New Zealand 53-3 Argentina: All Blacks run rampant with emphatic response against Pumas

·2-min read

New Zealand delivered a blistering response to last week's shock reverse against Argentina as they ran rampant with a 53-3 win in the Rugby Championship.

A much-improved All Blacks side delivered an emphatic performance to keep their hopes of a competition triumph alive as they turned the screw on their rivals, easing the pressure on coach Ian Foster.

For the Pumas, who clawed their way to a maiden away victory against New Zealand last time out in Christchurch, there was no last-gasp rearguard effort to seal another victory, with a sound drubbing on the scoreboard.

But coach Michael Cheika, who will also guide Lebanon in this year's Rugby League World Cup, is still trying to establish them as a genuine threat to the sport's heavyweights ahead of France 2023.

They looked unlikely to claim successive scalps from the first whistle in Hamilton, however, after their hosts raced out to an early lead, steered by fly-half Richie Mo'unga.

An early penalty moments after Argentina knocked on the kick-off settled initial All Blacks nerves, before Ethan de Groot and Caleb Clarke muscled over for sharp tries to stretch the lead inside the first 20 minutes.

Emiliano Boffelli managed to slot over a penalty of his own with half-time approaching, but when Tomas Lavanini was sent to the sin bin on his own try-line, Rieko Ioane made them pay with another try before the break.

An improved Pumas performance after the interval suggested there could have been the chance of another remarkable comeback, but an inability to sustain pressure meant what resistance they had left quickly faded,

That opened the floodgates for a morale-boosting second half showcase from the hosts, with further tries for Jordie Barrett, Ardie Savea, Brodie Retallick and Beauden Barrett racking up a bonus point blitz on the visitors.

With that haul, it means that New Zealand, for all their troubles, sit top of the table, with Australia and South Africa still to play this round – and the All Blacks will fancy their prospects with this result when they make the trip to Melbourne.

All Blacks record low milestone

A fragile defence has been a major hallmark of Foster's less than stellar 2022 – but for the first time thisyear, his side restricted their opponents to no tries.

It is the lowest total an opponent has registered since the All Blacks since Argentina themselves failed to record a point in a 39-0 loss last year on the Gold Coast.

Pumas resume traditional service

Having battled to a shock victory last time out, Argentina reverted to historical form against New Zealand this weekend, with another defeat to the All Blacks.

But the Pumas are still three wins from their last five games against all opponents, putting them in fine form for next year's World Cup.