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All Blacks boss Hansen happy with another Championship title

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen had no complaints after the All Blacks retained their Rugby Championship crown with a hard-fought win over Argentina.

The All Blacks were 35-17 victors against the Pumas in Buenos Aires as the world champions secured the title for a third consecutive year on Saturday.

New Zealand were upstaged by South Africa in their previous outing but avoided back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2011 thanks to Rieko Ioane’s double.

The All Blacks led 21-3 at half-time after Ioane crossed over twice before Argentina mounted a late comeback in the capital city.

Hansen – who made six changes to the side before Luke Whitelock was a late withdrawal due to illness – told Sky Sport: “Parts of it were messy but there were other parts that were really good and at times we played some good footy and other times we didn’t play that great.

“But you’ve got to give a bit of credit to Argentina they’re a very difficult side to play against, and particularly here.

“Five tries, got the bonus point and got the Rugby Championship so I can’t complain too much.”

“We were better. But you don’t go from naught to 100 straight away,” Hansen added.  “There will be some more learnings for us, but when you look at who was out there on the park at the end, it was a pretty young group, so you have to be really pleased with how they coped with some of the pressure. 

“I thought our kicking was better tonight, maybe not as accurate as we would like, but we kicked to the right places, and at the right times, a lot more than we did a couple of weeks ago.”

Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma, meanwhile, lamented a missed opportunity, having lost their 27 previous Tests against the All Blacks.

“I thought they [All Blacks] weren’t very clinical. They dropped a lot of ball, lost a lot of lineout. If we played better, we could have put them under a lot of pressure,” Ledesma said.

“The only thing I wanted to see from the boys was ourselves, and I couldn’t see it tonight.” News wire is powered by opta

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