Opinion: All Blacks vs Argentina Rugby Championship test player ratings

OPINION: A 46-24 scoreline would suggest a fairly clinical performance from Steve Hansen's side, but in reality it was scratchy in parts, sublime in others, with a hint of never getting out of fourth gear.

Despite a few defensive frailties, there were moments when you felt the All Blacks had decided the Pumas were getting a bit close. Enter a Ben Smith or Anton Lienert-Brown, and the ABs had another five-pointer.

So who stood out and who didn't?

Ben Smith.
Ben Smith. Photo credit: Photosport

15. Ben Smith - 8

When is this guy ever not great? Did everything you could ask from a fullback and saved his side on a couple of occasions when his cover defence cleaned up Pumas attacks. Put the game to bed midway through the second half when his line break led to an All Blacks seven-pointer.

14. Nehe Milner-Skudder - 5

Scored a nice first-half try, but went missing on defence on more than one occasion. Made a poor defensive read that led to the first Pumas try, and was outclassed on a couple of occasions by the very impressive Ramiro Moyano. We may not ever see the Milner-Skudder of 2015 again.

13. Jack Goodhue - 7

A solid performance from Goodhue, backing up two great outings against the Wallabies. Is pretty much cemented now as the number-one 13 in the country. Great support play to score the final try, but was found wanting on defence a couple of times.

12.Ngani Laumape - no rating

He left the field early in the match with what looked to be serious knee injury.

11.Waisake Naholo - 5

Not at his best, which given recent form is a surprise. The ABs wingers were both outplayed by their opposition flyers, with Naholo's defence really put to the test.

10. Richie Mo'unga - 6

I liked what I saw for the most part. He tried to play within himself at times, and was guilty of more than one handling error. Kicked well, scoring 16 points, and he will be happy to get this one out of the way given the huge expectations. Beauden Barrett still clearly the first choice.

TJ Perenara.
TJ Perenara. Photo credit: Photosport

9. TJ Perenara - 9

For mine that was his best 70-odd minutes in an ABs jersey. Controlled play well with perfect decision-making. He's a much better starter than impact player but with Aaron Smith in front of him, those are the cards he has been dealt. Superb try-saving tackle proved to be a huge moment. Was the All Blacks' best back on the night.

8. Kieran Read - 7

Was bruising on defence and effective with ball in hand, scoring a deserved try. His best this year is yet to come given he has only played four games of top-level rugby in 2018.

7. Ardie Savea - 8

Excellent outing from the Hurricanes standout. Brilliant at the breakdown on a couple of occasions, Savea was really busy throughout the duration. Showed he can offer more than just being an impact player.

Shannon Frizell.
Shannon Frizell. Photo credit: Photosport

6. Shannon Frizell - 9

Was 10 out of 10 in the first half - just ran out of gas towards the end. Scored a deserved try, and some of the Pumas defenders will be having nightmares tonight. Showed some serious skill in the lead-up to Milner-Skudder's try. Frizell has put real pressure on Liam Squire.

5. Scott Barrett - 7

Workman-like from the Crusaders lock. Not bad having Barrett as your backup lock to Whitelock and Retallick. Put the flash stuff away in favour of hard work. Developing into a real world-class player.

4. Brodie Retallick - no rating

Collective heart attacks in the coaching box when the big fellow went down. Looked fairly serious.

3. Owen Franks - 8

One word: Dominant. Had his usual 55 minute stay on the field and destroyed the Pumas scrum in the process in the process. Wasn't all Franks, but he is a monster among men when it comes to scrum time.

2. Codie Taylor - 7

His best test since the first of the year against France. Threw well, which is his job and was part of a brutal ABs scrum. Almost at the point where Taylor's so good we forget about Dane Coles... almost.

1. Karl Tu'inukuafe - 8

The find of the year. Joe Moody going down is a bonus in disguise because we really get to see what the gigantic Chief is made of. Hasn't put a foot wrong since his debut and is proving to be a tremendous scrummager.

Bench ratings

16. Nathan Harris - no rating: (63rd min for Taylor)

17. Tim Perry - no rating: (57th min for Tu'inukuafe)

18. Ofa Tuungafasi - no rating: (47th min for Franks)

Sam Whitelock.
Sam Whitelock. Photo credit: Photosport

19. Sam Whitelock - 7

Came on for Retallick and did what Sam Whitelock always does - play well. Made the ABs' lineout stronger given his prowess in that department. Defended superbly.

20. Luke Whitelock- no rating: (59th min for Read)

21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi - no rating: (72nd min for Perenara)

22. Damian McKenzie- 7

Was involved in a couple of late tries. Great bench payer.

23. Anton Lienert-Brown - 8

Stupendous test from ALB. Deceptively strong in the tackle and he has an ability to run into small holes. Defended well. Mr Reliable for the selectors.

Brad Lewis is a Newshub sports producer.