All Blacks ease past Los Pumas to book spot in World Cup Final
MATCH REPORT: The All Blacks advanced to a record fifth World Cup Final after they beat Argentina 44-6 in their semifinal in Saint-Denis on Friday.
The three-time world champions scored seven tries on their way to victory with Will Jordan getting a hat-trick and Shannon Frizell getting a brace.
Ian Foster’s side entered the match as overwhelming favourites and they showed their pedigree in a match where Argentina could not get a five-pointer.
It was an impressive start by Los Pumas as they dominated possession and forced a penalty to take an early lead with Emiliano Boffelli’s boot.
It didn’t take long for the All Blacks to start asserting their dominance after that and after some sustained pressure inside the Pumas’ 22, Jordan received the ball from a long pass from Richie Mo’unga before sprinting in for an easy try.
Mo’unga made it seven points with the conversion.
The All Blacks were in again in the 17th minute after some scintillating running rugby and composure on attack saw Jordie Barrett finish off a great period of play with a try. Mo’unga could not find the target with his conversion.
The Pumas’ never-say-die attitude kept the All Blacks busy on defence and after some pressure inside their opponents’ half they reduced New Zealand’s lead to six points with another Boffelli penalty.
However, the All Blacks hit back a few minutes later with a penalty of their own. It was Mo’unga who added the three points to the tally.
Foster’s side eventually ended the first half with another try. After some great stepping and power from Mark Tele’a, the ball went through the hands and it eventually found its way to Frizell to ease in for the score.
Mo’unga found the upright with his conversion, but at half-time it was 20-6 to the All Blacks.
It was more of the same from the All Blacks in the early stages of the second half with Aaron Smith showing his class to evade a number of Los Pumas defenders to score his team’s fourth try.
Mo’unga added the extra two points with the conversion.
With momentum on their side, it seemed like there was no stopping the All Blacks and they were in again with Frizell getting his second in the 49th minute. Mo’unga made it a 32-point lead with the conversion.
Jordan then got his second in the 62nd minute after some great interplay by the All Blacks inside the Pumas’ half.
There was a blemish for the All Blacks in the 66th minute with Scott Barrett getting a yellow card for cynical play, but that didn’t stop the try-scoring.
Jordan completed his hat-trick a few minutes later with a great chip-and-chase after he was put into space.
Mo’unga missed a couple of conversions, but it didn’t really matter as the Pumas were already well beaten.
The All Blacks will now wait on the result between England and South Africa to see who they will play in next Saturday’s Final.
Man of the match: Scrumhalf Aaron Smith was a real calming influence again and his decision-making on attack was outstanding. He also scored a great try in the second half. Ardie Savea was a powerhouse with ball in hand and he got his side over the advantage line. Will Jordan was a livewire and he scored a hat-trick, while Shannon Frizell got a brace. However, the award goes to New Zealand centre Jordie Barrett, who delivered the goods in the midfield again. He was a constant threat on attack and he scored a try. His defensive game in that midfield was also excellent.
Pens: Boffelli 2
For New Zealand:
Tries: Jordan 3, J Barrett, Frizell 2, Smith
Con: Mo’unga 3
Yellow card: Scott Barrett (New Zealand, 66′ – cynical play, playing the ball in the ground)
Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Joel Sclavi, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Matias Moroni.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Mark Tele’a, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Dalton Papali’i, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)