There was a bit of doubt hanging over Aaron Smith coming into the season. The whole toilet tryst saga in late 2016 had destroyed his form and confidence, and there were legitimate concerns about whether he would come back and be the player he had been.
It didn’t take too long for him to put that line of thinking to bed. Smith was as sharp as ever and his passing every bit as good and accurate as everyone had hoped.
The big improvement he made this year was in his tactical control and leadership. He was willing to kick more, call the shots and take much of the pressure o his No 10.
In the first test against the Lions the All Blacks played everything o Smith. They used him as a No 10 really and it showed his composure and astute reading of the game.