NZ Rugby World - - The 50 Most Memorable Moments of 2017 -

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.

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