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Argentina v New Zealand TRC Match Preview

Cory Jane gets smothered by Argentina's defence

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Article Published: Friday 28 September 2012|

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New Zealand's All Blacks already have one hand on the Rugby Championship trophy and can win it this weekend if they beat Argentina in La Plata.

Argentina's Pumas have played the All Blacks 15 times and they have yet to win a match against the World Champions but they have confidence in their ability at home.

The main talk throughout The Rugby Championship has been consistent improvement from the Pumas, the reality is that the Argentineans have shown that they can match it with the original Tri-Nations teams - coming agonisingly close to a maiden win over the Springboks in Mendoza and a second victory on Australian soil since the first in 1983.

Still on current standings and form their toughest visitor has already touched down in the country, with the All Blacks once again taken back with the flamboyant culture of Buenos Aires, with the capital of Argentina approximately 50-60km North of La Plata.

A victory this weekend will guarantee the All Blacks the inaugural trophy of The Rugby Championship, unbeaten in four tests so far, although the perfection seeking New Zealanders are hardly happy, wanting to turn their pace driven game into try scoring sprees.

Yet Argentina are perhaps the best equipped of all the sides in The Rugby Championship to slow the All Blacks attack down, with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen remarking not only did they have an excellent defensive system, but were a little too proficient in slowing down his team's ball.

Up front is where the Pumas traditional power lurks, but it has been the displays of the likes of wing Gonzalo Camacho, scrumhalf Martin Landajo and the recently returned Juan Martin Hernandez that have made a mockery of those calling Argentina a one trick rugby pony.

Still, while often it is the All Blacks backs that get the credit for their attacking finishing, it has been their pack that has grafted the bulk of their victories, with captain Richie McCaw a colossus in his recent outings, while young locks in the form of Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano have the World Champions integrating new faces into their established core.

La Plata, the second test venue in action for Argentina for the Pumas, was sold out for this test within days of tickets being on sale, and 53,000 will be expected to give the All Blacks a much louder welcome than they'd usually receive in other stadiums.

Continuing with their theme of being the most stable team in The Rugby Championship, the Pumas have made no changes to their starting XV, as they return home for the second time where they achieved their best result so far in the Championship, drawing 16-16 with the Springboks in Mendoza.

On the bench prop Juan Pablo Orlandi is replaced by Marcos Ayerza and loose forward Tomas Vallejos comes in for Leonardo Senatore in the only changes to the squad.

For the All Blacks the return of Dan Carter and Aaron Smith to the starting XV sees Aaron Cruden and Piri Weepu drop to the bench, while on the pine Sam Cane replaces Victor Vito and Ben Smith is named ahead of Tamati Ellison.

Argentina have lost every match they have played against the All Blacks but in 1985 they were playing at home in Beunos Aires and earned a 21 all draw. The average score when Argentina play the All Blacks is Argentina 13 New Zealand 43 but in Argentina matches are a lot closer at Argentina 17 New Zealand 28.

The Bookies have given Argentina a 13 point start for this match - with an offer of Bet 5 and Get 50 in Bets. The dream result for the Rugby World and even the Rugby Championship would be a victory for Argentina. The reality is that Argentina beating the current All Blacks team is almost certainly just that - a dream. This All Black team is slick and have plenty of confidence in their ability which gives them patience. The All Blacks should win by 12 or more.

This match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 3/HD.

Average score: Argentina 13 New Zealand 43

Last five results
08 Sep 2012 Argentina v New Zealand 5-21 Westpac Trust, Wellington
09 Oct 2011 Argentina v New Zealand 10-33 Eden Park, Auckland
24 Jun 2006 Argentina v New Zealand 19-25 Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
26 Jun 2004 Argentina v New Zealand 7-41 Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
01 Dec 2001 Argentina v New Zealand 20-24 River Plate, Buenos Aires

Argentina overall record against New Zealand
Played 15 , Wins 0 , Losses 14, Draws 1

Match : Argentina v New Zealand
Date 29 Sep
Venue : Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata
Kick Off : (2010 local, 2310 GMT, Sun 30 Sep 1210 NZT, Sun 30 Sep 0910 NSW/ACT, Sun 30 Sep 1:10)
Referee: J. Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Ref 1:C. Joubert (SARU)
Assistant Ref 2:P. Gauzere (FFR)
TMO : F.Pastrana (UAR)

Teams

Argentina

Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Santiago Fernandez, Horacio Agulla, Juan Martin Hernandez, Martin Landajo, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Julio Farias Cabello, Patricio Albacete, Manuel Carizza, Juan Figallo, Eusebio Guinazu, Rodrigo Roncero.

Reserves: Agustin Creevy, Marcos Ayerza, Tomas Vallejos, Tomas Leonardi, Nicolas Vergallo, Martin Rodriguez, Juan Imhoff

New Zealand

1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Andrew Hore, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Samuel Whitelock, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Richie McCaw, 8. Kieran Read, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Daniel Carter, 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ma'a Nonu, 13. Conrad Smith, 14. Cory Jane, 15. Israel Dagg.

Reserves: 16. Keven Mealamu, 17. Charlie Faumuina, 18. Brodie Retallick, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Aaron Cruden, 22. Ben Smith.

 
 
 
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