All Blacks too strong for Ar­gentina

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Rugby -

New Zealand moved 11 points clear in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship af­ter they beat Ar­gentina 36-10 at Es­ta­dio Vélez Sars­field. With the 2017 ti­tle al­ready se­cured be­cause of South Africa and Aus­tralia draw­ing 27-27 in Bloem­fontein, the All Blacks were un­der lit­tle pres­sure for their win.

The vic­tory came af­ter a very strong start and il­lus­tra­tion of All Black power play with a brace of tries from num­ber eight Kieran Read, full-back Damian McKen­zie and wing Waisake Na­holo. On his de­but David Hav­ili also crossed the white­wash in the game’s fi­nal play.

But as much as it high­lighted New Zealand strength, so too did the Cham­pi­onship show Ar­gentina woes. In re­ply to the All Blacks five tries, Ar­gentina’s lone try scorer was Juan Manuel Leguiza­món as their poor Rugby Cham­pi­onship cam­paign reads five losses from five matches. Three yel­low cards were shown in the match, two for Ar­gentina and one for New Zealand. Le­in­ster’s win over Ed­in­burgh on Fri­day al­lowed coach Leo Cullen a sigh of re­lief af­ter fin­ish­ing what was a dif­fi­cult three week run of matches. Hav­ing spent two weeks in South Africa, some of his Le­in­ster play­ers did not get back to Ire­land un­til last Mon­day and were un­able to train un­til Wed­nes­day. As the side pre­pares for their derby game against all con­quer­ing Mun­ster this week in Aviva Sta­dium, Cullen will have all of his healthy play­ers to­gether in a group for the first time in three weeks.

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