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Whitelock wary of Pumas lineout prowess

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/09/2016

Sam Whitelock speaks to media during a New Zealand All Blacks press conference. © Getty Images Sam Whitelock speaks to media during a New Zealand All Blacks press conference. The All Blacks are bracing for the inevitable Argentinian assault up front in their Rugby Championship Test in in Hamilton.

The Pumas executed their driving maul to perfection in last year's Rugby World Cup pool match in London.

The South Americans scored twice off lineout drives in their 26-16 defeat, with both tries coming in the second half through captain Agustin Creevy.

All Blacks lineout ace Sam Whitelock is expecting another set piece war of attrition on Saturday.

"Argentina have got some really good strengths in their lineout," he said.

"They've got big, tall guys and if you are not winning the ball in the air, they really like driving so having a plan around stopping that is critical."

New Zealand have yet to lose a lineout in the tournament. They produced a perfect return off their own throw in both wins over Australia and were able to disrupt plenty of Wallabies ball.

Whitelock said there was still room to improve on their Bledisloe Cup winning efforts.

"Everyone loves playing to their strengths so no doubt Argentina will use the rolling maul against us," he said.

"We must do our homework and see what they have been doing against South Africa and hopefully take those learnings into the match."

Whitelock also felt the Pumas' running game should not be underestimated given how far they had come in the competition's five year history.

They have beaten the Springboks twice in two years, including a last-start win at home two weeks ago.

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