Much of the Northern Hemisphere rugby world woke up this morning to the shock news that Los Pumas had beaten the All Blacks for the first time in their history.

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It was Argentina’s first test in more than a year – following on from the defeat of the US at the 2019 World Cup – but they made an electric start in Australia with Stade Francais flyhalf Sanchez dotting down in the 19th minute after collecting his own chip to dive under the posts.

A couple of penalties from Sanchez, together with a resolute Los Puma’s defence that repeatedly contained the All Blacks, and it started to seem like an upset could be in the offing.

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Hamish Watson chats to Big Jim

A try apiece for captain Sam Cane and winger Caleb Clarke wasn’t enough for the All Blacks to claw the game back and Mario Ledesma’s men hung on a memorable victory at the Bankwest Stadium. Like Ireland’s first win over New Zealand in 2016 in Chicago, it marks a notable upward shift for Los Pumas, who can truly now sit at world rugby’s top table as genuine equals.

The rugby community on Twitter went into overdrive, of course.

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Matera: “We’re used to this. Everything is hard in Argentina…we want to show people that if you fight and you work hard, you get what you fight for.”

The ‘feels’ hitting the Argentina players was a sight to behold. Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma getting choked up with emotion at the final whistle, well, had everybody getting choked up:

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Many questioned why the Springboks chose to not compete in this year’s Tri Nations, with the undercooked Pumas more than a match for the All Blacks. “Argentina’s performance today makes a mockery of the Springboks not wanting to travel for The Rugby Championship because they haven’t played since the world cup.”

This video from Los Pumas detailing how they prepared for the game while in lockdown goes viral:

The general mood was one of overwhelming joy for Los Pumas, combined with a good deal of hand wringing from All Blacks fans and New Zealand pundits.

2020 just keeps on giving.

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