Second Half Pressure Too Much for Pumas (All Blacks vs Argentina)

In the first half the stormy weather and a surprisingly tenacious and efficient Argentina took the All Blacks by surprise. In the second half the storm settled, and so did the New Zealand players, looking much more accurate and confident on offense, with Cory Jane and Julian Savea making it a third consecutive win in the Rugby Championship, 21-5.

Argentina took advantage of everything given to them in the first half, with fantastic line defending, too quick for the fumbling All Blacks to penetrate, including some brilliant last second tackling and defending from Marcelo Bosch, denying a try from Victor Vito. Rodrigo Roncero showed some special strength and balance in a stunning try 12 minutes into the match, and the All Blacks just couldn’t seem to settle through the entire first half, as their centers and especially Ma’a Nonu suffered from the case of slippery fingers.

But muscling your way through the entire 80 minutes without a bit of some flair and creativity just doesn’t work, especially against the All Blacks in Wellington. After they’ve gotten used to the idea of SBW no longer there, Israel Daag and Cory Jane started the second half very well, and after getting enough seperation through another succesful Aaron Cruden penalty, enjoying the suddenly stable weather, Argentina opened up a little bit and didn’t look as disciplined and formidable as in the first half.

The first try for the All Blacks came 26 minutes into the second half, with some nice work from Conrad Smith and a much better Nonu opened up the space for the winger Julian Savea, scoring his fourth career try for the side after that impressive debut (3 tries) against Ireland back in June. The pressure kept on coming, and Argentina couldn’t find a way to clear it or release, eventually leading to another try, this time from Cory Jane himself, left wide open on the wide side after a scrum, scoring his 11th try for the All Blacks in 34 appearances.

The Pumas tried to muscle their way through in the final minute, trying to get a bit more points on the scoreboard before it was all over, but brawn and pure strength aren’t enough without quick hands and some clever movement. The All Blacks held the line well and ended up with the 21-5 win, remaining perfect after three matches in the tournament, proving to be of another class in the second half.

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