Rugby World Cup: All Blacks comprehensively outclass Argentina to seal place to 2023 final

The All Blacks have booked their place in the 2023 Rugby World Cup final with a dominant 44-6 victory over Argentina at Paris' Stade de France.  

Facing Los Pumas for the fourth time in a World Cup, New Zealand delivered a performance even better than the one that eliminated Ireland last week, as coach Ian Foster's side marched emphatically into rugby's showpiece game.

A hattrick of tries to Will Jordan and a double to Shannon Frizell left the South Americans with no answer, as the All Blacks continue to peak at the business end of this year's tournament.

All up, they ran in seven tries and conceded just two penalties to show the lessons from losing at the same stage in 2019 had been learned in full. 

With a large contingent of greats walking away from the black jersey this year, Saturday's (NZ time) display gives the likes of Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Brodie Retallick and Dane Coles a chance to finish as world champions.  

The All Blacks celebrate Jordie Barrett's try against Argentina.
The All Blacks celebrate Jordie Barrett's try against Argentina. Photo credit: Photosport

After dominating possession and territory in the opening minutes, Argentina took the lead early through the boot of Emiliano Boffelli and saw the All Blacks trail for the first time since the tournament-opening loss to France.  

Down on the scoreboard, they showed their intent, twice opting for the lineout instead of a shot at goal, and were rewarded, when Richie Mo'unga sent Jordan in to score the night's first try in the right corner.

Up 7-3, the All Blacks defence was tested by Los Pumas, who opted to run the ball on a night that saw rain throughout the build-up.

The All Blacks' running game proved more lethal than their opponents'. A Rieko Ioane break upfield sparked another black wave, that saw Jordan turn from scorer to provider, when Jordie Barrett scored the second try to extend the lead to 12-3.

As a chorus of whistles from hordes of Argentina fans continued to sound, Los Pumas continued to take the points on offer, as Boffelli's second penalty closed the gap to six points.

Mo'unga's boot further extended the advantage before the break, as Frizell put the exclamation point on the first half, scoring from an overlap on the left to bring the first half to a close.

Ahead 20-6 at the start of the second half, Smith extended the lead even further, running from the back of a scrum inside Argentina's 22, all the way to the tryline to take the wind out of the Pumas' sails.

Will Jordan had a hat-trick in the All Blacks' emphatic victory.
Will Jordan had a hat-trick in the All Blacks' emphatic victory. Photo credit: Getty Images

Frizell had a double not long after, barging his way over a bereft Pumas defence, before the All Blacks' bench - long a nemesis of already beaten defences - entered the fray. 

Jordan joined Frizell with a double, when he dived over in the left corner, but the All Blacks lost lock Scott Barrett to a yellow card for interference at the breakdown.

Numerical advantage counted for little, as Jordan completed his hat-trick with a spectacular chip and chase that saw the ball bounce perfectly in his favour, as he became the first All Black since Jonah Lomu in 1995 to score a treble in a World Cup semi.

Jordan's try - his eighth of this year's tournament - draws him level with Lomu, compatriot Julian Savea and South African great Bryan Habana for the most at a single men's World Cup. 

The Pumas played until the final whistle, but ultimately left empty handed, and will now contest the dreaded playoff for third place next week. 

To their credit, Argentina's supporters stayed until the final whistle and sang in the hope of spurring their side to something special, but up against an All Blacks side peaking at the right time, there was nothing they could do to grab a third win over New Zealand.

Now, only South Africa or England stand between the All Blacks and an unprecedented fourth Webb Ellis Cup.

New Zealand 44 (Jordan 3, J Barrett, Frizell 2, Smith tries; Mo'unga 3 conversions; Mo'unga penalty) Argentina 6 (Boffelli 2 penalties)