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Twenty years on since hilarious All Blacks howler almost gave Argentina famous test win

BY Shaywaterworth  ·  Saturday Oct 2, 2021

Twenty years ago the All Blacks nearly lost to Argentina following a comedy of errors which left them red-faced in Buenos Aires.

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A first half try from Los Pumas captain Lisandro Arbizu was cancelled out by a classic Jonah Lomu effort just seven minutes later, brushing aside four defenders to score on the left wing.

Then with Los Pumas trailing by four points midway through the second half at River Plate Stadium the hosts sent a restart deep into the All Backs half.

A young Richie McCaw took the ball and threw it over the shoulder of Anton Oliver before winger Doug Howlett attempted to clear up the situation as he collected possession on his own try line.

However the try-scoring machine attempted a cute switch with fly half Andrew Mehrtens which went wrong and allowed Arbizu to simply drop on the ball and score his second try of the match.

This gave the hosts a narrow lead heading into the final quarter of the match and it took a dramatic late try from number eight Scott Robinson to eventually secure a win for the All Blacks and spare any blushes.

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To add insult to injury, fly-half Felipe Contepomi had missed a penalty in front of the posts late on which would have secured the win and he also missed touch with virtually the final kick of the game, which the All Blacks scored their winning try from.

The game eventually finished 20-24 and was probably the closest Argentina had come to beating the All Blacks in their history.

To that point Argentina had only ever drawn one game against the All Blacks and it took almost 20 years before they were finally able to cross the line, beating New Zealand 15-25 in Sydney last year.

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