff.
Schmidt, who was also an assistant with the Blues this season, has had a ‘huge impact already’ according to Ioane.
“He’s got a different rugby brain to what we are used to here. He’s a man that has a wealth of knowledge all over,” he said.
“His experience, just his little details, in and around the team, it’s just been awesome.
“He’s had a huge impact already.”


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