Argentina 0-38 New Zealand: All Blacks avenge shock defeat to all but clinch Tri-Nations

Dane Coles scores a try in the first half for New Zealand
Dane Coles scored the only try of the first half
Tri-Nations: Argentina v New Zealand
Argentina: (0) 0
New Zealand: (10) 38
Tries: Coles, Savea, Jordan (2), Tuipulotu Pens: Mo'unga Cons: Mo'unga (5)

New Zealand crushed Argentina 38-0 to avenge their shock defeat two weeks ago and all but seal the Tri-Nations title.

The All Blacks dominated from the start of the match in Newcastle, Australia, but only led 10-0 at half-time after hooker Dane Coles' try in the corner.

Ardie Savea burst through early in the second half before Will Jordan raced over for two tries within 10 minutes of coming on.

Patrick Tuipulotu then touched down a stunning team try in overtime.

The match was played in front of 12,000 socially-distanced spectators at the 33,000-capacity McDonald Jones Stadium because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Relief for Foster after tough fortnight

Tri-Nations table
New Zealand have a vastly superior points difference over Australia and Argentina

Victory eased the pressure on New Zealand head coach Ian Foster whose future has been the subject of much debate after successive defeats by the Wallabies and the Pumas.

"The loss two weeks ago still hurts but tonight will go a long way to fix that," Foster said.

"We just didn't lose belief in what we were doing. It's been a big few weeks but the guys are still determined to play, and I think we got the formula right today."

All Blacks captain Sam Cane added: "It's extremely satisfying. There's no hiding that we've had a tough few weeks, we felt the pain of the losses and I'm really proud of the work we have put in the last two weeks.

"The way that the Pumas defended and kept us out numerous times is a real credit to their desire. But I'm proud of the way we were able to stay patient and we got there in the end."

Argentina and Australia both have six points and face each other in the final game of the tournament next weekend but it would need a remarkable bonus-point victory for either side to overtake New Zealand.

The Pumas would need to beat Australia by 93 points while the Wallabies would have to win by 101.

All Blacks take game to Argentina

Sam Cane
New Zealand paid tribute to Argentina football legend Diego Maradona, who died this week aged 60. Skipper Sam Cane laid an All Blacks shirt in the centre circle before the All Blacks performed the pre-match haka

New Zealand had the benefit of a week's rest while Argentina coach Mario Ledesma made 10 changes from the side that battled back to draw with Australia last Saturday, perhaps losing some cohesion in a bid to freshen up his side for a match played in brutal 30C heat.

New Zealand's determination was clear from the off and they thought they had an early score but Beauden Barrett's try was ruled out because of a knock-on.

However, the pressure paid off and hooker Coles crashed over in the corner following a looping pass from fly-half Richie Mo'unga.

Mo'unga then raced through a gap in the overstretched Pumas defence and released Caleb Clarke but the winger's thigh grazed the touchline before he touched down.

The All Blacks could have added further points to press home their first-half dominance - they had 75% possession and only needed to make 16 tackles to Argentina's 90 - but Mo'unga's penalty hit the post, giving Argentina hope of a second-half turnaround.

New Zealand turn on style in second half

Will Jordan
Will Jordan, 22, scored his first international tries having made his Test debut against Australia earlier this month

Argentina's hopes were ended early in the second half when Savea powered over from a line-out move and then the floodgates opened as the Pumas tired.

Jordan picked up a loose ball to touch down his first try and two minutes later he intercepted a pass and darted down the wing to score his second.

There was still time for a bit of All Black showboating as second row Tuipulotu galloped over the line to finish off a brilliant team effort after the hooter had gone.

Pumas skipper Pablo Matera denied that the team's changes was a key reason for their defeat.

"I don't think that was the problem. It was a whole team thing. There were many, many mistakes," he said.

"We were not clinical, there were too many handling errors when we got the ball, some mistakes in defence as well, so not a good thing for us."

Line-ups

Argentina: Boffelli; Cordero, Mallia, De la Fuente, Moyano; Sanchez, Ezcurra; Vivas, Montoya, Medrano, Petti, Paulos, Matera (capt), Kremer, Isa.

Replacements: Socino, Tetaz Chaparro, Sordoni, Alemanno, Grondona, Bertranou, Carreras, Mensa.

New Zealand: B Barrett, J Barrett, Liernert-Brown, Goodhue, Clarke, Mo'unga, Smith; Moody, Coles, Laulala, S Barrett, Whitelock, A Ioane, Cane (capt), Savea.

Replacements: Taylor, Tuinukuafe, Lomax, Tuipulotu, Sotutu, Perenara, R Ioane, Jordan.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)

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