The All Blacks made sure to end their season on a high, dominating the Pumas to run out 38-0 winners in Newcastle on Saturday night.
Out to avenge their historic loss to Argentina two weeks ago, the All Blacks were in control from the get-go – even though this didn’t necessarily reflect on the scoreboard. With 74% of possession across the opening half, they led by just 10-points to nil at the break.
Tries to Ardie Savea, Patrick Tuipulotu, and two in three minutes to super-sub Will Jordan helped finished the rout.
But arguably the most pleasing thing for the All Blacks, alongside the breakout tests from Jordan and Blindside Flanker Akira Ioane, was the humiliation of the Pumas at the set-piece. Especially at the scrum, the All Blacks were in complete and utter control.
— RUGBYcomau (@rugbycomau) November 29, 2020
Joe Moody played nearly as well as a prop can in his 50th test match, and Nepo Laulala wasn’t too far behind.
Argentinian rugby has historically prided itself on its scrummaging, which is what makes Saturday’s showing especially surprising and concerning from the Pumas.
All blacks scrum is ? #NZLvARG
— Dilanka?? (@Dilanka25) November 28, 2020
Better from the All Blacks forwards today. Laulala outstanding. Scrum and lineout dominant, and Cane and co very accurate at the breakdown. Discipline better too. Final scoreline won’t reflect that dominance. #NZLvARG#TriNations2020
— Jon Cardinelli (@jon_cardinelli) November 28, 2020
— Andrew Maseko (@NqobileMaseko) November 28, 2020
Their dominance at the scrum continued until just before the one-hour mark, when both Moody and Laulala were rewarded with a well-earned rest.
Karl Tu’inukuafe and Tyrel Lomax came on as substitutes, but were penalised at their first scrum.
While the All Blacks finally made their control over the possession stats count in the second-half with 21-points, it was just after the siren had sounded that the game took a controversial turn.
When one player seems to have more good luck than most, you start to suspect that luck actually has nothing to do with it. #AllBlacks
?? Gregor Paulhttps://t.co/mANWH2v9Ci
— The XV (@TheXV) November 29, 2020
With the All Blacks up 31-0, replacement Lomax was shown a yellow card for a high shot on a defenceless Pumas player. It was originally overlooked by the on-field referee, but the TMO brought it to the attention of Nic Berry.
Tyrel Lomax – only a yellow card for this? What a joke rugby union has become. pic.twitter.com/IEnYVrTw3q
— Smallclone (@Smallclone_) November 28, 2020
The former Australian under-20s representative has been heavily criticised on social media for the incident of foul play.
Fans on Twitter have disagreed with Nic Berry’s decision to give Lomax a yellow card, with one suggesting that it was a “blatant red card.”
Blatant red card. Boy is blessed. Swinging arm straight to the head of a player in a defenceless position.
— Brian Dowling (@dowlking1) November 28, 2020
That is shocking. A straight red, no question. Clear contact with the head with a swinging arm.
— Lee Farrow (@farrow_lee) November 28, 2020
How on earth was that not a red, ludicrous decision
— Raniel Dead (@raniel_dead) November 28, 2020
Red all day ! Straight contact to the head
— Greg Philps (@gregphilps) November 29, 2020
We’re playing a different game in the northern hemisphere.
That Tyrel Lomax yellow is a red all day up here.
— Matthew Southcombe (@MattSouth7) November 28, 2020
Clearly a red!!
— Mike Kapsalis (@mikekapsalis) November 28, 2020
Absolute shocker! He lifted his elbow with deliberate intentions to hit his opponents head .referee bottled it ,a citing and a lengthy ban awaits .nm
— mark thomas (@markthomas157cb) November 28, 2020
Ref said there were mitigating factors but the player was on the floor, didn’t change and position and it was a deliberate forearm to the head. Madness how it was a yellow, made worse by Justin Marshall joking about mitigating factors in regards to previous reds ?
— Mana Rugby (@mana_rugby) November 28, 2020
Doesn’t matter if it’s the 1st minute or the 80th. That’s a red card, shocking work from the officials.
— Jon Garbett (@JonnyG92) November 29, 2020
I thought it was going to be red. Lack of swinging arm might have saved him, but lucky.
— Dave Kimber (@dave_kimber) November 28, 2020
Shocking. It’s also a unessasery clearout, he just wanted to smash the man.
— Scott Laird (@scott_laird88) November 28, 2020
The match was the All Blacks’ final test for the year, as they’re now set to begin two weeks of quarantine.
They have likely locked up the Tri Nations title though, with both the Pumas and Wallabies needing upwards of a 90-point victory in the final round to steal the title.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now