The All Blacks bounced back to form with a dominant Tri-Nations victory over Argentina at the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on Saturday.
The All Blacks won 38-0 after leading 10-0 at half-time.
Coming off back-to-back defeats to Australia (24-22) and Argentina (25-15), the All Blacks were a vastly improved outfit and dominated territory and possession – and the scoreboard most importantly.
The All Blacks picked up five points to all-but secure the Tri-Nations title.
The All Blacks are now finished with their matches and will have to await the outcome of next Saturday’s final match between Australia and Argentina to make it official.
Thanks to poor points differentials, only a full-house of five points by either the Wallabies or Pumas and a win margin of record -and unlikely – proportions can deny the All Blacks overall victory.
Prior to the pre-match haka there was a touching gesture when All Blacks skipper Sam Cane laid down a signed No 10 jersey emblazoned with the name Maradona to commemorate the death of Argentina football legend Diego Maradona during the week.
Tries: Dane Coles, Ardie Savea, Will Jordan (2), Patrick Tuipulotu
Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (5)
15 Beauden Barrett; 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Caleb Clarke; 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Akira Ioane; 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett; 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Rieko Ioane, 23 Will Jordan
15 Emiliano Boffelli; 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Juan Cruz Mallia, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero; 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra; 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (captain); 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Guido Petti; 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Mayco Vivas
Substitutes: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago Carreras, 23 Lucas Mensa