Huge injury blow for rampant All Blacks
THE All Blacks look set to be without injured star forward Brodie Retallick for the rest of the Rugby Championship.
World-class lock Retallick limped off holding his shoulder 10 minutes into the 46-24 win over Argentina at Trafalgar Park on Saturday.
He suffered damage to rotator cuff cartilage after 90 seconds and played on before succumbing to pain.
Coach Steve Hansen said the bruising 27-year-old, who was arguably the best player across last month's two Test thumpings of Australia, will be out for a maximum of six weeks depending on scan results.
Retallick's next Test may not be until the Bledisloe Cup dead rubber Test in Yokohama on October 27.
Blues lock and 16-Test veteran Patrick Tuipulotu has been promoted to the All Blacks squad, having just returned from a serious shoulder injury.
Inside centre Ngani Laumape exited at the same time as Retallick with knee ligament damage and will miss at least next week's Test against South Africa in Wellington.
Injuries aside, Hansen pronounced himself happy with a testing win over the Pumas, with a number of fringe players taking advantage of an experimental selection.
An exception was five-eighth Richie Mo'unga, who lacked composure at times in his maiden start, two weeks after first-choice playmaker Beauden Barrett shredded the Wallabies with four tries at Eden Park.
Hansen said the 24-year-old's struggles backed up his assertion that Tests are a step up from Super Rugby in speed and intensity.
"For a young man to have to drive it round for the first time, he did OK," Hansen said.
"There were parts of his game that he won't be happy with but I'm sure the next time he puts an All Black jersey on, and he'll get another opportunity, he'll be better for it."
Flanker Shannon Frizell, in just his second Test, was the game's standout performer.
No forward made more runs, metres or clean breaks than the brother of NRL star Tyson Frizell.