The All Blacks have a shot at winning a record fourth Rugby World Cup after bulldozing through Argentina 44-6 in the semifinal on Saturday.
It’s already a milestone match, with New Zealand making it to the final for a record fifth time and the side will either be playing against defending champions South Africa after their dramatic one-point win over England on Sunday.
Will Jordan scored a hat-trick – one of which was a beauty after a chip kick to himself – and took his tournament tally to eight, drawing level with Jonah Lomu (1999), Bryan Habana (2007) and Julian Savea (2015) with the most tries in a single Rugby World Cup.
Los Pumas led early in the match after Emiliano Boffelli scored the first of his two penalties but two tries in five minutes from Jordan and Jordie Barrett had the All Blacks surging into control.
A third from Shannon Frizell to end the first half and individual brilliance by Aaron Smith saw the All Blacks take a commanding lead early in the second half. Frizell grabbed a second soon after, with Jordan’s final try in the 73rd minute putting the final nail in the coffin.
It was the third time the All Blacks kept their opponents in a Rugby World Cup semifinal tryless after doing it in 2011 and 2015, tournaments they went on to win. The loss also makes it zero wins from three semifinals for Argentina.
Jordie Barrett was named man of the match. He made a match-best 19 tackles alongside Argentina forwards Marcos Kremer and Thomas Gallo, as well as winning one turnover and running for 59 metres.
Speaking after the match, he said the win was “special” but there was still work to do: “We slipped at the semifinal hurdle four years ago. It’s not done yet.”
All Blacks captain Sam Cane thought the forward pack played exceptionally.
“I thought our forwards did an outstanding job. Set-piece, maul time, earned a few penalties, got a bit of dominance and it kept a lot of pressure on the Argentinians.”
Rugby World Cup kickoff time
In New Zealand time, the match starts at 8am on Sunday, October 29.
Where will the World Cup final be played?
Stade de France, Paris.
What are the teams for the World Cup final?
- Ethan de Groot, 2. Codie Taylor 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Scott Barrett, 6. Shannon Frizell, 7. Sam Cane (c), 8. Ardie Savea, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Mark Tele’a, 12. Jordie Barrett, 13. Rieko Ioane, 14. Will Jordan, 15. Beauden Barrett.
Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17. Tamaiti Williams, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Sam Whitelock, 20. Dalton Papali’i, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Damian McKenzie, 23. Anton Lienert-Brown.
- Steven Kitshoff 2. Mbongeni Mbonambi 3. Frans Malherbe 4. Eben Etzebeth 5. Franco Mostert 6. Siya Kolisi (c) 7. Pieter-Steph Du Toit 8. Duane Vermeulen 9. Faf de Klerk 10. Handre Pollard 11. Cheslin Kolbe 12. Damian de Allende 13. Jesse Kriel 14. Kurt-Lee Arendse 15. Damian Willemse.
Reserves: 16. Deon Fourie 17. Ox Nche 18. Trevor Nyakane 19. Jean Kleyn 20. RG Snyman 21. Kwagga Smith 22. Jasper Wiese 23. Willie Le Roux.
Who is the referee for the Rugby World Cup final?
England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge of his first World Cup final. Karl Dickson and Matthew Carley are the assistant referees with Tom Foley the TMO.
What are the TAB odds?
The All Blacks are paying $1.65 and South Africa $2.15 for victory at TAB New Zealand. In the bronze final, England is paying $1.33 and Argentina $3.20.
How to watch the Rugby World Cup final?
You can follow the live updates on nzherald.co.nz or listen to commentary: join Elliott Smith on Newstalk ZB, Gold Sport and iHeartRadio, or catch the ACC on iHeartRadio or Hauraki
Sky will broadcast the final.
Rugby World Cup bronze final: Who is playing and when?
Argentina will take on England at Stade de France in Paris the day before the final, played at 8am on Saturday, October 28 (NZT).
Luke Kirkness is an Online Sports Editor for the NZ Herald. He previously covered consumer affairs for the Herald and was an assistant news director in the Bay of Plenty. He won Student Journalist of the Year in 2019.
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