6-44 Argentina New Zealand: The All Blacks tell the oldest Test rugby story to reach the final.

6-44 Argentina New Zealand: The All Blacks tell the oldest Test rugby story to reach the final.In response, Richie Mo’unga kicked an almost immediate penalty, Shannon Frizell walked in a try on the penultimate play of the half, and they stole Argentina’s fight, soul, and belief.

The Pumas knew, the All Blacks knew, and the 80,000 supporters knew as they marched back down the tunnel 20-6 down. Rugby was telling another of its favorite stories.

The All Blacks are the most dependable machine in men’s international rugby. Even with some hiccups between this World Cup and the last, they have an all-time winning percentage of more than 75%.

Every opponent comes into a match against New Zealand with a lopsided losing record. They must strive to ignore a prophecy that is about to come true.

That is the story. The actuality on the field is difficult to pin down. What is the odd chloroform that knocks them out?

There’s no South African blood and thunder, French champagne and swagger, or Irish complexities. Instead, New Zealand wins by a thousand cuts.

Individually polished abilities and well-judged decisions quickly pile up into a torrent, and it takes a better team than Argentina to avoid getting blown off course.

Playing segments told the story of the game. Sam Cane’s exquisite catch-pass sent Mark Telea racing down one wing, before Sam Whitelock dropped a ball out the back to assist his team outflank Argentina down the other and put Jordie Barrett in for a try.

Barrett swiveled and snapped a cross-field kick to expose an out-of-position Mateo Carreras in the second half as the Argentine defense raced up.

Or when Will Jordan perfectly weighted a chip over a last tackler to score his third try of the night and a record-tying eighth in a single Rugby World Cup campaign.

As a competition, it had long ago ended. Argentina’s hopes of repeating their historic successes in 2020 and 2022 were dashed upon contact with this fit and focussed All Blacks squad.

Instead, the Pumas narrowly avoided setting a new record. Their 38-point setback was only five points less than the biggest semi-final defeat established when New Zealand blasted Wales in the inaugural 1987 edition.

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