Pumas eye Kiwis for elusive win
September 24, 2012
New Zealand's Conrad Smith vies for the ball against Argentina in their recent meeting © Getty Images
Argentina host New Zealand on Saturday with the hosts searching for their first win in the Rugby Championship and against the All Blacks.
The two sides have met 15 times through the years, with New Zealand coming out on top on 14 occasions. Argentina's best effort was a 21-21 draw back in 1985, when the great Hugo Porta landed all of their points.
Argentina have fared badly at times, with a 93-8 humbling in Wellington in 1997 a particular lowlight. Carlos Spencer was Argentina's tormentor-in-chief that day, the mercurial fly-half scoring two of his side's 14 tries as well as contributing 23 points off the kicking tee.
The form guide suggests that the Pumas will have to wait for the comforts of home before mounting a serious charge at the All Blacks, with their last meeting in Buenos Aires in 2006 finishing 25-19 to the visitors after a hard-fought encounter.
The teams met at last year's Rugby World Cup, when the All Blacks survived an early scare to pull through 33-10 thanks to tries from Kieran Read and Brad Thorn. And in their previous match in the Rugby Championship, the Pumas rallied but eventually lost 21-5 to the All Blacks.
Argentina v New Zealand
All-time record: Played 15; Argentina won 0, New Zealand won 14, drawn 1
Biggest winning margins: Arg: N/A; NZ: 85 (93-8 Wellington, 1997)
Highest score: Arg: 21 (21-21 Buenos Aires, 1985); NZ: 93 (93-8 Wellington, 1997)
Most tries: Arg: 2 (20-24 Buenos Aires 2001, 20-33 Buenos Aires 1985, 14-28 Buenos Aires 1991, 19-67 Christchurch 2001); NZ: 14 (93-8 Wellington, 1997)
Most points (individual): Arg: 65 Hugo Porta; NZ: 103 Grant Fox
Most tries (individual): Arg: 3 Lisandro Arbizu; NZ: 8 John Kirwan
Click Here for Argentina's full Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for New Zealand's full Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for a full record of all Argentina v New Zealand matches courtesy of Statsguru
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship