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REACTION: All Blacks roll out the heavy artillery in full destruction mode as Pumas ‘suffer emotionally’

The All Blacks’ big guns stood to be counted for coach Ian Foster with a ruthless 53-3 win over Argentina in their Rugby Championship match in slippery Hamilton.

Despite tough conditions that found out the Argentinian handling, the All Blacks made just three handling mistakes in their seven tries to none romp. One of their touch downs was a vintage piece of magic that carried them 90 metres to the tryline.

After a difficult year with doubt over Foster’s tenure this performance showed the All Blacks might just have got their mojo back.

Pumas coach Michael Cheika had called it after Argentina’s upset win a week ago: “They’re going to come back with every piece of artillery they have, and we’ve got to be able to work out a way to handle that and give something back.”

And while the All Blacks exploded out of the gates with pure inten,t everything the Pumas tried blew up in their faces – five handling errors in the opening 25 minutes and 10 turnovers in the first half in slippery conditions in Hamilton.

All Blacks captain Sam Cane led strongly and had his best performance for some time, while the all round play of Richie Mo’unga, cleverness of Aaron Smith and incisiveness of Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea were all too hot for Argentina to handle. There was even a try for returning Brodie Retallick.

Vintage stuff from the All Blacks #StanSportAU #TRC2022 #NZLvARG

— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) September 3, 2022

“We were under a bit of pressure. We weren’t happy with what we dished up last week,” said Cane.

“I thought our defence was outstanding, and were able to force them into a heck of a lot of areas, but on top of that discipline was good as well and we were able to capitalise on that and counter attack. I’m pleased with the way that we kept it on for the full 80. Complete performance tonight.”

The 90 metre try, finished by Jordie Barrett in the second half, showed the All Blacks attacking mindset from the start.

“We had an advantage at the other end off the scrum. So we threw it, had a crack and scored 90 metres later. We’re really stoked to be able to put out a performance we’re proud of at home. It’s not something we’ve really done this year.

“There’s always massive pressure but I felt like we’ve made a lot of shifts in our game and it was just nice reward for the hard work that we’ve been putting in to be able to put it out and for everyone to see it.”

All Blacks great Justin Marshall noted the Pumas were a shadow of the team that won on Kiwi soil for the first time ever last weekend.

“I thought leading into this game that they may suffer emotionally to try and reach the heights they did last week and right from the opening carry they made many handling errors,” said Marshall.

“They’ve turned the ball over 10 times and also missed tackles. They’re not the same side. We have to compliment the All Blacks because their defence is putting them under pressure but some of these mistakes are not from errors they’re just from mistakes they didn’t make last week.”

While the Pumas were abject, the All Blacks came with an excellent kicking game that pulled the Pumas defence out of shape.

“Our variety in the kick and our decision making on whether to run and kick or pass has been good,” said All Blacks assistant Scott McLeod at halftime.

“The key thing is our ball carrier has been doing well and our support to that has been really quick enabling us to play on top of them.

“The wet conditions are helping as well. It’s making it hard to deal with and we’re making their ruck a bit of a nightmare.”

Ethan De Groot scored the first try in the ninth minute. Off the back of a chip kick from David Havili, Ioane drove close to the line. Aaron Smith found a charging de Groot outside of Jordie Barrett.

Kicking was integral to Caleb Clarke’s try on 19 minutes. After a kicking duel Richie Mo’unga dinked a grubber in behind the Pumas defence and Will Jordan fed to Jordie Barrett who was tackled 30 metres out. The hosts recycled quickly to the left and Ioane split the defence before sending Clarke over.

Ioane got one of his own, running off Havili’s shoulder after a dominant scrum penalty, for the All Blacks third try on 38 minutes, right after Argentina’s Tomas Lavanini was sent to the bin. So resolute a week earlier, Cheika’s team was in disarray.


— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) September 3, 2022

The Pumas’ start to the second half was more encouraging but they couldn’t make a man advantage and succession of penalties count between minutes 55 and 59. It took a piece of desperation from Richie Mo’unga to prevent a try and then the All Blacks won a turnover and turned the screw.

On 61 minutes Jordie Barrett rounded off a superb All Blacks try that had its origins in their 22 before Ioane cut through the centre of the field. Finlay Christie and Sam Cane drove deep into Pumas territory but from the next pahase Cane was put clean through and drew the last defender before sending Barrett over.

Rieko Ioane breezes through ???? #StanSportAU #TRC2022 #NZLvARG

— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) September 3, 2022

Ardie Savea added a fifth and the Pumas were staggering. On a night when New Zealand’s stars were shining , Brodie Retallick put the seal on the result with a sixth try.

There was a fracas at the finish between the players – Pablo Matera losing his cool, while two streakers invaded the pitch to celebrate a crushing All Blacks success. From the penalty, the All Blacks went again and with 84 minutes on the clock a smiling Beauden Barrett scooted over with a seventh touch down.


Rugby – The Roar 

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