Despite scoring six tries to one, the All Blacks were pushed harder than expected by Argentina in New Plymouth on Saturday, eventually winning 39-22 via a late surge.
But the undisputed talking point post-match was the blockbusting performance by blindside flanker Vaea Fifita in his first Test start for New Zealand.
The Tonga-born 25-year-old – who made his Test debut off the bench against Samoa earlier this year – menaced the Pumas’ defence, making a game-high 129 metres, 10 tackle-breaks and two line-breaks, while also scoring an unforgettable solo try in the 51st minute.
Only becoming a regular in the Hurricanes side during their 2016 Super Rugby championship-winning campaign, Fifita has emerged as one of the most exciting forwards in world rugby.
With two-time World Cup winner Jerome Kaino now 34 and nearing the end of his international career, the 196cm and 115kg colossus looms as the All Blacks’ next long-term No.6 superstar.