New Zealand continued their dominant unbeaten run with a 29-3 win again Argentina in Buenos Aires
Tries from Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Dane Coles and TJ Perenara gave the Kiwis a 29-3 lead at the break
Ben Smith added a fifth for the Kiwi’s after the restart
Is it too early to say that the All Blacks have seamlessly transitioned into an equally great, or even better, side than the one who secured a historic second consecutive Rugby World Cup just triumph 11 months ago? Perhaps, but if not then they are already painstakingly close after another scintillating victory against Argentina at Estadio Jose Amalfitani, in Buenos Aires.
New Zealand, scoring five tries to record yet another bonus-point victory, moved a step closer to a world record 18 consecutive Test victories and should they beat South Africa away on October 8th and Australia at home on October 22th they will rewrite the record books.
There were a number of exceptional individual performances from the men in black, not least from TJ Perenara, who coming in for stalwart Aaron Smith, was the motor of the All Black machine, cajoling and directing traffic from scrum-half with his crisp, pinpoint passing. Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Dane Coles, Brodie Retallick and the Savea brothers also got through mountains of work.
Steve Hansen’s men, who had already sewn up the Rugby Championship title with lots time to spare, took just two minutes to get on the scoreboard with fly-half Beauden Barrett splitting the posts with a penalty in front of the sticks.
Despite coming back into the game, the Pumas couldn’t turn their possession and territory into points and were punished by the All Blacks when Anton Lienert-Brown got in to touch down his first Test try. Barrett then converted to extend the visitors lead to ten points.
Argentina though showed character by responding, with Nicolas Sanchez slotting a penalty between the posts to get the home side on the scoreboard after 33 minutes.
Nevertheless, this only seemed to motivate the All Blacks as they implemented their unrelenting attacking style, which paid rich dividends as they scored three tries in ten minutes with Ryan Crotty, Dane Coles and Perenara all touching down.
Barrett made no mistake with the first two conversions but missed the third as the All Blacks took a commanding 29-3 lead into the break.
The onslaught continued soon after the break and again it was Lienert-Brown heavily involved as his tackle bust and offload sent in Smith. The full-back’s try was converted by Barrett as New Zealand moved 36-3 in front with 34 minutes still to play at Estádio José Amalfitani.
Facundo Isa was again a rock for the Pumas and was rewarded with a try for his team while Joaquín Tuculet added their another score for the hosts late on.