Argentina is a big underdog in this one as they face the All Blacks in a matchup to determine who will go to the Rugby World Cup Finals.
The All Blacks have reached their zenith at exactly the right moment.
Since falling to France in their tournament opening game, they have won four games consecutively, with their latest victory coming against Ireland in the quarter-finals.
Ireland entered this game as the top-ranked team and owner of an impressive 17-match winning streak, so New Zealand faced long odds in this clash.
However, experience is critical at this stage of the competition, with New Zealand having won three times before.
New Zealand raced out to a 22-0 halftime advantage against Ireland during their quarterfinal showdown back in 2019. Ireland proved an even more challenging test this time around, trailing by just one point going into the second half.
New Zealand made an impactful second-half run against Ireland, outscoring them 10-7 to claim a 28-24 win and set up a semis encounter against Argentina. Their three tries came from Leicester Fainga’anuku, Ardie Savea, and Will Jordan – who all recorded great performances!
The All Blacks will have high hopes of reaching another World Cup final, as they have shown great strength against Argentina in past encounters.
New Zealand have won 33 out of their 36 Test encounters against Argentina since 2010, including five victories out of their past six contests.
In their quarter-final meeting, Argentina created an unlikely upset on Saturday by defeating Pool C winners Wales 29-17.
At first, things looked dismal for Los Pumas when Wales built up a 10-point lead over them. Argentina rallied back, however, and Emiliano Boffelli scored four penalties to give Argentina the edge and give Los Pumas their first lead of the match.
Argentina’s victory hinged on a controversial second-half decision made by English referee Karl Dickson, with Wales leading 17-12 at that stage.
Argentina lock Guido Petti caught Wales centre Nick Tompkins with his shoulder during a ruck. Referee Stephen Dickson decided not to penalise Petti, ruling his action legal.
The Pumas took full advantage, with Joel Sclavi scoring a try to give Argentina a 19-17 advantage. Pablo Sanchez sealed their success when he intercepted Sam Costelow’s pass, sprinting away, and scoring another try himself.
Argentina advanced to the semis for only the second time with their win on Sunday; their previous appearance came back in 2015.
Los Pumas have only ever defeated New Zealand twice in test meetings. Argentina’s last triumph against them came on August 20, 2022, when Los Pumas recorded an astounding 25-18 triumph at Christchurch.
The All Blacks are clicking on all cylinders and will slowly pull away in the second half. All Blacks 34 Argentina 15.
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