New Zealand, with a brilliant handling display, obliterated Argentina 93-8 in the first Test at Athletic Park, Wellington, on Saturday.
Playing in perfect weather, the All Blacks played rugby to match, displaying a huge gulf between the professional home side and the largely amateur Pumas, who had nevertheless beaten England in their previous international.
The All Blacks ran in seven first-half tries and another seven in the second half. The first try, symbolically, was initiated from a tighthead scrum followed by a line-out win from an Argentine throw-in. It was scored by lock Ian Jones positioned in the three-quarter line, who had earlier won the line-out.
But it was the penultimate and last tries of the half in the 39th and 40th minutes that revealed the difference between the sides. Hometown wing Tana Umaga, appearing in only his second Test and having just glided through three tackles to score, was passed the ball from the kick-off near his own line, and proceeded to run through most of the Argentine team before unloading on the try-line for Josh Kronfeld to score.
Then, from the next kick-off, an action-replay was supplied by Christian Cullen, only he completed the entire 80-metre move himself.
The half-time break gave the Pumas no relief, though wing Tomas Solari did score a try for the tourists. The All Blacks played with total arrogance. At one point the No 8 Zinzan Brooke came to the Argentinian 22, stopped and cross-kicked to the other side for his brother Robin to score.Reuse content