All Blacks make Boks’ task tougher
- 29 Sep 2013
New Zealand scored a fourth try in the last minute of their match against Argentina to win 33-15 in La Plata.
The result takes the All Blacks five points clear of the Boks on the Castle Rugby Championship log, which means Heyneke Meyer's men need to claim a four-try bonus-point win at Ellis Park on Saturday, and deny the world champions a bonus point, to clinch the title (the Boks have a superior points difference).
For most of this match it looked as if the Pumas could do the Boks a big favour and restrict the All Blacks to four log points.
The hosts led 6-3 at the end of the first quarter thanks to two penalties from Nicolas Sanchez, who was unsuccessful with a relatively easy third attempt.
The All Blacks hit the front in the 23rd minute, when pressure from Kieran Read forced Sanchez to rush his kick. Julian Savea picked up the loose ball and sprinted away for a 60m try against the run of play.
Aaron Cruden missed the conversion before kicking his second penalty. That, though, was cancelled out by a Sanchez penalty, which came from another powerful Pumas scrum that sent the All Blacks back 10m.
Argentina briefly regained the lead early in the second half, when Marcelo Bosch kicked a 50m penalty that came from yet another dominant scrum, only for Cruden to kick his second penalty a minute later.
The All Blacks then took control of the game with two tries in four minutes. First, they sent the ball wide to Sam Cane, who scored in the left-hand corner. Then they got quick ball from a lineout and Ma'a Nonu put Ben Smith away for his sixth try of the tournament.
Sanchez clawed three points back with his fourth penalty, before the All Blacks were given a golden opportunity to score the bonus-point try. The ball was kicked behind the Pumas' defence and Savea easily reached it first, but he couldn't pick it up cleanly and knocked on over the tryline.
However, it didn't prove to be costly for the visitors as Smith went over in the last play of the game.
Argentina – Penalties: Nicolas Sanchez (4), Marcelo Bosch.
All Blacks – Tries: Julian Savea, Sam Cane, Ben Smith (2). Conversions: Aaron Cruden, Beauden Barrett. Penalties: Cruden (3).
Argentina – 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Julio Farias Cabello, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Subs: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Benjamin Macome, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Felipe Contepomi, 23 Horacio Agulla.
All Blacks – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Kevin Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charlie Piutau.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Diack answers Ireland’s call
Former Western Province and Stormers loose forward Robbie Diack made his Test debut for his adopted nation in June, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
Sharks don’t deserve damnation
The Sharks shouldn't be criticised after being beaten by a better team in Christchurch, writes MARK KEOHANE in Business Day.
What we’ve learned
Five lessons from the past weekend's Super Rugby semi-finals, according to SIMON BORCHARDT.