New Zealand defeated Argentina 54-15 to secure the southern hemisphere’s inaugural Rugby Championship with a game to spare.
The world champions outscored the Pumas by seven tries to two last night in La Plata, all coming through the backs. Cory Jane touched down three times, Hurricanes winger Julian Savea went over twice, with scrum-half Aaron Smith and inside center Ma’a Nonu adding the others.
New Zealand’s high-tempo game clicked, despite conceding the first try, when scrum-half Martin Landajo got over the tryline in-front of a 53,000 sellout crowd.
Smith replied nine minutes later and the All Blacks added another three tries before the break as Read put Jane into space on left wing, Savea scored off a kick-and-chase and then finished off a flowing move.
The Pumas got the first try of the second half when Gonzalo Camacho came off his wing and slipped between two tacklers off a ruck. Savea set up Jane’s second in the 51st minute with a flicked pass and Nonu raced away to score after All Blacks coach Steve Hansen made four substitutions.
Jane completed his hat trick in the final minute after fending off his tackler three times. Replacement fly-half Aaron Cruden, who also converted Nonu’s try and kicked a penalty, added the extra points to close the scoring. Starting No. 10 Dan Carter also kicked three conversions and two penalties.
Tries: Landajo, Camacho
Tries: A Smith, Jane 3, Savea 2, Nonu
Cons: Carter 3, Cruden 2
Pens: Carter 2, Cruden
Argentina: 15 Lucas González Amorosino, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernández, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (captain), 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Julio Farías Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Tomás Vallejos, 19 Tomás Leonardi, 20 Nicolás Vergallo, 21 Martín Rodríguez, 22 Juan Imhoff.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith.