|Argentina: (0) 0|
|New Zealand: (10) 38|
|Tries: Coles, Savea, Jordan (2), Tuipulotu Pens: Mo’unga Cons: Mo’unga (4)|
New Zealand crushed Argentina 38-0 to avenge their shock defeat two weeks ago and all but seal the Tri-Nations title.
The All Blacks dominated from the start of the match in Newcastle, Australia, and led 10-0 at half-time thanks to hooker Dane Coles’ try in the corner.
Ardie Savea burst through early in the second half before Will Jordan raced over for two tries within 10 minutes of coming on.
Patrick Tuipulotu then touched down a stunning team try in overtime.
Argentina and Australia both have six points and face each other in the final game of the tournament next weekend but it would need a remarkable scoreline for either side to overtake New Zealand, who have 11 points and a vastly superior points difference.
New Zealand head coach Ian Foster was under huge pressure after defeats by the Wallabies and the Pumas left his side facing the prospect of three successive losses for the first time since 1998.
His side had the benefit of a week’s rest while Argentina coach Mario Ledesma made 10 changes from the side that battled to a draw with Australia last Saturday.
Before kick-off New Zealand paid tribute to Argentina football legend Diego Maradona, who died this week.
Captain Sam Cane laid an All Blacks number 10 jersey bearing the name Maradona in the centre circle before his team got ready for battle by performing the haka.
New Zealand’s determination was clear from the off and they thought they had an early score but Beauden Barrett’s try was ruled out because of a knock-on.
However, the pressure paid off and hooker Coles crashed over in the corner following a looping pass from fly-half Richie Mo’unga.
Mo’unga then raced through a gap in the overstretched Pumas defence and released Caleb Clarke but the winger’s thigh grazed the touchline before he touched down.
The All Blacks could have added further points to press home their first-half dominance – they made 16 tackles to Argentina’s 90 – but Mo’unga’s penalty hit the post, giving Argentina hope of a second-half turnaround.
Argentina: Boffelli; Cordero, Mallia, De la Fuente, Moyano; Sanchez, Ezcurra; Vivas, Montoya, Medrano, Petti, Paulos, Matera (capt), Kremer, Isa.
Replacements: Socino, Tetaz Chaparro, Sordoni, Alemanno, Grondona, Bertranou, Carreras, Mensa.
New Zealand: B Barrett, J Barrett, Liernert-Brown, Goodhue, Clarke, Mo’unga, Smith; Moody, Coles, Laulala, S Barrett, Whitelock, A Ioane, Cane (capt), Savea.
Replacements: Taylor, Tuinukuafe, Lomax, Tuipulotu, Sotutu, Perenara, R Ioane, Jordan.
Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)