Wednesday 24 January 2018 / 02:45 PM


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.

[YouTube – Rugby Montages HD]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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