All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has allowed himself little time to reflect on a match billed as the last Test in Christchurch for two Canterbury rugby favourites.
New Zealand’s 39-18 win over Argentina on Friday night was seen as a chance for the 17,500 crowd at AMI Stadium to farewell McCaw and first five-eighth Dan Carter.
The flanker is widely expected to retire after leading New Zealand’s defence of the World Cup, while Carter is heading to French club Racing Metro after the tournament.
McCaw got the first of his side’s five tries against the Pumas, and the 26th of a Test career that began in 2001.
While “getting a wee meat pie” was something he was “quite happy about”, he didn’t dwell on the personal significance of the night after the final whistle.
“I wasn’t too keen on getting too caught up in that because you could have that every week,” he said.
“I’m just hugely excited about what the year ahead is.
“Obviously there’s the World Cup and I just want to make sure that personally, and as a team, we do it right, give ourselves a fair chance.”
The performance against the Pumas was a step in the right direction, McCaw said.
The All Blacks would have to take another one when they met South Africa next weekend.
“It’s always a tough old match over there, but that’s what I play the game for, for these sorts of contests,” he said.
“That’s the bit I’m reflecting on and enjoy.”
If McCaw, 34, runs out against the Springboks in Johannesburg, it will be his 140th Test, putting him just one behind Irishman Brian O’Driscoll as rugby’s most capped player.