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New Zealand have extended their unbeaten start to the Rugby Championship to three games following a 28-13 victory over Argentina in Hamilton.
The Argentinians were stubborn from the outset, taking a 7-0 lead with a Juan Manuel Leguizamon try and conversion. However, the home side struck back with a Dan Carter penalty and two quick tries from scrum-half Aaron Smith.
New Zealand took a 15-10 lead into half-time before a Carter penalty, Julian Savea try and a Beauden Barrett penalty completed the scoring in the second half.
The weather was atrocious at the Waikato Stadium, but this didn’t stop the All Blacks from matching their own Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship record of nine straight victories in the tournament.
The win against Argentina added to their double over Australia – they won the first clash 29-47 and the second 27-16.
In contrast, Argentina have lost all three of their games so far, but they are steadily improving after their opening day 73-13 mauling at the hands of South Africa. They lost the second game to the Springboks 17-22 before this spirited defeat to the All Blacks.
They will be disappointed that Gonzalo Camacho, who is heading to Leicester, was forced out of the game in the second half due to a dislocated shoulder, with no news yet on how long he will be on the sidelines.
Australia take on South Africa in Brisbane later on Saturday, with the result heralding the halfway point of the four-team tournament.