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Monday, September 30, 2013

New Zealand in strong position following bonus point win over Argentina

New Zealand are favourites to claim another Rugby Championship title after they beat Argentina 33-15 on Saturday, scoring a four try bonus point in the process. They travel to Ellis Park for what should be a mouthwatering finale this coming weekend.

Argentina produced a strong performance first half, but couldn't quite maintain their intensity and hold out against the silky skills and power of the experienced All Blacks.

It was close at the break with just two points separating the sides, but in the second half the visitors scored three unanswered tries, including the vital bonus point score by Ben Smith at the death.

Smith earlier scored the try of the match after Ma'a Nonu put him through the gap superbly before he stepped the cover with ease, adding to his already impressive try scoring record for the season.

The bonus point try ensured that the All Blacks will be sitting pretty come Saturday, knowing that even a loss could result in them claiming the championship title.

Coach Steve Hansen said that with the Springboks needing to score four tries to win, it could open up the game and leave them falling into the trap of playing too loose against a highly talented outfit.

"They are going to have to play some rugby. That will suit us as much as it will suit them," Hansen said post match, before paying tribute to the ever improving Argentina team.

"It was nothing more than we expected. They are a side that is getting better all the time. They're very, very good up front and they tried to play a bit of rugby today and played it quite well so we had to work for it, and the bonus point right at the end was exactly that, a bonus for us." 

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