All Blacks v Argentina: Media reacts to dominant NZ win

The All Blacks ended their 2020 campaign in style with a dominant 38-0 win over Argentina Newcastle on Saturday night. 

It all but ensured the All Blacks will win the Tri Nations trophy and although there's a slim chance Australia or Argentina could snatch it next weekend, you'd probably have a better chance at winning Lotto. 

New Zealand went into the match under huge pressure after back-to-back losses - including their 25-15 defeat to the Pumas a fortnight ago - but they responded with a great performance. 

But was it simply good All Blacks, or poor Argentina? There are mixed views from the international media.

Phil Lutton - Sydney Morning Herald 

"After a fortnight of soul-searching and questions surrounding the tenure of new coach Ian Foster, the All Blacks will end the year with both the Bledisloe Cup and the Tri Nations crown, barring an excellent performance by the Wallabies next week against the Pumas.

"You never say never in sport, although Australia would have to win 101-0 at Bankwest Stadium. The Wallabies have shown good improvement under new coach Dave Rennie but that could be stretching the early friendship.

"After such elation when they stunned the All Blacks a fortnight ago, the descent back to earth for the Pumas was rapid. This was the first time they have never scored a point against New Zealand and they looked drained and emotionally spent towards the end of the contest.

"From the start, this looked to be a very different All Blacks beast than the one that was tamed a fortnight ago. The carries had venom and that poise and crispness in attack, for so long a hallmark of their play, was back in a big way."

Wayne Smith - The Australian

"The All Blacks have almost certainly added the Tri Nations Cup to their win in the Bledisloe Cup rugby series and yet, ironically, this is New Zealand's least successful season since 1998.

"Stung by their first-ever loss to the Pumas, 25-15, a fortnight ago, the All Blacks were a team on a mission at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night, wearing Argentina down before eventually putting them to the sword five-tries-to-nil, winning 38-0.

Ardie Savea.
Ardie Savea. Photo credit: Photosport

"Still, any system that hands the trophy to a side that has scored two wins and two losses ahead of a side which finishes with two wins, a draw and a single loss - which is how either the Wallabies or the Pumas will end the tournament - is out of whack with reality."

Julian Linden - The Daily Telegraph 

"It wasn't quite the hand of God, but a moment of magic from New Zealand rookie Will Jordan has all but ensured the All Blacks will win the Tri Nations.

"The Kiwis didn't overplay their hand. They took their shots at goal when the easy points were on offer and waited patiently until the tries materialised.

"By New Zealand standards, this current All Blacks team really isn't much chop - which is why none of the Wallabies should be patting themselves on the back about beating them in a dead rubber earlier this month."

Dylan Jack - SA Rugby Mag 

"On the back of two successive losses, the All Blacks came into the match under pressure to improve their performances under head coach Ian Foster. The New Zealanders certainly used their week's break from their loss to Argentina to fix what went wrong in that match.

"By way of comparison, New Zealand were far better defensively but, just as importantly, they put Argentina under plenty of pressure at the set-piece and breakdown.

"Tighthead prop Nepo Laulala made the world of difference to the All Blacks scrum, while at blindside flank Akira Ioane also had an efficient game after his test debut against the Wallabies ended early."

Jorge Busico - La Nacion 

"The Pumas must quickly learn from the defeat suffered this Saturday against the All Blacks. It is part of the rebuilding of the team that began with the long and unprecedented preparation for this Three Nations, and that offers a possibility of growth within a week against the Wallabies.

"Losing to revenge-thirsty All Blacks was a certain possibility. Also, a loss by several points of difference, considering that Mario Ledesma introduced 10 changes.

"The Pumas took a step back in obtaining [the scrum went backward and clean balls did not arrive from the line] and, above all, in control. The few times they had the ball they made all kinds of mistakes.

"It is true that the pressure from the New Zealanders was suffocating and that the ball was soapy with spray, but it was mostly unforced failures."