And head coach Steve Hansen feels his team would benefit from the return of Smith to the XV.
The All Blacks' next match is against the Springboks next Saturday.
Add a drawn series against the British and Irish Lions into the mix, and the result is an All Blacks side that have slipped too easily between the sublime and the ridiculous this year.
New Zealand struggled to control the first 50 minutes of the match due to some poor decision making but finished in their typical strong style to clinch the win.
"Australia will probably be kicking themselves again at 20 points to 10 [up with 33 minutes to play], but South Africa are playing really well", said the All Blacks coach.
"I don't know what you guys want to hear".
The try levelled the scores at 22-22 and halted the momentum of the Pumas, who until that point had looked like they could cause a major upset and secure their first victory over New Zealand in 25 attempts.
Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade Credit AFP
All Blacks flanker Sam Cane admits that South Africa would push his side to the limit in this week's Rugby Championship clash.
By comparison, the Wallabies and Springboks have 11 each and Los Pumas five.
The All Blacks unleashed "the beast" as they came from behind to beat a fired-up Argentina 39-22 in a Rugby Championship Test in New Plymouth yesterday. "He'll come back and I think that makes a difference to how we play".
"We certainly had to work for that".
"Being put under pressure by line speed is good for us".
Between winning the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, the All Blacks lost only three of 54 matches, often winning in the closing minutes with their philosophy that patience would eventually produce opportunities.
"We need to carry and clean and obviously we've seen that the South African's are strong over the ball so it's going to be another huge focus but if we get our carry right and nail our role then it allows the job cleaner to win the race", Retallick said.
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