The All Blacks retained the Rugby Championship with a game to spare after claiming a 34-13 bonus point victory over Argentina on Saturday. Next weekend’s fixture against South Africa shifts to a matter of pride, rather than the title being on the line.
The win in La Plata secured a third successive Rugby Championship title for the World Champions, who scored tries through Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Julian Savea and TJ Perenara.
Despite there being one match left to play between the All Blacks and the Springboks in Johannesburg, even a bonus-point victory for the hosts will leave them a point behind the leaders, and now winners, of the the 2014 edition of the southern hemisphere quadrangular tournament.
Richie McCaw said post match that finding motivation certainly won’t be a problem when it comes to facing their arch rivals at Ellis Park this coming Saturday.
“It won’t take much. When the All Blacks play South Africa, especially in South Africa, that’s one of the games you live for so the boys will enjoy tonight and then look forward to next week.”
The skipper acknowledged Argentina’s part in what was a good contest, despite the final scoreline.
“The Pumas came to play and it was a pretty good match to watch because both teams came to play, I’m just proud the guys took their chances. We defended really well and didn’t let them across the line until the end and I’m really proud of the guys because it really showed their backbone.”
View quick highlights below (better will be updated if possible), and on page two you can get a look inside the sheds with the New Zealand team after the match, and hear their thoughts on the victory