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Read on alert for multi-skilled Pumas

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/09/2016 Angelo Risso

The two sides last played in the 2015 World Cup, where New Zealand emerged 26-16 victors. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images The two sides last played in the 2015 World Cup, where New Zealand emerged 26-16 victors. The All Blacks' Rugby Championship opponents Argentina have two sides to them, according to skipper Kieran Read.

On one side, they're an innovative, exciting team that back themselves in every part of the field.

On the other, they're a gritty defensive unit capable of mauling and scrumming with the best of them.

Read, 30, will line up in his customary No.8 role when the world champions take on Los Pumas in Hamilton on Saturday.

He was impressed by the side's growth since entering the Rugby Championship in 2012 and wouldn't underestimate the threat they posed.

The All Blacks forward pack would need to produce the goods against an Argentinian scrum battle-hardened by Super Rugby.

"They're certainly playing better footy and they're a better side than when they first came in," Read told reporters on Friday.

"A lot of that team has played for the Jaguares for all of this year as well, so combinations are strong."

Argentina has a miserable record against New Zealand in Test rugby, losing on 21 occasions and drawing once.

The two sides last played in the 2015 World Cup, where New Zealand emerged 26-16 victors.

Read expected Los Pumas' win over the Springboks in Salta two weeks ago to give them enough self-assurance to play their natural game.

"There's not much for them to lose," Read said.

"They'll be turning up with a lot of confidence, and a bit of a chance to throw the ball around and give it all they've got."

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