New Zealand edge out Argentina 16-20 in Buenos Aires

Ngani Laumape scored the opening try for All Blacks
Ngani Laumape scored the opening try for All Blacks

Argentina 16-20 New Zealand, Estadio Velez Sarsfield

New Zealand scored all the points in the first half as they edged out Argentina 16-20 in their Rugby Championship opener in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

Nicolas Sanchez scored two penalties in the opening 10 minutes that took the Pumas to a six-point lead and by the 16th minute Beauden Barrett's chip kick put the hosts under the pressure. As the All Blacks won a penalty, a quick tap from Aaron Smith allowed Ngani Laumape to touchdown in the 18th minute.

Barrett's conversion put the All Blacks into a three-point lead before both the fly-halves traded penalties to make the scoreline 9-10.

As the half-time was approaching the visitors stepped up the gears with Brodie Retallick dotting down in the 38th minute with Beauden kicking a penalty and a conversion on either side to ensure the teams went into the break with a 9-20 scoreline.

Argentina pressed on attack in the opening 20 minutes of the second half with a kick from Sanchez saw fullback Emiliano Boffelli dotting down and the fly-half also kicked the conversion to make the scoreline 16-20.

Argentina came close once again but Ramiro Moyano’s foot was in touch before he got his offload and during the added minutes they came close yet again but New Zealand managed to hold their defence tight to complete a four point victory.

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