7 Sep 2014

All Blacks uphold record against Pumas

9:00 am on 7 September 2014

Winger Julian Savea scored two tries as the All Blacks ground out a 28-9 win over Argentina in their Rugby Championship clash at a soggy McLean Park in Napier last night.

Julian Savea scores a try in New Zealand's test match against Argentina in Napier on Saturday.

Julian Savea scores a try in New Zealand's test match against Argentina in Napier on Saturday. Photo: PHOTOSPORT / Andrew Cornaga

Liam Messam and Aaron Smith also scored tries and Beauden Barrett kicked a penalty but missed four other kicks before he was replaced by Colin Slade, who kicked a penalty and a conversion.

First-five Nicolas Sanchez slotted three penalties for the Pumas, who were unlucky to have a try to Leonardo Senatore inexplicably ruled out by referee Pascal Gauzere.

He ruled that the No. 8's charge down of a clearing kick was a knock on.

Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini has been cited for alleged foul play on New Zealand captain Richie McCaw.

Lavanini's earned a date with the SANZAR judiciary for a dangerous charge on McCaw at a ruck.

New Zealand's Israel Dagg is tackled during the All Blacks' test match against the Pumas in Napier.

New Zealand's Israel Dagg is tackled by Argentina. Photo: PHOTOSPORT / John Cowpland

New Zealand have struggled to put Argentina away in recent games here, and the pattern continued as the heavy rain that had threatened to influence the game duly arrived in the late afternoon. Dropped balls and a tough forward battle were the predominant features of the match.

A capacity crowd of over 22,000 people packed McLean Park for only the second-ever All Black test match in Napier.

The All Blacks' 28-9 bonus point win win came at a cost. Lock Sam Whitelock is likely to miss next weekend's Springboks Test because of a rib injury, while flanker Liam Messam suffered a quad strain.

The All Blacks play South Africa in Wellington next week, while the Pumas play Australia.