New Zealand sealed the Rugby Championship with a convincing 35-17 victory over Argentina.
The All Blacks clinched their third straight title a week early thanks to tries from Rieko Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Patrick Tuipulotu and Anton Lienert-Brown.
New Zealand, on the back of a 36-34 defeat to South Africa in Wellington a fortnight ago, bounced back with fierce determination, controlling the game from start to finish despite a less experienced squad.
Argentina opened the scoring in Buenos Aires with a Nicolas Sanchez penalty, but New Zealand were quick to respond with Ioane crossing the line after eight minutes, and Beau Barrett converting to give the All Blacks an early lead.
Waisake Naholo had the All Blacks’ second try before Ioane got his brace after a referee review, also converted by Barrett, putting the side in a commanding 21-3 lead at the break.
Patrick Tuipulotu added to New Zealand’s lead after mere minutes on the field as Argentina desperately sought to get a try on the board, Tomas Cubelli finally rewarding their efforts in the 58th minute.
Emiliano Boffelli added another try and a conversion from Nicolas Sanchez closed the gap to 28-17 before substitutes Richie Mo’unga and Anton Lienert-Brown teamed up for the final try and conversion.
Too many lineout errors from Argentina, who came into the game with a 23-19 win over Australia under their belts, proved costly and ultimately New Zealand’s quest to maintain a perfect record over the Pumas never looked in doubt.
New Zealand will next face South Africa and Argentina play Australia in the final two tests of the championship.