Ben Smith Rugby Championships: Magic moments and turning points from the All Blacks-Argentina test

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Ben Smith Brodie Retallick scoots away for an intercept try in one of the few attacking highlights for the All Blacks.

Amilcar Orfali

Brodie Retallick scoots away for an intercept try in one of the few attacking highlights for the All Blacks.

Steve Hansen won’t be lingering long over the highlights reel from the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship opener.

Some post-Super Rugby rust and unfamiliar combinations robbed a forgettable encounter in Buenos Aires of continuity and sustained excitement.

Ben Smith Sevu Reece, pictured offloading the ball, made a try-saving tackle in his first All Blacks test.

Amilcar Orfali

Sevu Reece, pictured offloading the ball, made a try-saving tackle in his first All Blacks test.

But Argentina’s defence played its part in a cliffhanger contest with the All Blacks held scoreless in the second half.

The All Blacks also provided some stoic rearguard moments to maintain their unbeaten record against the fast-improving Pumas.

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KEY MOMENTS

1: Beauden Barrett’s 67th minute try-saving tackle on Ramiro Moyano saved the All Blacks from a potential first defeat to the Pumas. The All Blacks first five-eighth somehow got across to force the Argentine left wing into touch with the line beckoning. His desperation act allowed the All Blacks to preserve a 20-16 lead.

2: Credit the All Blacks’ forward reserves for their lineout maul defence to snuff o

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