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New Zealand All Blacks Quell Pumas Onslaught

It was far from straightforward. Captain Richie McCaw was booed after being sin-binned and for just a fleeting moment, there was even the tiniest suspicion that another Rugby World Cup
22 Sep 2015 09:49
New Zealand All Blacks Quell Pumas Onslaught
New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw sin-binned against Argentina.

It was far from straightforward.

Captain Richie McCaw was booed after being sin-binned and for just a fleeting moment, there was even the tiniest suspicion that another Rugby World Cup sensation could be on the cards.

This was before New Zealand finally flexed their muscles to launch their defence with a 26-16 win over Argentina.

With this thunderous, if mistake-riddled, game about to enter its final quarter, Argentina were still leading 16-12 after a tremendous team performance full of spirit to match their passionate sky blue support amid the record World Cup crowd of 89,019.

Sensing another miracle

The rusty, ill-disciplined All Blacks had been rocked, at one point having being reduced to 13 men just before halftime and with their totem McCaw having been despatched to the bench for what English referee Wayne Barnes and the crowd felt was a cynical trip on Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

The real All Blacks finally re-emerged in the last 20 minutes with two tries from Aaron Smith and Sam Cane allied to the ever-secure boot of Dan Carter, who landed all his six kicks at goal.

Professional foul

When flanker Pablo Matera was sent to the bin after just 10 minutes for a professional foul to stop Aaron Smith profiting from a quick penalty, Carter slotted home the second of three early penalties.

Suddenly, though, at 9-0 down, Argentina’s  Juan Imhoff weaved down the left before the forwardpowered on through the phases to send 20-year-old Guido Petti to  score.

He was the youngest try scorer in their World Cup history.

Then, sensation McCaw was immediately shown yellow by the English official after he was ruled to have stuck his leg out while on the floor to deliberately stop Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe from powering away.

The pro-Argentinian crowd booed long and loud at McCaw. Worse was to come when Conrad Smith, just before half-time, was shown yellow for going off his feet to stop an Argentina attack.

Sanchez’s two penalties from the McCaw and Smith offences gave Argentina a 13-9 lead.

But carelessly they gave another penalty away just before the interval for Carter to narrow the gap – 13-12, at the interval.

Argentina stretched their lead, but when restored to 15 and with Sonny Bill Williams making a major impact off the bench in place of Ma’a Nonu.

 

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