All Blacks lift Rugby Championship

BUENOS AIRES. — New Zealand won the Rugby Championship for the sixth time with a 35-17 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Victory gave the All Blacks an unsurpassable seven-point lead over South Africa with one game to play.

A shock 36-34 win in Wellington this month had given South Africa hope that they could overtake New Zealand and win the competition for the first time.

But they failed to secure a bonus point in a 23-12 win over Australia in Port Elizabeth earlier on Saturday.

That result left the All Blacks needing a win to secure the title, and they outscored Argentina by five tries to two to collect a bonus point as well.

The world champions were missing several regulars in Buenos Aires, particularly in the pack, but it made little difference as they recovered from a shaky first five minutes to dominate a team who have still to record a win against them in 28 games.

“I don’t know if we’re the finished product yet. They are a young team that were out there for large parts of tonight so it was pretty pleasing,” said New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.

New Zealand went behind to a Nicolas Sanchez penalty after just five minutes but Rieko Ioane put the visitors ahead two minutes later.

Waisake Naholo went over on 16 minutes, Ioane scored the All Blacks’ third – his 20th in 19 games – 11 minutes before half-time and Beauden Barrett put away all three conversions as Argentina’s handling errors contributed to a 21-3 deficit at the break.

Sonny Bill Williams was given a yellow card four minutes before half-time but the home side could not take advantage.

Source :

The Herald

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