New Zealand were made to work very hard for their 46-24 victory over Argentina to remain unbeaten after three rounds of the Rugby Championship.

As always the New Zealanders scored just before half time and again in the closing minutes. Argentina are no longer the massive scrum force they were a few years ago and it was confirmed in the first scrum of the match when All Black prop Karl Tu’inukuafe destroyed Argentine prop Nahuel Chaparro Tetaz. A penalty was given and flyhalf Richie Mo’unga slotted the attempt.

Argentina were playing with confidence after their win against South Africa two weeks ago and they led the match 7-3 after 15 minutes.

All Black flanker Shannon Frizell probably put in the best performance for the men in black with a few powerful runs and cleaning of the rucks.

Fullback Ben Smith, centre Ngani Laumape and lock Brodie Retallick all left the field in the ninth minute with injuries. However, Smith returned to the field after he had a concussion test. During that time both teams scored and the All Blacks were back in front with 10-7. Laumape and Retallick have since been ruled out of this weekend’s clash with the Springboks.

Argentine wing Ramiro Moyano had a superb run stepping Mo’unga, scrumhalf TJ Perenara and hooker Codie Taylor to score a very good try for the visitors. But, as always the All Black reply didn’t took too long with a powerful run from Frizell to set up a try for wing Nehe Millner-Skudder.

All Blacks scrumhalf Perenara extended the lead to 15-7 with a try around the side of the ruck. Mo’unga slotted a penalty on the stroke of half time.

During the second half Puma flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez converted his own try to narrow the gap to four points, but again the All Blacks scored soon after through a Ben Smith try.

Sanchez gave away a penalty that led to the second try of TJ Perenara. Argentine fullback Emiliano Boffelli scored in reply, but the Kiwis came back through a try by Frizell.

All Black centre Jack Goodhue dived over for his try with time already up, giving the New Zealanders their sixth and bonus point try.

The All Blacks next face the Springboks in Wellington on Saturday.

Written by Carl Coertzen – 10/09/18