Changed All Blacks look to wrap up title


Though it was not necessary for them to seal the Championship, New Zealand recorded a 36-10 win over Argentina late yesterday.

The All Blacks took the field knowing they had already secured the title after South Africa and Australia played a 27-27 draw in Bloemfontein and blew their hosts away with four ties in a devastating first-half display. The score remained the same at half-time and the New Zealanders did not add to their score until the siren sounded at the end of the match.

The All Blacks made nine changes to their squad to face Argentina on Thursday with one eye on the next World Cup as they looked to clinch the Rugby Championship with a game to spare.

Fellow flyer Waisake Naholo also crossed after being the beneficiary of Barrett's sublime offload out the back door and the rampant Blacks headed in 29-3 leaders at the break.

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Argentina held their own in a scrappy second half, with Juan Manuel Leguizamon getting their only try before debutant David Havili rounded off the All Blacks' victory after the hooter had sounded.

"I am proud of the boys who defended brilliantly at times", Read said.

"It was good for the less experienced boys in the team to sample playing in one of the toughest atmospheres in world rugby", said Read.

South Africa coach Allister Coetzee said his side have been given little chance of exacting revenge on New Zealand in their Rugby Championship finale and added that anyone expecting a rousing home win is "living in a fool's paradise". "With 60 minutes gone it was a very, very tight test match, so clearly they got under our skin a little bit and we remember that and it's meant we've got plenty of motivation to prepare thoroughly this week".