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Los Pumas claim historic victory over All Blacks in Christchurch

By AAP
Juan Martin Gonzalez Sanso. (Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

Argentina have stunned the All Blacks by beating the three-times world champions for the first time on New Zealand soil with a 25-18 victory in a Rugby Championship Test in Christchurch.

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The Pumas achieved their first ever win over New Zealand just two years ago in another championship match in Sydney and Saturday’s victory was from the same mold with magnificent defence backed up by iron discipline.

“I’m very proud of our team, we are starting to believe what we can do, not just a magic moment like our first win (in Sydney),” said captain Julian Montoya.

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“Very, very happy, very, very proud, it’s a very special moment for us.”

The boot of winger Emiliano Boffelli, who kicked five penalties, kept them in the contest when New Zealand scored two tries in the first half and kept them ahead after flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez had scored an opportunist second-half try.

New Zealand, who played the last nine minutes with 14 men after Shannon Frizell was s hown a yellow card, will almost certainly be plunged back into the crisis that was apparently ended by their victory over South Africa two weeks ago.

Tries from Samisoni Taukei’aho and Caleb Clarke should have given them a comfortable lead at halftime but ill-discipline throughout the match cost them dearly.

“It certainly felt in the first half that we were more dominant in areas than we managed to show on the scoreboard,” All Blacks captain Sam Cane said.

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“A lot of credit has to go to Argentina for the way they stuck in it and eventually turned the tables.”

The victory gives Argentina successive wins in the Rugby Championship for the first time after their impressive 48-17 thrashing of Australia in San Juan two weeks ago.

They also remain top of the championship standings on points difference ahead of Australia, who earlier beat South Africa 25-17 in Adelaide.

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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