All Blacks smash Pumas in second half - Green and Gold Rugby
All Blacks

All Blacks smash Pumas in second half

Augustin Creevy takes the ball up — Photo: Dave Lintott /
All Blacks smash Pumas in second half

New Zealand 57++Argentina 22

The All Blacks were wary of Los Pumas after their victory over the Springboks two weeks ago, but after a tight 50 minutes the Kiwis overpowered their visitors with 33 unanswered points.

First half

Argentina started strongly in front of a capacity crowd in Hamilton. The big South American forwards took the ball up strongly, recycling well with runners one and two wide of the ruck, building momentum nicely.  Just when the All Blacks were expecting the ball to go wide BAM! fullback Tulculet ran close to the ruck breaking a half tackle and popped a ball to halfback Landajo, who jumped clear and passed to winger Cordero for an opening score.

With only three minutes gone the home crowd was stunned. 7-0 Argentina.

The Pumas continued to take on the All Blacks’ line electing not to kick. Runners made metres with pick-and-goes: it was slow but effective. They also gained enough scrum and lineout ball to provide a platform from which to attack—they even won possession from two All Black throws.

Santiago Cordero – shocked crowd with try two minutes after kick-off

But after a charge down of an Argentine 22 drop-out and a subsequent 5-metre scrum, 9 Aaron Smith conducted winger Julian Savea through a gap near the line and he strolled through the posts untouched.

Argentina potted two penalties but Savea featured again beating several tacklers and attracting more defenders before for an excellent wide pass by Aaron Smith enabled fullback Ben Smith to breach the under-manned defence to score. NZ took the lead for the first time 14-13 after 25 minutes of high-paced rugby.

The Pumas still smelt All Black blood and their strong forward drives forged them into the NZ 22—twice almost scoring. Errors may have prevented tries but 10 Nicolas Sanchez was able to kick his third and fourth penalty goals of the half.

Israel Dagg kicked a long range penalty for the All Blacks, in turn, and they got their third try when Ben Smith grubbered a ball from 40 metres out and mercurial first-five, Beauden Barrett, grabbed the delicious bounce and scored.

If Argentina could keep the pace of the game up in the second half, and their bench contend with that of the locals, this could be a classic match.

Half-time score: New Zealand 24 – Argentina 19.

 Beauden Barrett – grabbed a delicious bounce

Second half

After the break things started promisingly for the Pumas and ominously for the All Blacks. Argentina were playing with more urgency and taking possession from NZ phase after phase and going deep into the enemy camp. The Kiwis were helping out with a few errors such as fumbling kick-offs and losing lineouts which enabled the Pumas to rampage even more.

Coaches Hansen and Foster had had enough by this stage and out came a flood of All Black reserves – some for injury and some for fatigue – but the bench was cleared over the next ten minutes and the game changed.

And now the Pumas runners started to stand too deep and wide, and without forward progress Argentina began to kick away possession. This played into the All Blacks’ hands, who like sharks, fed hungrily off a flow of turnovers.

 Ryan Crotty – first try started the damage

The scoreboard damage started in the 54th minute when Barrett jinked through then got another touch before passing to 12 Ryan Crotty to score. Three minutes later power running up the middle ended up with reserve prop, Charlie Faumuina trundling over.

All of a sudden the All Blacks were ahead 38-22 with a quarter of the game to go.

Starting inside the last 16 minutes the All Blacks added three sublime tries in a period where all their players were like a swarm of locusts.

The first happened when Crotty got the ball from a 5-metre scrum with only grass in front of him; then Ben Smith got the ball 45 metres out and turned winger Santiago Cordero inside out, Campese-style, for his second; and finally Luke Romano collected a cross kick, that bounced off Dagg’s shoulder for some distance, to dot down.

Final score: New Zealand 57 – Argentina 22

 Ben Smith – turned defender inside out

It was a masterclass from New Zealand in the second half after blunting Argentina in the first. Eight tries to one was a good measure of their overall dominance.

The game had skill, urgency, intensity and passion and moments of brilliance. For the third Rugby Championship test in a row Los Pumas faded in the second half and one wonders how the game might have turned out had they been able to maintain their tactics of the first 50 minutes into the final 30.

Maybe we will find out in a few weeks time?

The Game Changer

After the break, Argentina were in the ascendancy and New Zealand were looking average, at best; but the tries in the 53rd and 56th minutes signalled a deluge and at that stage of the game the visitors had no answers.

 Man-of-the-match Sam Cane dives on loose ball

Man of the match

The Pumas halfback Landajo, and hooker/captain Creevy had excellent games. They marshalled a young, strong, tough forward pack who put venom into their tackles and were accurate on defence all night. There will be some sore All Blacks in the morning.

For New Zealand Beauden Barrett picked his moments for brilliant play as did Ben Smith, but the Green & Gold Rugby man-of-the match is Sam Cane.

He was at his best for the All Blacks making crucial turnovers when the Pumas strayed too far from supports and forced penalties when Argentina tried to stop him doing so.

The Details

Score and Scorers

New Zealand – 57

Tries: J. Savea (10), B. Smith (23, 66), B.Barrett (35), R. Crotty (53, 63), C. Faumuina (56), L. Romano (76)

Conversions: B. Barrett (11, 24, 36, 54, 57, 64), A. Cruden (68)

Penalty: I. Dagg (31)

Argentina – 22

Try: S. Cordero (2)

Conversion: N. Sanchez (3)

Penalties: N. Sanchez (14, 18, 26, 38, 49)

Cards:  None

Crowd:   23,361 


Get more match information from New Zealand Herald



  • Lee Grant

    Good match review Ozee.

    Ten minutes into the second half I thought the Pumas were a chance but it wasn’t to be

    It was as though the All Blacks remembered who they were and lifted their game.

  • Tim

    7 years and 42 matches since the AB’S have been beaten in NZ…. Not a bad effort

  • Pedro

    That bounce that Barrett got, it was as if the home turf rose up to put him through. I’ve never seen one more fortunate.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen

      Indeed. My Missus was going on about ‘luck’ and I remembered what various coaches have said “you make your own luck”.
      What I like about the AB’s is, that despite them being the number one team on the planet, they are not content and continue to innovate, improve and challenge themselves.

      • loveisatemple

        The All Blacks buy into the following mantra – To be number one (or to stay at number one) train and behave like you are number two.

    • Grant NZ

      Not even sure it’s the most fortunate bounce I’ve seen for Beauden Barrett…

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen

    When I tuned in with 20 to go, I thought from the score that perhaps the Argies were going to pull off a surprise win. Then the AB coaches started pulling players and the way the replacements not only fitted in seemlessly but actually took play to another level, was amazing.

    I may not like losing to the AB’s but there is no denying that this team is something very special.

  • Robson

    The Pumas had a great first half, but the rub of the green went horribly wrong for them in the second half, ie Beauden Barrett’s try. Couple this with the ABs introducing the bench early and imposing a frighteneing sense of urgency through the new players and the Pumas had a difficult final 40 minutes on the park. In truth though the visitors were way better than the score would have us believe; even when the score was starting to reach embarrassing proportions.

  • The Genius

    It was refreshing to watch both sides from the opening whistle devote all their attention to obtaining superiority through ball work, skilful, creative play and execution at a very high level. There was no spiteful antics, no niggle and no unnecessary pressure on the referee to adjudicate over incidents relating to poor player discipline. Both sides took Joubert out of the contest and focused on playing high quality test match rugby. It was a great advertisement for test rugby. Let it be an example for every international team going forward.

  • Owen McCaffrey

    Yes it it’s a nice review! I wrote half but Lee put on all the sharp edges. A thrilling game for the first 50min cause the result was in play. Then the final 30min a masterful effort from the All Blacks.

  • Old Fart

    All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson was asked by a coach if he was watching the ball or the defender after he did his chip kicks where the ball sat up. He replied, “I watch the tip of the ball” (which is why he kicked it so it would sit up on the point). You cannae change the laws of physics, except if you can’t be bothered to think about how you kick the ball.

    As for Ben Smith, how good must Israel Folau be, given that the Australian backs coach says Folau is the best fullback in the world!

    • Marcus50

      I guess the question could only be answered if you put Falau on the end of the All Blacks service

      • Seb V

        Folau would be a winger if he were in NZ

    • loveisatemple

      Ben Smith from Accounts is my favourite player in world rugby atm.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That is so shit. ONE of the best – yes. One of the best attacking – yes. One of the best defenders – no. One of the best at returning kicks – hell no. One of the best at broken play attacks – yes. One of the best under a high ball – yes. Look Folau is a class player, there’s no doubt there but too many flaws in his all round game to be considered the best. AND he’s out of position at full back. He should be on the wing

  • Brisneyland Local

    Just watched the game and wow. Los Pumas threw down 22 points against the Darkness. Wallabies will have to take the Argies very seriously. They have scored more against the All blacks than we have in our last two games.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah mate, regardless of the penalties and Foley’s try I’m not sure the Cooper Foley combination is a long term success. I’d have Cooper, Kerevi and TK there

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. I think Foley needs some time on the bench to re-invigorate himself.

    • blueboy11

      Them not having Lavinini and probably not Petti either is a big blow for them, both are fantastic young second rows (even if Lavinini’s a little unhinged) and the real engine room of the side.

      The Argies are certainly talented, but they just don’t have the depth of other top nations, so losing a few players has a bigger impact on them than most.

  • Nutta

    I am not one for conspiracy theories. I believe that NZ had the best organised rugby systems in place and thus the AIBs are the best rugby team in the world with a veritable production line of replacement talent rolling through. Full balls to them.

    However I am tired of watching them use illegal play time after time and refs do nothing to stop it.

    Attacking the eyes of opponents got fair play last week. But lead runners for trailers to follow, blockers in the lineout tunnel, killing balls in the defensive 22, continual bloody offside & obstruction and now last night at least 3 blatantly high tackles that got not one word of caution or review. I’m not saying they would of changed the outcome in this game and I get as much as the next guy the element of gamesmanship and that all sides do it to one extent or another. The Wobblies are no saints to be sure. But I’m just over it.

    It’s really sad because the power of Savea, the tackling of Kaino, the creativity of Smith, the precision of Barrett etc does not need this ‘help’. I believe it cheapens them, their accomplishments and their legacy.

    • Owen McCaffrey

      I also thought that head high by Moody could easily have been given a yellow.

    • Easycooper

      Mate, spot on. I couldn’t agree more. It’s also the sly kicks and elbows when a ruck has cleared that go unnoticed that really pisses me off. No need for it but this lot get away with it all the time. I know rugby is a contact sport but a sly kick to the ribs when standing up is just dirty, shitty play. If they got rid of all this crap they really would be a joy to behold. Until then they are just a bunch of dirty cheats who play fantastic rugby.

      • Giel

        Wow… and the winner for the sourest grapes goes to…

        I’m not even a Kiwi but this is a ridiculous thing to say given the Wallabies’ history

      • Dave

        The butt hurt from you lot is freakin’ hilarious

    • loveisatemple

      What are your thoughts on Alaaatoa’s headbutt on Eben?

      • Nutta

        As pointless as was Etzys elbow drop.

    • Danny

      Cry us a river. Did you have a problem with Pocock getting away with stamping on someone’s head in the RWC final? Did you have a problem with Higgenbotham or Cooper getting away with a knee to another player’s head? Did you have a problem in Wellington when Pocock illegally and blatantly killed the ball three times on the AB”s tryline when they were hot on attack in order to concede 3 instead of 7 (no yellow card)…what about in the RWC final when Sekope Kepu made two dangerous tackles and the second one (after a clear warning for the first) went without a yellow?

      These are just recent examples.

      Open your eyes.

      I am tired of watching the Wallabies use illegal play time after time and refs do nothing to stop it.

      • loveisatemple

        I have only been on here for a couple of weeks but I have quickly worked out that Aussie rugby fans and their media are definitely the biggest whingers in the rugby world. Also incredibly one eyed, will conveniently ignore any Wallaby indiscretions. Am so glad I support the good guys…

    • Tomthusiasm

      I must admit, i don’t know a lot about the supposed ABs illegal tactics in tbis game (and I’m perhaps blind to them anyway) but i thought Joubert let the Pumas get away with murder at the breakdown. They seemed to be continually flopping on the ball or bridging and either went unpunished or forced penalties. Of course the ABs infringed as well but they didn’t go unpunished and it didn’t seem like they were getting special favours. I thought Joubert let the game flow and the Argies were outstanding in those first 50 mins, they really challenged the ABs and dominated possession, some of those passes in their phases blew my mind! After half time they looked like they were going to kick on but the AB substitutes came on and stood up. The scoreline didn’t reflect the effort they employed but i think their helter-skelter approach isn’t sustainable over 80mins, such an exciting team to watch when they bring the flair out though.

    • Happyman

      Hi Nutta I am into conspiracy theories and the thing I admire about the AB’s is there attention to detail. Yes all of those things you point out are true but the thing is they do them so well and with such subtlety that you hardly notice. There was one turn over late in the first half against the argies where the tackler could have gone either way but chose to fall on the wrong side he got up immediately and was just slightly in the cleaners way, it was really first class as the pilferer was on the ball with inevitable results. It is annoying but I admire it as it is done with purpose and slows the opposition down just enough.

      The AB’s have so much faith in the system that they are happy to infringe blatantly if a big break is made in the knowledge that they will give up three and create enough pressure to score seven. It is only when other teams have enough firepower to exert continuous pressure that eh fortress will fall. I think we are a while from that happening.

      PS: I agree that the referees do give the AB’s favourable run but the same could be said for tier one countries at the RWC.

  • Robson

    There are a lot of posts on board in this thread that lament the huge gap there is between NZ rugby and Australian rugby. It’s something I lament myself, because I’m sure that the dominance of the ABs is good for the game in neither country. It’s a problem for NZ rugby because whilst they are being pushed hard by other international teams only very, very occasionally, there are increasingly fewer and fewer bench marks to aim for. In the end the only competition will come from within the AB environment itself and that is basically what is happening now. But having inwards looking motivation at a collective level will eventualy lead to internal dissatisfaction and once that sets in there will be a corresponding decline in performace. But that won’t happen tomorrow or even next year and in the meantime Australia needs to do something about it’s own game. I jumped for joy when Robbie Deans became Wallaby coach because I thought – wrongly – that if anyone had the answer to Australia’s rugby misfortunes it was him. But his coaching success rate was no better than anyone else’s. Since then McKenzie and Cheika have both had a turn at being head coach of the Wallabies and both flared and then fizzed. To be fair to Cheika he’s still got some time in the bank, so it might be a bit harsh to vote him down too soon. On the other hand there seems to be a problem between the larger Wallaby group and whoever is coaching it. I don’t known what it is, but there is something that is obstructing the continuous and consistent flow of fruitful interactions between coach and players and it is affecting the way the game plays out on the paddock for the Wallabies. When consistency was a problem during the Robbie Deans era I blamed Deans for it. I now think it runs much deeper and I think it starts at the top of the ARU itself and now goes all the way to the bottom. A major part of the issue of course is the competition rugby union has from League, Rules and Soccer. What we are seeing on the paddock is only part of the problem and, unfortunately it’s not the All Blacks fault.

    • The Genius

      Some excellent points. Post the 2007 RWC disappointment, NZ Rugby went very deep on changing culture, player standards and overall environment on & off the field. Whilst far from perfect, progress and results have been there for all to see. Whether the ARU and the Wallabies are willing to undertake the same painstaking exercise remains a major question.

      What cannot be overlooked here is if the quality of the rugby being played in 2016 by teams representing New Zealand was being played by teams representing Australia then Australian rugby fans would be coming onto a rugby website like this rightly gushing with deserved praise and excitement. Instead many somehow vent anger, bitterness and resentment. I guess they are not true rugby fans because if they looked closely they would see the product being displayed this season has never been better. A missed opportunity?

  • The All Blacks are in for another undefeated year.

  • Have you run outta hand cream in NZ yet?

    • The Genius

      As a supposed rugby fan Matt. you must be impressed by the quality of much of the rugby being played by the All Blacks in 2016. I guess it’s just continuing a trend we saw emerge in this year’s Super Rugby competition.

      Following the success of the women’s sevens team in Rio, imagine the reaction there if the Wallabies, or other teams representing Australia were playing rugby of the quality of the All Blacks and other New Zealand teams. Wouldn’t that be a nice advertisement for rugby – particularly to other codes, or even our dear friends in the Northern Hemisphere! We all look forward to you there at GAGR helping make that happen. Not certain that deflecting attention onto referees, judiciary systems or other less relevant topics are steps in the right direction.

      Enjoy the rugby!

  • The Genius

    There is a very simple solution here guys. Raise the level of your rugby there in Australia to become more competitive. Across all levels, no country has greater interaction with New Zealand rugby than Australia so you all there are in the strongest position to be benefiting. The exciting news for all true rugby supporters is NZ rugby is in no mood to slow down, lower standards or become complacent. They want to keep raising standards and make the product even more appealing.

    NZ rugby would love to have a very competitive Australia, and South Africa, and Argentina and Hone Unions. The ball is every much in your court. There is a lot to gain for those willing to put in the effort to learn. Is Mr Cheika and the ARU?

  • Nutta

    I dunno. The class of player they have is fantastic and they have development systems in place operating in unison to keep producing (for now – all golden runs come to an end. Just ask any gambler) and I truly believe they are deserved World Champs. But I am tired of the fawning of officialdom which simply permits illegal play by them and not from others.

  • Diago

    Rubbish. NZ are constantly taking the game to a new and exciting level. It’s not much to ask that rugby nations with far more resource (and yes that’s you Australia with nearly double the registered rugby players as NZ has) to follow suit.

    Until then, have some grace. You just sound like a big clumsy kid in the playground who throws his toys because the little kid keeps beating him and he can’t handle it.

  • Owen McCaffrey

    People are so exercised by the so-called dominance of the All Blacks. You have short memories. If you think their run will last like this forever or even a long time you are working yourself into an unnecessary huff. All teams are gaining on them. The new rules and the way teams are adapting to them produce some of the scoreline blowouts but those will tighten up as long as they stop changing the rules and teams adapt.

    Defence and attack patterns are still in flux. They have been changing for a few seasons. The open game is currently led by the Southern nations with the All Blacks in front but take give it a year and you will see all clubs and nations getting on top of the new defence and attack structures that emerged before the 2015 World Cup and basically were announced to the world there.

  • blueboy11

    “The so-called dominance of the All Blacks”… Ye mate, back to back world champions, a coach with a 92% win ratio over four and a half seasons, a team that hasn’t lost a full length Rugby Championship since 2009, if that’s so-called dominance I don’t want to see the real thing. And if you actually think teams are catching them up based on the evidence of Super Rugby and internationals these past two seasons, I honestly don’t know what you’ve been watching.

  • Danny

    Sure they lose the odd one… e.g. Sydney last year. but the problem is… if they lose, it’s only ever once a year. and at home… they haven’t lost in SEVEN years ad 42 matches!!

  • The Genius

    Care to elaborate with examples? There is plenty of statistical and anaecdotal evidence to counter your thoughts here.

  • Dave

    And I am tired of ‘we are the victims’ attitude that permeates from the Wallabies coaches and fans. Used to think the POMs were bad. Fix your team and ‘earn’ the position that sees you ‘fawned’ over.

  • Dave

    Try improving your game then, or perhaps the ABs should mentor some of the opposition in basic rugby skills and attitude- maybe a draw from a hat to send two players per country into the AB environment for a season. I think Manchester United, the Kangaroos, and all other champion teams should do the same in their respective sports – a little charity for the ‘also rans’ would go a long way.

  • The Genius

    It is achieved through preparation my friend. Thoughtful, diligent, painstaking preparation. You see Steve Hansen have the All Blacks running hills before the Bledisloe Cip matches? There is a difference.

  • Tim

    Tap them on the shoulder and say what?? Stop trying 100% and playing as well as you can?

    What ridiculous drivel

  • The Genius

    I believe NZ rugby want to claim a position of global leadership my friend. England have identified it and already undertaken major steps to compete with NZ. Hiring Mick Byrne was a nice step in the right direction for Australia, what other efforts are being made? The stakes in the game have never been higher. NZ Rugby have identified that. They are not waiting for anyone to catch up. I sense any expectation they will is what Clyde Rathbone would aptly describe as “delusional”.

  • Tim

    Wtf do you suggest they do?? Tell the ABs… “guys we all know sport is about trying our hardest and chasing new challenges… but forget all that. We need to stop trying our hardest for the benefit of the game overseas where teams playing can’t improve any more”

  • Tim

    Wow. To suggest anyone in any sport should not give everything they’ve got to give… is just unbelievable. Sorry sir but you are talking rubbish

  • Owen McCaffrey

    Example off the top of my head the All Blacks narrowly beat the Springboks 20-18 in the World Cup Semi-final last year. That is the last time they played. The Springboks and Wallabies regularly beat the All Blacks. The English just thrashed the Wallabies 3-0. I think the All Blacks dominance is on a game by game basis.

  • Really?

    You know the Wallabies have held the Bledisloe 15 of the 100 years right.
    Recent results and history would argue against your game by game position.

  • Owen McCaffrey

    Your weakness is that you are measuring the All Blacks only against the Wallabies. Also they have been dominant is not the same as they are dominant. They have not only played a tired Welsh team from the Northern Hemisphere and haven’t met the Springboks. I think you have a short memory and cannot remember their losses. At the end of this year you can say they are dominant. Until then you are guessing.

    Dominant implies winning easily. That is a very recent phenomenon and will likely last a short time.

  • Really?

    Ok so we have the 100 years against the wallabies sorted, never lost to Ireland, never lost to wales, never lost to Argentina, never lost to Scotland, average a loss to England once a decade or so, Boks much harder proposition but not so much post professionalism. Win ratio over France at 78% pretty handy.
    And any decent projection should weight more recent events with higher value so losing only 3 games since the start of the 2011 RWC should count for something.
    That Owen, is what dominance looks like.

  • loveisatemple

    Owen, whatever you are smoking I would like some of it..But seriously, go online and get a copy of the Auckland v Waikato game played over the weekend or watch it on Fox on replay.

    I used to believe that this generation of All Blacks were just experiencing a freakish period where a whole lot of great players just happen to be playing at the same time, and it’s not likely to happen again. But then when you watch what’s happening in the Mitre 10, and the game above being an example of it, the talent coming through is scary. Guys like Jack Goodhue, Jordie Barret, the Ioane brothers, Nanai, Blake Gibson etc are going to be superstars in the years to come.

    This domination is not going to end anytime soon.

  • Owen McCaffrey

    Rugby is not not played in a statistics table. Or a book. or using a calculator. Last few times we played Ireland at home we were lucky to win. Result was decided by a last minute try. As I said our last match against the Springboks was decided by 2 points. France knocked us out of two World Cups before pushing us to 8-7 on our home ground. Hardly reeks of dominance. England also handily beat the Wallabies we beat. Until this season All Black Wallabies matches were usually decided in the last 10-15 minutes and could go either way. That is not called dominance, that is called a strong competition. Dominance is completely smashing the oppostition which we never did to the Wallabies until this season.

    I find too many people have short memories like Goldfish. There was a time when the Springboks were better than us. There will likely be a time they will be again. The English are likely to be better than the All Blacks sometime soon. Get over it.

    It could be because you haven’t played rugby. Other teams will figure out the All Black attack patterns within a season and blunt them. If you think the All Blacks are super human…sorry I can’t help you keep smoking whatever you are smoking.

  • The Genius

    As the saying goes, you can only beat what is front of you. To date in 2016 the All Blacks have comfortably put proper separation between themselves and 3 of the better ranked international sides Wales, Australia and Argentina. Catalysts for this move will be debatable, but superiority in player talent, player skills, player fitness, mental coaching, coaching preparation and game-planning are the most discussed. The question has to be the sustainability and the longevity of hose attributes. In many areas there is significant sustainability – all aided by funding that is large and on-going. The future for NZ Rugby has never been brighter. It will alter in time but rugby fans should enjoy what they are getting and prepare for more of it. A bar of acceptable standards has been set, and that bar is only going higher!!

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