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Sunday, September 09, 2012

The All Blacks and Argentina battle it out in windy Wellington

The All Blacks remain unbeaten in the inaugural Rugby Championship following a tough battle with Argentina in wet and windy Wellington on Saturday night. Los Pumas put up a spirited fight but went down 21-5 to the seasoned World Champion hosts.

New Zealand scored the first of their two tries as late as the 66th minute, after Argentina had matched them for large parts of the game, mainly through repeated turnovers and great defence.

The strong winds and driving rain affected the match somewhat, but All Blacks coach Steve Hanses said that he feels there were far too many errors regardless.

"In the first half I think we tried to play way to much rugby for the conditions," Hansen said.

"We tried to move ball at times that we should have held on, and our ball security wasn't that great. But part of that, too, was the intensity the Argentinians brought to the game."

Rodrigo Roncero scored first, but three Aaron Cruden penalties kept the hosts at 9-5 up for most of the game. It wasn't before Julian Savea and Cory Jane crossed for tries in the last quarter that the All Blacks looked totally in control of proceedings.

"They're only going to get better and better and they're a very good side at the moment, probably one of the best defensive teams in the world," Hansen said.

The All Blacks host the Springboks in Dunedin next weekend, while Los Pumas travel to the Gold Coast to take on the Wallabies.

What did you think of the match, and of Argentina's performances in the tournament so far?

Posted by Rugbydump at 4:47 pm | View Comments (27)

Viewing 27 comments

henning September 09, 2012 7:26 pm

first come first serve

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Seba Brunato September 09, 2012 8:06 pm

Here an example of the best defensive team in the world...

0.11 sec Vito taclked by Bosh, 0.23 sec Conrad Smith by Hernandez, 0.37 sec Double Tackle


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Colin September 09, 2012 8:46 pm

The video Seba Brunato posted above really does show how strong the Argentina defence was, and not just at the pick and go. Open field they were pretty solid too. They've surprised me, and in part because of this match. For about 60 mins they had a chance to win it, and even at the end they were pretty close to scoring a consolation try off of a few well-worked phases.

Australia will have to be at their best if they want to win.

On an unrelated note, I noticed a lot of booing when Rodriguez was kicking. I think that's really disrespectful and has no place in our sport

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Pretzel September 09, 2012 9:10 pm

I noticed a bit of booing from the crowd for both sides, but the booing going on when Rodriguez was kicking was pathetic. Take NZ, supposed to be the top team in the world, creme de la creme etc, and their fans are so rattled they boo a player from a lesser team. (I mean no disrespect to Arg when I label them "lesser")

Blame it on the weather or something but NZ looked like they were well matched for the majority of that game. They always had a "more dangerous" look to them than Arg did, but then that has come from experience and is to be expected. But really to stop NZ from scoring until the 65th, nearly 66th minute is brilliant.

I think that although Arg will has yet to get a win, they have performed better so far than I thought they'd would have done. I hope they can carry this on throughout the tournament and into the future.

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Mauricio September 09, 2012 9:15 pm

Colin, I totally agree with you when you said "Australia will have to be at their best if they want to win" They´ll have to. But I think LPs have to keep improving in attack, it´s true that we have one of the best defense in the world, but I´ve impressed how ABs going to the rucks, they pass over you...! If the Pumas get score more points and minimize errors hands, we will soon be the fourth rugby nation, I´m so f... sure of that!


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lambchop1234 September 09, 2012 9:47 pm

All Blacks not at their best but the tries they scored were class. Got to hand to Argentina though. Their defensive performance was probably one of the best I have ever seen. They certainly lived up to the tag as one of the best defensive teams in the world! Some massive hits at the start of the highlights! Difficult conditions to play rugby in. Well done All Blacks for the victory but I have to hand it to the Pumas. A spirited effort and an awesome all round defensive display!

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jimter10 September 09, 2012 10:50 pm

We joined the Pumas fans on Saturday and they were awesome, we moved seats because of the library we were sitting in and the stinking chat we got for being face painted and flag waving, stuff like "Welcome to New Zealand" when someone made a lot of ground with a clearance kick and "I'll get the tissues ready for you". We went mental when Roncero scored and then legged it to join the clump of Pumas fans. They didn't sit down for a minute, all chanting and flag waving. The kiwis didn't seem to be enjoying the game at all, they need to cheer up.

I agree about booing the kickers, it's endemic at Crusader's games which surprised me. The Pumas fans did it too, but I approved cos it was in good humour, and I'm biased as fuck.

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Ashanti September 09, 2012 11:24 pm

gooooooooo the all blacks! huh argentina can't handle new zealand's power sp what if it was windy we still won

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Izzy September 10, 2012 12:56 am

Lol why are people complaining about booing? It happens in every game all around the world, you're all acting like NZers are the only ones that do it. It's nothing new.

Argentina were massive defensively in this game, some people were saying they were gonna get thrashed in their first year but i think they proved that they belong in the rugby championship and they're only gonna get better. Good luck against aussie, i think they'll win on the Gold Coast.

Im a huge AB's fan but they've been crap so far in the RC. Their ball handling skills have been terrible. Number 1 team in the world and they cant even catch and pass or even draw and pass, very frustrating to watch.

@jimter10. You're right, we have the most boring crowds in NZ lol no chanting, no singing, everyone just sits there. Pumas fans are the best!!!

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PiratesRugby September 10, 2012 2:10 am

Good on you Pumas. You did yourselves proud. I don't like the Wallabies chances against you at home!

I remember watching the Wallabies playing Ireland at Landsdowne Road in the 1991 RWC. The local fans, who were otherwise quite passionate, refused to boo the Australian kickers. Pretty classy. Sadly, those days are gone. I don't boo the otherside's kicker but most other people seem to. Poor form.

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Colin September 10, 2012 2:41 am

Argentina has a place in this tournament, even if they don't get a single victory this year (which I actually think is not probable), because they've shaken the assumptions each team has about each other.

Take Australia's victory over SA: in years previous, this might have saved Deans' behind, but everyone now knows they've still got the Pumas to face. And NZ might think SA games are in the bag, but NZ had some troubles beating Pumas and so did SA, so maybe they might think again?

Who knows, maybe Argentinians will teach everyone else to hush up during a kick ;) /joke

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joeythelemur September 10, 2012 2:50 pm

I don't think that NZ has ever thought that games against SA were "in the bag." Are you talking about just this year? Young team or not, SA is always a tough match for the All Blacks.

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SantiArg September 10, 2012 4:04 am

Colin, I am from Argentina and the fans in our stadiums always make that booing tothe kickers. Not all ofthem, but it only takes a few to make enough noise. It is very disrespectful and doesnt give a good image to our country. The reason they (we) do it is that Football is our main sport or has been historically, so people think that the fans are part of the game as it is in football. In conclusion I think maybe the booing was kind of new zealands answer of argentinians booing, you will surely notice when argentina plays at home. I hope someday our fans stop doing it since it doesnt represent the pumas spirit. Anyways, I agre with the ones that say that we are very supporting and cheering fans, we really are, so thank you! We feel very proudly represented by the pumas and everyone that plays for the team will give up to his last effort for his country!

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Rowan September 10, 2012 4:17 am

I had my doubts about the Puma's coming into this year weather they would be able to stand up to the power house's of Rugby well so far they have only impressed me. A draw with the Boks and troubled the AB's most of the game, these results are a true reflection on why SANZAR included Argentina. They might not get a win this year but it wont reflect how well they have done, Argentina will only become a superpower of rugby in years to come.

Argentina vs Wallabies game shall be interesting, with all the injuries and lack of form can see Puma's running away with it if the nerves don't get to them!! This has been the most interesting Tri Nations/Rugby Championship in i don't know how many years!

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SantiArg September 10, 2012 4:26 am

And I forgot. Take a look at this.
He always does this banana kick close to the touch line.
He was the one with most tackles in the game. And his magic is intact. After years of injuries he is getting to his best once again.
Juan Martin Hernandez!

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jimter10 September 10, 2012 7:13 am

he is absolute class, knew it was deliberate as soon as he connected and what a tackle on smith. the original video doesn't do the highlights justice. roncero and bosch's tackle were absolutely world class

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Lenulid September 10, 2012 9:31 am

Leguizamon has to go.

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pumas September 11, 2012 11:51 am

leguizamon was returning to the team after spending one month away from a tear in a calf, is one of the best players of argentina for 10 years

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Teruiza September 10, 2012 12:13 pm

while that kick was a beauty and almost perfect, it was out on the full as you can see if you stop the video around 0:28. But luckily the touch judge didn't see it.

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eglionel September 10, 2012 2:27 pm

The kick was a beauty and perfect. You should check the video again.

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Marianitoo 11 September 10, 2012 5:20 pm

Both I, like many Argentine fans .. we are proud to feel represented by the PUMAS. And I think I agree with what you say AB fans that Argentina is one of the best defensive teams in the world, there are many things to improve the Pumas ... but it is well on its way to glory .. Many of us underestimate And you said the Pumas were coming to take pity on this RC but thanks to that and a lot of things, Argentina is included in this championship thanks to the fans that support our rugby team, the truth is a pride feel represented by the Pumas ¡¡VAMOS ARGENTINA!! (GO ARGENTINA) ¡¡VAMOS PUMAS!! (GO PUMAS)

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ST September 11, 2012 8:18 pm


Unfortunately it is the same stuff the kickers will receive when playing down here in Argentina...
If you hear closely on the Springboks game in Mendoza Steyn receive the same treatment.
At least for my country I think it is related to futbol culture, anyway I agree with you and find it unacceptable.
Good luck for your team on the rest of the championship!

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Frenchie September 12, 2012 12:02 am

I agree when i read that booing is becoming (unfortunately) common in rugby, in NZ, Argentina, France...
On the NZ fans what disturbed me most during the last WC is the fact that the NZ fans didn't seem to care about any other team; they just seemed to care for the AB; only cheering when the AB scored...
I found the NZ fans very boring during the last WC and in general. That is said.

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Izzy September 12, 2012 2:50 am

Um i'm pretty sure NZ fans went out and supported every team at the WC. Did you even watch any of the games? Just like at all the other WC's the host fans always supported everyone especially the minnows, but when you play the HOME team of course the fans are gonna cheer for THEIR team, that's the reason why they're there in the first place. But of course not everything is all huggy wuggy and lovey dovey mate lol

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Jon September 12, 2012 12:29 am

Frenchie, the kiwi fans are notoriously one eyed.
They get mighty drunk and mighty verbally abusive, though you don't have to worry about anything physical.
As an Aussie, watching rugby in NZ is never a fun experience. There's always a bunch of drunken kiwis swearing, screaming at you and carrying on like they are the one's on the field.
Frankly the WC games I went to in NZ were not fun experiences, even when Australia won. Never heard as much foul mouthed abuse of supporters as I heard when I was over there. One drunken clown even spat in our direction, though he missed by a mile.
The ridiculous thing was, the second the we left the stadium, it was all back to light hearted banter and all the kiwis were back to normal, like nothing had happened.

They take their rugby very seriously, and I wouldn't recommend any away supporters go to a game in NZ. They will sap the fun right out of the experience.

Beautiful country, normally very friendly people, but when it comes to rugby, there's nothing fun about going to a game in NZ.

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JG September 12, 2012 6:01 am

Nothing more one eyed than a one eyed aussie trying to call kiwis one eyed. I made the trip to Wellington with my son for this game as he is an AB fan (even though he was born in Australia (I have tried to convince him that he should be supporting Australia, but he won't)). What I saw was the exact opposite of what you described. There was a lot of support and friendship offered towards the Argentines, and the general feeling was that they brought a great flavour to the atmosphere.

I am sure that there is the odd NZ'er that acts like a drunken fool, but that would be no different to some of the things I have seen in my home town in Brisbane, where I have been embarrased by some of the locals actions towards visitors from other countries at games, like I am sure it happens in all countries.

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Jon September 12, 2012 12:57 pm

To be fair I've been to watch games in NZ a couple times before the WC, and it wasn't as bad.
But at the world cup last year it was ridiculous.
I imagine it's worse for the Aussies than anyone else and at the WC it was the worst I'd ever seen it.
I went to a couple neutral games and it was fine.
And it wasn't everyone, just a significant minority at every game.
But frankly, I've never been spat at by a supporter at a game before, and haven't since. It was disgusting.

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