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New Zealand’s All Blacks recovered from a slow start to beat Argentina’s Pumas 57-22 in the Rugby Championship at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.
The All Blacks, who outscored Argentina by eight tries to one, are the only unbeaten team in the Rugby Championship and after three bonus point wins have all but won the title this season due to their points differential.
Argentina went into the lead in the third minute through an early converted try which put the All Blacks on the backfoot and as a result they conceded a long list of penalties.
The All Blacks had to dig deep against an Argentina side playing with confidence but by half time they led 24-19.
Argentina made a strong start to the second half but in the final quarter the All Blacks pulled away for a comfortable victory which had looked very unlikely in the opening half.
Having battled to pull away from the Pumas for the first 50 minutes the All Blacks suddenly broke through and scored two quick tries to put them 16 points ahead.
The two tries from Ryan Crotty and Charlie Faumuina left Argentina a mountain to climb and after going toe to toe for so long the fatugue set in.
Crotty crossed for a second try and tries were also scored by Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett and Luke Romano which made the scoreline look like it had been a one sided contest.
The All Blacks have won their last 43 matches at home in New Zealand. Their last loss at home was in 2009 against South Africa in Hamilton.
Next week in the fourth week the All Blacks host South Africa in Christchurch. Argentina will travel to Australia as they play the Wallabies in Perth.
Final Score New Zealand 57 (24) Argentina 22 (19)
Tries – J.Savea, B.Smith 2, B.Barrett, R.Crotty 2 , C.Faumuina, L.Romano
Pen – I.Dagg
Con – B.Barrett 6, A.Cruden
Tries – S.Cordero
Pen – N.Sanchez 4
Con – N.Sanchez
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1:Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Ref 2:Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO : George Ayoub (Australia)
1. Joe Moody , 2. Dane Coles, 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Jerome Kaino , 7. Sam Cane , 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Beauden Barrett, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Malakai Fekitoa, 14. Israel Dagg , 15. Ben Smith,
Replacements : 16. Codie Taylor , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Charlie Faumuina , 19. Luke Romano, 20. Ardie Savea , 21. TJ Perenara , 22. Aaron Cruden , 23. Anton Lienert-Brown
Joaquin Tuculet, Matthias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Juan Martin Hernandez, Santiago Cordero, Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo, Facundo Isa, Javier Ortega Desio, Pablo Matera, Matias Alemanno, Guido Petti, Ramiro Herrera, Agustin Creevy (capt), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Enrique Pieretto, Marcos Kremer, Leonardo Senatore, Tomas Cubelli, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Ramiro Moyano.
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