Rugby Championship
All Blacks retain Rugby Championship
September 28, 2014
Date/Time: Sep 27, 2014, 19:10 local, 22:10 GMT
Venue: Estadio Ciudad de La Plata
Argentina 13 - 34 New Zealand
Attendance: 37000  Half-time: 6 - 20
Tries: Agulla
Cons: Gonzalez Iglesias
Pens: Sanchez 2
Tries: Dagg, Perenara, Savea, BR Smith
Cons: Barrett 4
Pens: Barrett 2
All Blacks inside-centre Malakai Fekitoa is tackled, Argentina v New Zealand, Rugby Championship, Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, September 27, 2014
Malakai Fekitoa was impressive in his fourth match for the All Blacks
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The All Blacks wrapped up their third successive Rugby Championship crown with a comprehensive 34-13 win over Argentina in La Plata.

First-half tries to Ben Smith and Israel Dagg gave the All Blacks a 20-6 half-time lead, then Julian Savea and replacement scrum-half TJ Perenara crossed in the second spell to secure the bonus-point win at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata.

While Argentina looked good with the ball in hand, poor discipline in the tackle meant they conceded possession too easily and the All Blacks made them pay.

Beauden Barrett, in at fly-half for the errant Aaron Cruden, extinguished memories of a sub-par goalkicking performance in Napier three weeks earlier in sinking six from six.

New Zealand were never threatened by Argentina (Video in Australia only)
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Boosted by the return of key forwards Sam Whitelock and Jerome Kaino from injury, the All Blacks proved lethal on the counterattack, both first half tries highlighting their up-tempo approach. Ben Smith finished off a slick backline move after 12 minutes, and an immaculately timed pass from Savea slicing open the Pumas' defence before Dagg found Ben Smith with a neat inside ball for the try.

Argentina worked their way back into the match, but their willingness to run the ball was rewarded by only a Nicolas Sanchez penalty as the All Blacks defence held strong.

Four-Test centre Malakai Fekitoa impressed in replacing injured inside-centre Ma'a Nonu, looking defensively sound and dangerous with the ball in hand. Fekitoa sparked the All Blacks' second try as 26 minutes ticked over, a sweetly timed pass sending centre Conrad Smith into space down the right before Ben Smith popped the pass for Dagg to touch down.

The Pumas came close to scoring in the closing stages of the first half, but the All Blacks' scrambling defence held strong, and Argentina could only add a second Sanchez penalty right on half-time.

The All Blacks' dominance up front gradually wore down Argentina as the second spell wore on, the Kiwis capitalising on a series of turnovers and handling errors to keep the pressure on.

A flying Savea proved unstoppable from just inside the 22, latching onto Aaron Smith's cut-out pass down the left to bump off a series of ineffectual tackles and score. Perenara added the fourth, barely a minute after replacing Aaron Smith, rewarded for superb support play off Savea's shoulder with a 68th minute try.

Argentina's perseverance was rewarded with barely two minutes remaining, Horacio Agulla crossing to lend some respectability to the scoreline.

The All Blacks now travel to Johannesburg for next Sunday's final Rugby Championship match against South Africa at Ellis Park.

© AAP

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