Rugby Championship: New Zealand stay top after bonus-point win over Argentina

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Last updated on 47 minutes ago47 minutes ago.From the section Rugby Union

New Zealand thrashed Argentina to secure their third bonus-point win in as many matches and stay top of the Rugby Championship table.

The All Blacks, who were missing a number of key players, ran in five tries against their determined opponents.

Rieko Ioane, a last-minute replacement for the injured Anton Lienert-Brown, opened the scoring.

Sevu Reece, Dalton Papalii and a Luke Jacobson double sealed the win.

The match on Australia’s Gold Coast is the first part of a double-header, with Australia against South Africa to follow.

Although New Zealand had nearly 70% possession for most of the first half, they only led 7-0 after 30 minutes thanks to some determined Argentina defence.

But they scored twice in the closing stages of the first half to lead 22-0 at the break after Pablo Matera, one of Argentina’s most effective tacklers, was sent to the sin bin by referee Nic Berry following warnings about repeated infringements.

With Matera still off the field at the start of the second half, Beauden Barrett stepped around three tacklers before flicking a one-handed pass to Jacobson for a fourth try.

Jacobson scored his second after replacement prop Carlos Muzzio was yellow carded as Argentina again suffered disciplinary problems.

TEAMS

New Zealand: J. Barrett, Reece, R. Ioane, Havili, Bridge, B. Barrett, Perenara, Tuinukuafe, Aumua, Laulala, Retallick, S. Barrett, A. Ioane, Papali’i, Jacobson.

Replacements: Taukeiaho, Moody, Lomax, Vaa’i, Blackadder, Weber, McKenzie, Tupaea.

Argentina: Mallia, Delguy, Moroni, de la Fuente, Carreras, Sanchez, Bertranou, Gigena, Montoya, Medrano, Petti, Alemanno, Matera, Kremer, Bruni.

Replacements: Bosch, Muzzio, Pieretto, Lavanini, Gonzalez,Garcia, Chocobares, Boffelli.

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)

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