They were rattled in the first half of last week’s second Bledisloe but All Blacks forwards insist they’ve learned a valuable lesson about keeping their cool in the face of gamesmanship.
The Wallabies repeatedly looked to get under the world champions’ skin in Wellington, deploying every trick in the book to throw them off their game.
For a stint in the first half it worked, before the All Blacks reverted to their usual self-assured style to coast to a 29-9 win and 14th consecutive Bledisloe Cup.
Hooker Dane Coles, who at times was physically targeted by his Australian adversaries, said he’d become too easily aggravated by all the niggle.
He wouldn’t repeat his mistake if provoked on Saturday against Argentina.
“We’ve probably learned a lesson from that, the Aussie Test, to just get on with it a bit quicker and just play some footy,” the Hurricanes skipper said.
“If (Pumas) bring that, we’ve just got to adapt and control what we can control.”
Loose forward Jerome Kaino admitted the temptation to lash out in the face of such abrasive play was strong, but something that had to be resisted.
This was particularly the case in a trans-Tasman battle.
“There were certain situations in the last Test where guys acted uncharacteristically – not just us, but more so them,” Kaino said.
Skipper Kieran Read agreed, saying he hoped the referees would be on the lookout for any underhand tactics on Saturday.
He said his side would be smarter in coping with opposition ploys.
“When you’re perhaps at the top and certainly with the closeness of our relationship with the Aussies, it’s part and parcel with it,” the Crusaders No.8 said.
“We’ll just go about our business.”
For their part, Los Pumas seemed largely keen to show the All Blacks their newfound sense of offensive purpose.
Skipper Agustin Creevy said his side would be up for Saturday’s Test and hoped to make history by defeating New Zealand for the first time.
“We will need to do things really well. If we have the perfect game we can beat them,” the Jaguares hooker said.
“Of course we know they’re one of the best teams in the world.”