Argentina 0-38 New Zealand: Jordan comes on to shine as All Blacks edge closer to Tri Nations glory

Oleh Patric Ridge 28 November 2020 117
Argentina 0-38 New Zealand: Jordan comes on to shine as All Blacks edge closer to Tri Nations glory

Will Jordan came off the bench to score two sensational tries as New Zealand returned to form with a dominant 38-0 victory over Argentina to put themselves in pole position for the Tri Nations crown.

Argentina claimed their first competitive win over the All Blacks on November 14, but in their 31st Test meeting it was New Zealand who triumphed in the Newcastle heat to end a two-match losing streak.

Nicolas Sanchez produced a masterclass in the reverse outing, but Argentina's fly-half was kept under lock and key as tries either side of half-time from Dane Coles and Ardie Savea put New Zealand in control.

Ian Foster turned to his bench with just over an hour played, and the changes swiftly paid dividends, 22-year-old Jordan sprinting over for his first two international tries before making a break which led to Patrick Tuipulotu wrapping up a bonus-point win to round off the All Blacks' campaign.

It leaves New Zealand on 11 points with a points difference of 64, meaning Argentina (-28) or Australia (-36) – who face-off next week – will have to turnaround a huge deficit if either of them are to clinch the trophy.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane laid down an All Blacks shirt in honour of Diego Maradona ahead of kick-off, before a typically fearsome haka set the tone for a fast start.

Jordie Barrett missed a penalty and his older brother Beauden saw a five-pointer disallowed, but New Zealand's early pressure told.

The All Blacks, who finished the first half with 203 metres gained compared to 35 for Argentina, had already won 20 rucks by the 10th minute, and a moment later Coles raced over in the corner after latching onto a looped pass from Richie Mo'unga, who added the extras.

Mo'unga knocked over a penalty as New Zealand kept the momentum going, Akira Ioane lunging in down the left only to hit the touchline before grounding the ball.

Fly-half Mo'unga should have put New Zealand 13-0 up on the stroke of half-time, yet hit the post with a penalty right in front of the sticks.

Argentina's second-half resistance lasted just 12 minutes, with Savea wriggling through after a well-worked line-out.

Mo'unga converted, though New Zealand's push for a bonus point was hitting a Pumas wall until Jordan came on.

Just three minutes after his introduction, Jordan pounced on a fumble in midfield to race clear and slide in under the sticks.

It was the same story straight from the restart, Jordan intercepting a sloppy pass to burst down the right and seal his double.

Tyrel Lomax's yellow card for a high tackle proved the only blot in New Zealand's copybook, with the All Blacks still finding time to score a sublime team try.

Tuipulotu helped himself to five points at the culmination of a slick break as Argentina were kept scoreless for the first time since losing 27-0 to France in June 2016.

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Patric Ridge