Rugby: Argentina make history with upset win over All Blacks

Argentina players celebrating their win over New Zealand in a rugby union Test match in Christchurch on Aug 27. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The win allowed the Wallabies to redeem themselves after the 48-17 loss to Argentina. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

AUCKLAND (REUTERS) _ Argentina stunned the All Blacks by beating the three-time world champions for the first time on New Zealand soil with a 25-18 victory in a Rugby Championship test in Christchurch on Saturday (Aug 27_.

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.

“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 shown 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 half-time but ill-discipline throughout the match cost them dearly.

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.

Flanker Fraser McReight scored two tries and Man of the Match Marika Koroibete also crossed, with Noah Lolesio adding 10 points from the kicking tee in an assured performance at fly-half in Australia's win.

The Springboks, looking for a first win over the Wallabies in Australia since 2013, had only a single Handre Pollard penalty on the board until Kwagga Smith scored two tries in the last five minutes.

"It was a tough tour of Argentina and I'm very proud of the effort we put in," said Australia captain James Slipper.

"There were parts of that game where we had to show a lot of character, and we scored when we had our chances."

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said: "The game is about small margins and every opportunity they got they took it with both hands." 

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