The All Blacks march into the Rugby World Cup final

h 00112869

The traditional All Blacks forward strength came to light and while there were only eight scrums, each emphasised the dominance the All Blacks enjoyed to mount their seven-try try assault on the game Argentinians.

Leading the way was wing Will Jordan who scored three tries, giving him 31 tries from 30 Tests.

His last was a typically brilliant effort coming from a 73rd minute in-pass after a lineout from No8 Ardie Savea. Jordan ran hard, then kicked ahead, winning the bounce, and the race, to cross for the final try.

Argentina's defence was consistently strong, but the All Blacks, time after time, put impressive leg drive to use to gain vital metres in tackles to return the pressure and to impose themselves throughout.

That outcome, had the All Blacks up 34-6 by the 48th minute, a situation allowing them to keep the final in mind by substituting key figures to provide them an easier recovery time while giving their bench valuable minutes to keep their skills on song.

They revealed their capabilities by being involved in Jordan's second try, in the 62nd minute, none more than prop Tamaiti Williams whose strong carry out from the line gave the impetus that saw Jordan score with ease in the corner.

The All Blacks' discipline was evident until lock Scott Barrett's cynical knockdown of a ball after a ruck just out from Argentina's line which had seen the All Blacks awarded a scrum feed. But the TMO spotted his infringement and a yellow card resulted. The All Blacks decided he wouldn't return, finishing the game with 14 men.

Argentina paid dearly for dropping the restart of the second half when if they could have scored first they could have been more competitive with the lead only 20-6.

But the All Blacks mounted a powerful scrum, pushed on and when Savea passed to halfback Aaron Smith, he was able to prop, step and accelerate into space to score 1min 38sec after the start. That made it a bridge too far for Argentina.

Smith was involved again soon after, making a vital tackle on Argentina No8 Facundo Isa that gained a lineout from which the All Blacks unleashed with first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga running into space. Argentina scrambled and did well to halt several drives but finally it was No8 Shannon Frizell who had the strength to blast over, after 48 minutes, for his second try.

The All Blacks mounted a series of lineout drives after wilful transgressions by Argentina which resulted in a warning being issued by referee Angus Gardner. The drives produced the opening try in the 10th minute when instead of keeping the ball in the forwards, the All Blacks flung it wide where wing Will Jordan scored his 29th try.

Wing Mark Tele'a secured a turnover deep in All Blacks' territory and they moved the ball with centre Rieko Ioane making room on the outside and some wonderful continuity passing and support play carrying them to the Argentina line. The ball was moved out to the right flank where second five-eighths Jordie Barrett scored in the 16th minute.

Argentina used their pack to pummel the All Blacks defences, forcing them to make 121 tackles to 80, but that turned around in the second half with Argentina making 192-185. But it was the All Blacks who showed the greater ability to break the Argentina defence 49 times to 25, never better than Telea's run from 22 metres out after they kicked to the corner on the halftime hooter.

Tele'a weaved his way past and around six Argentine defenders as he was stopped just short of the goal line. From the ruck, Smith's long pass enabled Frizell to take the ball on the left flank to score and give the All Blacks a 20-6 lead at the break.

While Argentina played more in the All Blacks' half during the first 40 minutes, the possession was with the New Zealanders and they maintained control. Argentina kicked often, resulting in it taking 28 minutes before the first of two scrums in the half.

Argentina also infringed often at the rolling mauls the All Blacks launched and were placed under a warning in the first quarter.

If there was a concern the All Blacks could do without in the final it was goal kicking with only three conversions landed from seven attempts.

Argentina 6 (Emiliano Boffelli 2 pen) New Zealand 44 (Will Jordan 3, Jordie Barrett, Shannon Frizell 2, Aaron Smith tries; Richie Mo'unga 3 con, pen). HT: 6-20


View all