With a 53-3 thrashing of Argentina on Saturday in Hamilton, the All Blacks put their Rugby Championship woes behind them. New Zealand coach Ian Foster praised his team’s ambition.
Both sides now have two victories and two defeats in the Rugby Championship after the rampaging home team’s overwhelming performance to exact revenge for last week’s shocking setback to the Pumas.
New Zealand played far more skillfully than they did in last week’s 25-18 loss in Christchurch, leading 24-3 at the break.
The All Blacks overcame the Pumas’ staunch defensive wall and breakdown aggression on that particular occasion to put up their most impressive performance of a difficult year.
It provides little solace for under-fire coach Foster, who has now managed three victories from his previous nine Tests in command — a record he will want to better in the two remaining Rugby Championship Tests against Australia this month.
Foster expressed his pride in his team.
“I really like the drive. It’s simple to shut down a little after a few defeats, he remarked.
This week has been about kind of just trying to reverse that and get them to just trust the rugby players that they are. That’s what I believe we saw in the fourth quarter last week. Particularly early when it was quite rainy, I was pretty happy with the ambition.
I thought we experimented with some width before spreading them out.
Despite the rain, New Zealand only committed three handling mistakes while launching a number of exciting offensive manoeuvres.
Ethan de Groot, Caleb Clarke, and Reiko Ioane scored first-half tries as a result of their play, while Jordie Barrett, Ardie Savea, Brodie Retallick, and Beauden Barrett scored after the break.
Emiliano Boffelli, a winger for Argentina who scored 20 points last week with his boot, only had one penalty for his side.
Sam Cane, a captain whose situation is also being investigated, expressed relief.
“Winning was quite essential; we were under some strain. We weren’t satisfied with what we served up the previous week, he remarked.
“This week, we were able to convert our early involvement in the game into points. That was a fairly fun evening.
Julian Montoya, the Argentine’s opponent, claimed his squad had picked up some important lessons.
“In order to improve, we must continue to work. We weren’t world champions last week, and we aren’t the worst in the world this week, he remarked.
We must examine ourselves right now and work to get better since South Africa is coming up in a few weeks. Congratulations to New Zealand; they performed well.
The New Zealand forwards set the stage, dominating the breakdown in a significant turnabout from last week, and they profited from a plan that included more varied kicking.
The All Blacks’ forwards, headed by No. 8 Savea and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho, were unstoppable when it came to moving the ball, an area on which Foster said they had concentrated.
The breakdown was extremely different from last week, and it gave us a lot more confidence to play with the ball. “We carried well, we carried smartly, and (there was) a major change in the refereeing, too.”
Lock Tomas Lavanini’s errant pass on the game’s opening play put the visitors on the defensive right away.
Fly-half In addition to scoring his first of 14 points on a penalty kick, Richie Mo’unga also converted a close-range try by prop de Groot.
Within the first quarter, New Zealand had a 17-0 lead when wing Clarke was sent over in the left corner by excellent centre Ioane’s quick hands and burst of speed.
After Boffelli’s lone penalty kick, Lavanini was given a warning for a professional foul, and the visitors quickly paid the price.
The end of New Zealand’s commanding first-half performance came when Ioane took advantage of the numerical advantage to score.
Argentina gained more ground in the second period, but they failed to take use of it and started to lose steam, enabling New Zealand to pull away and end the match differently from last week, when they struggled in the last quarter.
A late try-scoring deluge was started by fullback Jordie Barrett, then by Savea, Retallick, and substitutes Beauden Barrett and Retallick.
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