All Blacks are ahead of the pack: Haylett-Petty

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The All Blacks aren’t invincible but Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty admits they are ahead of the Rugby Championship pack.

New Zealand is the only undefeated team in the Rugby Championship, inflicting monster margins on Australia and Argentina so far, but Haylett-Petty said they weren’t impossible to beat.

“I don't think they're unbeatable,” he said.

“I think there are so many areas that when we look back at those games, we could improve and probably didn't play well enough but they're definitely playing some great football at the moment.

“I think even the Argies are playing well and they got comprehensively beaten on the weekend.”

Argentina's attacking game has become more potent. Photo: Getty ImagesArgentina snatched the first try off the All Blacks just two minutes into last weekend’s match, before New Zealand ran over the top of them in the final stages but Haylett-Petty said he wasn’t surprised to see the Pumas compete.

“I don't think it's a surprise,” he said.

“Definitely see they're up for it, everyone tries to really step up for the All Blacks but I think it's just that relentless pressure that the All Blacks put on teams that they are able to eventually overcome them.”

Saturday’s clash with the Pumas will clarify the Rugby Championship pecking order and the Wallabies have been quick to switch their focus on to the South Americans after last weekend’s win.

“I think this week will be a really tough game. It's going to be a different challenge but we're definitely looking forward to it,” he said.

“I think for us we're just trying to focus on the way that we're playing and each week, we've brought in a few new things and got better each week.

“I think we're at the moment just focusing on what we see.”

The All Blacks steamrolled Argentina last weekend. Photo: Getty ImagesWallabies coach Michael Cheika said they weren’t worried about the bigger Rugby Championship picture, just the Pumas at nib Stadium.

“You play the next game, don’t even worry about that stuff,” he said.

“We didn’t play last year to win it, we just wanted to play each game as best we could and it turned out that way.

“Let’s just do everything we can to play well this week and see what happens.