All Blacks seal hat-trick of titles

New Zealand earn bonus points in 34-13 win over Argentina and land third successive Rugby Championship title.

    New Zealand won the title with a game to spare [REUTERS]
    New Zealand won the title with a game to spare [REUTERS]

    Captain Richie McCaw equalled a record for All Blacks appearances as the world champions sealed their third successive Rugby Championship title with a 34-13 victory over Argentina in La Plata.

      Team   W   D   L   BP   Points 
    1 New Zealand  4 1 0 3 21
    2 South Africa 3 0 2 3 15
    3 Australia 2 1 2 0 10
    4 Argentina 0 0 5 3 3

    The All Blacks earned a bonus point by scoring four tries through Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Julian Savea and TJ Perenara while Beauden Barrett kicked 14 points.

    The win gave the All Blacks an unassailable six-point lead over South Africa with a match to play in the four-nation southern hemisphere tournament.

    Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez slotted two first-half penalties for the Pumas, who were unable to breach the tourists' defence until replacement Horacio Agulla scored a consolation try in the final two minutes.

    The All Blacks, on 21 points, meet South Africa next week in Johannesburg where McCaw should play his 134th match and surpass Colin Meads to solely own the record for All Blacks appearances.

    "It won't take much (to re-focus for South Africa)," said McCaw, who holds the All Blacks' tests record with 132.

    "When the All Blacks play South Africa, especially in South Africa, that's one of the games you live for so the boys will enjoy tonight and then look forward to next week."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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