29 Sep 2013

All Blacks clinch crucial bonus point

6:01 pm on 29 September 2013

The All Blacks are in the box seat to defend their Rugby Championship title, after scoring four tries as they beat Argentina 33-15 at La Plata on Sunday afternoon.

That means that if South Africa are to snatch the Championship title now, the Springboks must beat the All Blacks with a bonus point next weekend at Ellis Park, as well as prevent the New Zealanders earning any points at all.

It was a tight contest early on with the New Zealanders leading only 11-9 at half-time, a 60-metre try to wing Julian Savea the only five-pointer.

But three tries to the All Blacks after the break got the visitors home. Openside Sam Cane crossed once and Ben Smith twice, including the fourth try and the bonus point with a minute to go.

Aaron Cruden kicked one conversion and three penalties while substitute first-five Beauden Barrett converted Smith's late try.

Pumas No.10 Nicolas Sanchez kicked four penalties and centre Marcelo Bosch one.

The All Blacks' fifth straight win means they lead the Springboks by five points heading into next weekend's showdown in Johannesburg.