ARG 6-44 NZL: Seven-try New Zealand overwhelm Argentina to reach final

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Credit: World Rugby

New Zealand will have a shot at winning a record fourth Rugby World Cup after a seven-try demolition of Argentina at Stade de France to book their place in next Saturday’s final.

Los Pumas led with an early Emiliano Boffelli penalty but two tries in the space of five minutes from Will Jordan and Jordie Barrett put the All Blacks in command.

A third from Shannon Frizell with the last move of the half and Aaron Smith’s individual score early in the second period took them further clear.

Frizell grabbed his second and Jordan completed his hat-trick to move level with Jonah Lomu (1999), Bryan Habana (2007) and Julian Savea (2015) with a record eighth try in a single Rugby World Cup to seal the All Blacks’ place in a record fifth final.

Jordie Barrett put in a huge defensive effort to be named Mastercard Player of the Match. “It’s so sweet,” he said. “It’s special times.”

“I thought our forwards did an outstanding job,” New Zealand captain Sam Cane said. “Set-piece, maul time, earned a few penalties, got a bit of dominance and it kept a lot of pressure on the Argentinians.”

Argentina captain Julián Montoya admitted his team were second best: “Awesome team, they were better today by far but we could be better; set-piece, too many mistakes … every opportunity they have they score, so we need to look inside each other. 

“Today, far from our level that we wanted to show. I am gutted and I am really disappointed of that.”

New Zealand head Ian Foster gave Argentina credit, though: “They threw a lot at us early. We were hanging in there a bit defensively but we kept our cool, kept control and when we won the ball we were able to punish them. That three or four minutes before half-time was pretty important, those eight points, it gave us that buffer.”

New Zealand will be back at Stade de France next Saturday, when they will play South Africa or the All Blacks’ 2019 conquerors in the last four, England.

“We slipped at the semi-final hurdle four years ago,” Barrett said. “It’s not done yet.

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika also wants his team to go out on a high: “We want to go home with a medal. So next week [Bronze final] is huge for us. We will have to get over tonight because we really believed we could get in there and do something and it’s going to hurt.”

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