Los All Blacks most questioned in the last decade will compete in the World Cup final in France. If in the last two years, with their ups and downs, they had shown that, in addition to being charismatic, they are mortal, in this championship they certify that, when results matter, they are screwed on the podium. Solid in defense, very sharp in attack, This Friday they ratified it by defeating Argentina with indisputable resoundingness. On Saturday they will play their fifth final.
They were approaching this clash the Pumas as the team with the highest percentage of possession and territory in the championship. And they started bossily, advancing by pushing into the rival 22 to take, on the second attempt, a converted penalty blow (min 5, 3-0). In the debit, indiscipline: two infractions in a row have given air to the All Blacks. The black team had barely touched the oval and they already had a throw-in five meters from the try line, where they behave like sharks. Jordan score and comeback (min.10, 3-7).
Argentina insisted, transformed into a tractor. Short march, towards the front, overcoming obstacles, gaining the lead line and looking little to the sides. But with the try in sight, a lost ball showed him the cruelest lesson. The New Zealanders hunted him down, they accelerated like motorcycles, opened wide, and from their dizzying excursion they returned with the second try, by Jordi Barret (min. 15, 3-12).
If Cheika’s Argentina exhibits anything, it is conviction in his plan. Until now, except against England, he had served him. Back to the charge, almost always at hand and short. In front, the New Zealand defense, although it retreated, never lost its position. After half an hour, the insistence of the Pumas, tough up front, had a smaller prize. The three points from a penalty blow (min 34, 6-12) were not enough, they had been one finger away from landing.
It took the New Zealanders less than three minutes to reestablish the safety margin (min, 38, 6-15) and they still added a third try, from Fritzell, before the break (3-20). Wait for the moment, swallow meters, score points. This is how the machinery of the All Blacks.