Rugby Union

New Zealand seal third consecutive Rugby Championship title

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Football News

New Zealand have sealed their third consecutive Rugby Championship title after a comfortable 34-13 win over Argentina in La Plata.

The reigning world champions proved too strong for the Argentines as they ran in four tries on their way to a victory which gave them the trophy with one game to spare.

Beauden Barrett starred for the dominant All-Blacks with 14 points, and during the game captain Richie McCaw made his 133rd appearance - equalling Colin Mead's long-standing record.

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McCaw's pride in immense achievement

McCaw said: "They were wonderful conditions to play in and I'm really proud of the way the guys took their opportunities."

New Zealand knew they could wrap up the title with a bonus-point victory after South Africa beat Australia 28-10 earlier in the day.

That seemed to give them impetus from the start as they raced into an early 13-0 lead courtesy of Ben Smith's try, coupled with two penalties and a conversion from the sensational Barrett.

Perfect start saw Puma's turned into prey

Already at that early stage an Argentina win looked unlikely and the world's number one side continued to press home their advantage, although there was a mini-revival in the first-half as Nicolas Sanchez kicked two penalties.

But an Israel Dagg try in between Sanchez's points ensured the All-Blacks maintained their dominance, and Julian Savea and TJ Perenara put the result beyond all doubt in the second-half.

Horacio Agulla did manage a scant consolation in the dying stages but it mattered little on another trophy-laden day for the formidable New Zealand.

World Cup favourites look truly formidable

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said: "I'm very pleased with the way we've played throughout the tournament.

"We've had to win many different ways because of the weather and because of the opposition playing as well as they have."

The All-Blacks have yet to lose a match in the Rugby Championship and they round off their campaign against South Africa on October 4, perfect preparation building towards a World Cup which although still a year away already has a clear favourite.

New Zeland Rugby
Rugby Union

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