The All Blacks will be aiming to keep their perfect record this weekend by beating Argentina with a bonus point – as they have done in both of their matches played this weekend.
The All Blacks beat Australia twice in their first two matches this year, both were won with a bonus point. They have a points differential of 53 points so far and this could prove to be crucial.
- New Zealand remains undefeated against Argentina in Test rugby, having earned 27 wins and a draw from their previous 28 meetings.
- The All Blacks have won their previous 14 games in their home nation against Argentina; however, the Pumas held a 16-15 lead in their last game against the All Blacks in New Zealand, the first time they had ever done so.
- This will be the first Test played at Trafalgar Park in Nelson since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and just the fourth Test ever -the previous three games were decided by an average margin of 33 points, none of which involved Argentina or the All Blacks.
- Steve Hansen’s men have won each of their last seven games in New Zealand, including their last five by an average margin of 35 points per game.
- Argentina will be looking to win back-to-back games in The Rugby Championship for the first time in what is their seventh campaign in the competition, after notching a 32-19 victory over South Africa in Round 2.
- The Pumas have won just one of their last 10 Tests played away from home, picking up a 31-15 win over Italy in Florence in November 2017.
- The Kiwis has averaged 740 metres gained per game this tournament, more than any other team – their 808m gained against Australia in Round 2 was the most of any Tier 1 nation in 2018.
- Los Pumas has scored five first-half tries this tournament, two more than any other team in the competition; however, New Zealand (1) have conceded fewer tries in this period than any team and scored the most in the second 40 minutes (9).
- Beauden Barrett has been directly involved in 13 tries in his last six Tests on home turf for New Zealand (8 tries, 5 try assists), and already leads The Rugby Championship in 2018 for tries scored (5).
- Only Australia’s David Pocock (35) has made more tackles in The Rugby Championship in 2018 than Argentinian duo Marcos Kremer (33) and Agustin Creevy (28, Kieran Read also 28).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at Trafalgar Park in Nelson.
2.00: Codie Taylor breaks down the sideline, pops an inside ball to Brodie Rettalick, who is tackled and looks to have hurt his elbow and knee. He is back up. Scrum to the visitors.
3.00: HUGE SCRUM! Karl Tu’inukuafe buckles Chaparro Tetaz, winning the hosts a penalty. Richie Mo’unga, starting in place of Beuden Barrett and on debut, will take a shot at goal.
5.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga’s kick sails through the middle for his first Test points and the lead. 3-0
5.20: Ardie Savea is pinged at the ruck. Agustin Creevy opts for posts.
5.45: MISS! Nicolas Sanchez pushes his kick wide. 3-0
8.00: The All Blacks have gone backwards, but they decide to go wide, trying to get Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ben Smith in the game.
9.00: Both teams looking to attack the wide channels. The ball is hacked away by the Kiwis and the visitors are on the front foot.
10.00: A lot of movement in a long passage of play. Ngani Laumape is down. Argentina turned the ball over and used it well – they have a scrum. Ben Smith leaves for an HIA, as does Rettalick and Laumape. Samuel Whitelock, Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown are all on.
12.00: The All Blacks scrum is dominant at the moment; the Pumas have no platform. New Zealand goes wide, Jack Goodhue puts the ball to boot and it rolls into touch.
13.00: Los Pumas win the All Blacks lineout and go deep. Frizell charges up the field but is stripped of the ball. Lineout to the visitors on the Kiwi 22. Ben Smith is back.
15.00: TRY! Ramiro Moyano cuts inside Mo’unga, swerves away from Taylor and speeds away from the chasing TJ Perenara. Sensational run and score. 3-5
16.00: CONVERSION! Sanchez adds the extras. 3-7
18.00: TRY! The All Blacks hit back. Frizell is involved again, making a break in midfield. The ball is recycled quickly and sent wide to the right. Frizell combines with Goodhue who plays Taylor. The hooker then throws a long pass the Milner-Skudder who beats the defender to the whitewash. Stunning. 8-7
20.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga slots the touchline kick. 10-7
22.00: It’s end-to-end here. The All Blacks are trying to run everything. Javier Ortega Desio had a chance but lost the ball forward, allowing the Kiwis to counter. Frizell is having a blinder.
24.00: Marcos Kremer is penalised for coming in from the side of the ruck. Mo’unga kicks to the opposition’s half.
25.00: Creevy is pinged for not releasing. Mo’unga kicks to the corner.
27.00: The All Blacks power forward but the maul goes to ground. The hosts recycle and go wide, but the ball is lost and Matias Moroni clears down the field. Ben Smith chases back and puts a big bomb up. Argentina regathers and is making metres.
28.00: Penalty to the home team after halting the Argentina counter-attack. Mo’unga kicks to the opposition’s 22.
30.00: TRY! Perenara snipes around a ruck and is over. New Zealand went 11 phases. Goodhue and Owen Franks went close after Scott Barrett’s carry before the scrumhalf reached out for the score. 15-7
31.00: MISS! Mo’unga’s kick is wide. 15-7
33.00: Argentina is starting to make silly mistakes. They cannot get their hands on the ball and are stuck inside their half.
34.00: Mo’unga loses the ball forward after Milner-Skudder punched up in midfield. The ball is turned over and the Pumas are on the counter.
35.00: Sanchez breaks through a little gap and sends Moroni away down the sideline. He beats Perenara and dots down but after a lengthy TMO replay for obstruction by Tomas Lavanini, the try is taken off the board after Moroni’s boot is just in touch.
37.00: Great work by Frizell at the breakdown, winning the penalty after Creevy’s break. The Pumas are back on the attack.
38.00: Emiliano Boffelli is causing havoc with his jinking runs. The Argentinians go through the phases before putting the ball into touch. They should have kept the ball in hand because they have given the Kiwis another shot before halftime.
40.00: Big scrum by the All Blacks, winning another penalty and clearing their lines.
41.00: Argentina goes offside at the ruck. Kieran Read decides for a shot at goal.
42.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga splits the uprights. 18-7
The halftime score was New Zealand 18 Argentina 7
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Nelson.
42.00: TRY! Argentina wins the turnover from the restart and goes through multiple phases. They batter New Zealand’s try-line with pick-and-goes before Sanchez darts through a small gap and scores. 18-12
43.00: CONVERSION! The little magician slots the kick. 18-14
44.00: Sanchez puts in a wonderful dink which Mo’unga loses. Ben Smith is back but is tackled by Bautista Delguy inside his in-goal area. Five-metre scrum to the Pumas.
47.00: Savea wins a vital penalty after Argentina went eight phases on the New Zealand line. That is a big opportunity missed.
48.00: New Zealand are starting to get their driving maul working, but their lineout has been iffy; losing another throw, this time to Tetaz, the man who was pinged at the previous maul.
49.00: TRY! Creevy is by-passed by Damian McKenzie. The ball is shifted wide through the hands to Goodhue and Read, who crashes over in the corner. It is a typical Read score, his 24th Test try. Goodhue is having a game. 23-14
50.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga adds the extras. 25-14
54.00: Argentina making metres through their short pick-and-drive game. Tu’inukuafe is penalised at the ruck, halting the Pumas’ momentum. Argentina will kick for posts.
56.00: PENALTY! Sanchez makes no mistake and becomes the highest points scorer in Argentina rugby history, passing the great Felipe Contepomi 25-17
58.00: TRY! An aimless kick by Sanchez sets the home team on their way. Savea busts a tackle, Lienert-Brown goes through a gap and sends Perenara away for his second. 30-17
59.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 32-17
62.00: Perenara turns saviour after a horrible bounce deceives two All Blacks inside their goal area.
66.00: Argentina is on the attack. Sanchez puts in another bomb, but the ball is reclaimed by New Zealand, however, the visitors get a penalty because of an early shove in the maul.
68.00: Another series of phases on the Kiwi try-line ends with a penalty. Sanchez looked to kick, but Creevy wants a scrum which is under the posts.
70.00: TRY! Boffelli times his run perfectly, taking Sanchez’s no-look pass and is over for the try. 32-22
71.00: CONVERSION! Sanchez adds another two. 32-24
72.00: New Zealand is going through the phases and is on the charge.
73.00: TRY! Frizell is over for his try; he has been immense tonight. New Zealand went 16 phases before some razzle-dazzle by McKenzie helped set up the score. 37-24
74.00: CONVERSION! Another two points for the standoff. 39-24
77.00: The All Blacks have been superb without the ball and are dangerous every time they get their hands on it.
79.00: TRY! Goodhue is over under the posts to cap a wonderful display. 44-24
81.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga makes no mistake. 46-24
The final score is New Zealand 46 (18) Argentina 24 (7)
Tries – Milner-Skudder, Perenara (2), Read, Frizell, Goodhue
Pen – Mo’unga (2)
Con – Mo’unga (5)
Tries – Moyano, Sanchez, Boffelli
Pen – Sanchez
Con – Sanchez (3)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (FFR)
Assistant Ref 1: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant Ref 2: Nic Berry (ARU)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (RFU)
15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Chaparro Tetaz, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Garcia Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Gaston Cortez, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.