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.
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.
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.
— Sky Sport NZ (@skysportnz) November 14, 2020
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 14, 2020
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.”
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.” #NZLvARG
— Beth Newman (@bethknewman) November 14, 2020
Full strength @AllBlacks
COVID smashed underprepared Argentina.
This is one of the biggest wins you will ever see.
Tears from the Argies. This is moment of a lifetime stuff.
25-15 win!!! #NZLvARG
— Ben Kimber (@benkimber) November 14, 2020
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:
Pure emotion ?
— Fox Rugby (@FOXRUGBY) November 14, 2020
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.”
Argentina's performance today makes a mockery of the Springboks not wanting to travel for the The Rugby Championship because they haven't played since the world cup. #NZLvARG
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) November 14, 2020
This video from Los Pumas detailing how they prepared for the game while in lockdown goes viral:
So this is how you prepare to beat the All Blacks…
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 14, 2020
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.
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) November 14, 2020
That is an incredible result for the Pumas. Congratulations to Argentina. No rugby since March w/ the Jaguares for most of these players against a ‘full strength’ AB side. Wow. This is an abject failure for NZ Rugby given the circumstances of both sides. #NZLvARG
— Ben Smith (@bensmithrugby) November 14, 2020
Just a phenomenal game of rugby.
— Brett McKay (@BMcSport) November 14, 2020
Wow watching the last 20mins of All Blacks v Pumas game. Fair play Argentina, defence has been immense in this last 20. All Blacks look to be making too many little errors! Well done Pumas
— mike tindall (@miketindall13) November 14, 2020
If you aint got nothing nice to say keep it moving. They tried their best & on the day the Pumas played better and deserved the win. Its that simple.
— Lima Sopoaga (@LimaSopoaga) November 14, 2020
The happiest man in Australia right now ?
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) November 14, 2020
2020 just keeps on giving.
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