All Blacks Demolish Spirited Pumas

The All Blacks beat Argentina in Hamilton with an emphatic eight try performance to go further ahead in The Rugby Championship.

All Blacks Demolish Spirited Pumas

Agustin Creevy‘s men threw everything at the All Blacks, but a poor second half saw the visitors finish well behind scoreboard. The match finished 57-22 in the end. Argentina could only notch a single try, scored by winger Santiago Cordero. That try came in the first two minutes of the match.

It was a Test match that had absolutely everything. A conversion attempt even got charged down at FMG Stadium, Waikato. As expected, Argentina played with flare, they weren’t afraid to throw the ball around and risk turnovers. For the first 30-minutes of the match, the Pumas looked like they could’ve provided one of rugby’s great upsets.

It wasn’t to be. The All Blacks recovered from their shaky start and delivered a thrashing.

All Blacks Put Under Pressure Early

The All Blacks were under pressure early, and lots of it. At one point, the visitors had the All Blacks firmly pinned in their own half. With all the pressure, All Blacks captain Kieran Read said he always knew what the task required was;

THE GUYS JUST NEEDED TO STAY CALM, WE FELT THE PRESSURE BUT IT WAS JUST ABOUT GOING BACK TO OUR STRUCTURES AND GET THE JOB DONE. I KNEW THAT I NEEDED TO STAY COMPOSED AND LEAD FROM THE FRONT.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that his men responded well to a big Pumas challenge;

It was an ideal game of us. We were put under a lot of pressure early and we had to look at ourselves. We were able to have a re think and we went out and executed which put the pressure on Argentina.

The bench provided great energy for the All Blacks in a highly physical encounter. Sam Cane has suffered a serious hamstring injury that could rule him out for a little while, but his replacement had a strong game. The worst case scenario for Cane is six weeks on the sideline. Ardie Savea is now likely to start against the Springboks next week, and he deserves that place.

Julian Savea needed to perform in this game, and he did just that. The big winger known as “the bus” was a clear part of the All Blacks attacking plan. In fact, one of his first touches resulted in a try. That was down to brilliant execution of the set play, but Savea constantly put himself in the right areas on the field.

Just a few weeks ago many said that Savea’s place in the All Blacks was questionable. The performance tonight, fresh off a strong showing against Australia two weeks ago, says otherwise.

Nicolas Sanchez showed why he was one of the standout players from last years Rugby World Cup. The no.10 was confident enough to take his kicks from all distances and angles. In the first half alone, Sanches had kicked 14 of Argentina’s points.

Beauden Barrett Remains At All Time High

Beauden Barrett was all class for the All Blacks again. The 25-year old has risen to become, arguably, the best player in the world right now. With the ability to create an attack from nothing, Barrett setup the All Blacks fifth try, scored in the end by Ben Smith.

It was a good repayment to Smith from Barrett after the All Black fullback had earlier chipped a brilliantly-weighted kick downfield for his first five to run onto and score. Barrett earned high praise from his coach, in particular for how he carries himself on the field;

He has something that the rest of us don’t have. He has a positive mindset, he is fast, and he always wants to attack. Beauden is getting better all the time.

For all the great things Argentina did early, they were left to wonder what might have been just minutes after the second half started. At the beginning of the year, talk was that the All Blacks were vulnerable. Every performance this season has suggested otherwise.

It was good for Hansen’s men to be tested early on, but they proved once again that they are in a league of their own. No other team in World Rugby seems to surge in the last 20-minutes, but did Argentina blow a big chance tonight? The scoreline should have been closer.

While they like to throw the ball around, Argentina simply didn’t kick enough ball in this match. Having the front foot in the first twenty minutes, Argentine coach Daniel Hourcade agreed that his side should have played for more territory;

That was something we didn’t do well with that today, We didn’t have enough balance between being direct and passing, but we should have kicked more for territory in parts.

All Blacks Beat Argentina 57-22

In front of just under 23,000 people, the All Blacks played like the World Champions they are. Argentina will be disappointed, but they will take a lot away from their spirited showing in the first half.

Up next for Hansen’s men is the Springboks in Christchurch, and if that game is won, so too will be the tournament.

New Zealand 57

Tries: Julian Savea, Ben Smith 2, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty 2, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano.

Argentina 22

Tries:Santiago Cordero

“Main Photo”