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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
New Zealand 41-7 Argentina
New Zealand captain Tana Umaga scores the second try against Argentina
N Zealand: 41 (24)
Tries: Tuiali'i, Umaga, Rokocoko, Tuitupou, Muliaina
Cons: Mehrtens 5
Pens: Mehrtens 2
Argentina: 7 (7)
Tries: Arambaru
Cons: Senillosa
New Zealand reeled off a third straight win under Graham Henry with a scrappy victory over Argentina in Hamilton.

The All Blacks scored five tries but were never able to cut loose against an impressively combative Pumas outfit.

Moses Tuiali'i, Tana Umaga and Joe Rokocoko all crossed in the first half for a 24-7 interval lead.

Sam Tuitupou and Mils Muliaina added further scores, with Andrew Mehrtens kicking 16 points on his first Test start in nearly two years.

The All Blacks, showing 10 changes from the side that beat England in Auckland, opened the scoring with their first serious attack after five minutes.

Mehrtens released rampaging lock Chris Jack, who ran 40 metres before slipping the ball inside for number eight Tuiali'i to score a debut try.

Mehrtens converted superbly from the touchline, and New Zealand might have quickly had another but for a try-saving tackle from Martin Durand on Tuitupou.

All Blacks flanker Richie McCaw takes on the Argentina defence
McCaw had another superb game
Instead, Argentina drew level when Mehrtens' pass was intercepted by wing Lucas Borges, allowing centre Federico Arambaru to touch down for a try converted by full-back Hernan Senillosa.

A Mehrtens penalty restored the All Blacks lead after 20 minutes, and his long floated pass allowed Richie McCaw to send Umaga in for the second.

The latter pair then combined superbly to put Rokocoko over for his 22nd try in his 15th Test, Mehrtens converting both for a 24-7 lead.

But Argentina refused to buckle for the remainder of the half and might have scored themselves had fly-half Juan Fernandez Miranda not kicked the ball away with a four-to-two overlap outside him.

Another Mehrtens penalty on the resumption edged the All Blacks 20 points in front, while Senillosa was short with a shot at goal for the Pumas.

New Zealand had to wait until the 56th minute for their fourth try, the Pumas making a hash of dealing with a kick ahead and allowing Tuitupou to pounce on the loose ball.

A superb fifth try, finished off by Muliaina, followed after the ball had moved through half-a-dozen pairs of hands.

Mehrtens landed both conversions to maintain his perfect record but a scrappy last 15 minutes failed to produce any further scores.

The All Blacks tally of 41 points was the lowest they have managed in a home Test against Argentina.

New Zealand: N Evans, M Muliaina, T Umaga (capt), S Tuitupou, J Rokocoko, A Mehrtens, B Kelleher; T Woodcock, A Hore, G Somerville, C Jack, S Maling, J Collins, R McCaw, M Tuiali'i.
Replacements: K Mealamu, K Meeuws, J Gibbes, M Holah, J Marshall, C Spencer, D Carter.

Argentina: H Senillosa, L Borges, F Aramburu, M Contepomi, P Gomez Cora, J Fernandez Miranda, N Fernandez Miranda; R Roncero, M Ledesma, O Hasan, P Albacete, I Fernandez Lobbe, M Durand, L Ostiglia, G Longo (capt)
Replacements: F Mendez, E Guinazu, P Bouza, M Shusterman, M Albina, G Bustos, F Bosch.

Referee: Scott Young (Australia)

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22 Jun 04  |  Internationals
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