All Blacks vs Argentina: Rugby Championship live scores, blog

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    The All Blacks will be looking to maintain their perfect record in the Rugby Championship when they square off against the struggling Pumas. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 5:35pm AEST.

    After starting the Rugby Championship with a crushing win over the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium, New Zealand were forced to dig deep against Australia seven days later in Dunedin, securing a six-point win in a classic Bledisloe encounter.

    Despite Kurtley Beale’s try in the 75th minute, the All Blacks still found a way to respond courtesy of a try to Beauden Barrett to secure another epic win at home.

    Indeed the All Blacks are used to winning and invariably find a way to secure a result when circumstances appear unfavourable.

    Unfortunately for the Pumas tonight, the All Blacks will be keen to give their fans further enjoyment and have named another strong side to tackle the South Americans.

    The All Blacks have made seven changes to the side that beat the Wallabies to claim the Bledisloe Cup in Dunedin. Vaea Fafita makes his first start for the All Blacks at blindslide flanker, alongside Ardie Savea and Kieran Read in a new look back-row, while Luke Romano comes into the second-row with Sam Whitelock rested.

    Nehe Milner-Skudder returns to the left wing, making his first appearance for the All Blacks since the 2015 Rugby World Cup in place of Rieko Ioane, while Israel Dagg takes on the right side with Ben Smith on sabbatical. Anton-Lienert-Brown returns to the centres with Ryan Crotty dropping out of the 23, and TJ Perenara makes the start in the No.9 jersey over Aaron Smith.

    Argentina have made seven changes with coach Daniel Hourcade looking to kick-start the Pumas’ Rugby Championship campaign. Veteran Juan Manuel Leguizamon is the most surprising of omissions with Ramiro Herrera replaced by Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, while Guido Petti has been named at lock, replacing Tomas Lavanini.

    Javier Ortega Desio and Benjamin Macome have been called into the back-row to replace Tomaz Lezana and Leguizamon. In the backs, Nicolas Sanchez returns at fly-half in place of Juan Martin Hernandez while Matias Moroni moves to centre to replace Matias Orlando and winger Santiago Cordero pushes out Ramiro Moyano.

    Despite these changes, the gulf in class between the two sides is evident and the All Blacks start unbackable favourites at home.

    If the Pumas wish to cause an historic upset, they will need to play the percentages well, kick long and keep the All Blacks playing out of their own half.

    The Pumas do have a habit of starting well against the All Blacks in recent matches, but the key will be for them to maintain that intensity for 80 minutes against the most ruthless team on the planet.

    Despite a poor start to the Championship, Argentina always looks forward to a match-up against New Zealand given that a win against the Rugby superpower would be just as good, if not better, than securing the championship.

    With that in mind, expect Argentina to fight hard before New Zealand’s class once again sees them through to another win.

    All Blacks by 25

    Alan is one of The Roar's longest serving live bloggers, covering football, tennis and rugby league.

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