Ben Smith All Blacks lucky to beat Argentina in Rugby Championship test

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Ben Smith All Blacks Brodie Retallick produced a strong performance in the Rugby Championship test against Argentina on Sunday morning.

AP

All Blacks Brodie Retallick produced a strong performance in the Rugby Championship test against Argentina on Sunday morning.

An extremely relieved All Blacks side greeted the final whistle after they beat Argentina 20-16 in their Rugby Championship match in Buenos Aires on Sunday morning.

The All Blacks, missing a number of key players – including captain Kieran Read – who were left in New Zealand or rested from this fixture, were in danger of losing their unbeaten record against the Pumas in a messy, error-ridden performance until referee Angus Gardner finally blew for full time in front of an animated crowd.

The All Blacks had to repel two lineouts in the final minute, and finally got a chance to celebrate when the Pumas turned the ball over in a ruck close to their line after the full time hooter.

Ben Smith All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea is tackled by Argentina's Matias Orlando during the test on Sunday morning.

AP

All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea is tackled by Argentina’s Matias Orlando during the test on Sunday morning.

Unable to build on a 20-9 halftime lead, the All Blacks must have felt the sound of Gardner whistle was one of the sweetest sounds they had heard in their rugby careers.

Tries to Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick, and the reliable boot of Beauden Barrett, who kicked four shots at goal, enabled the All Blacks to squeeze home in their first test of the year.

Immediately after the game All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he was satisfied with the result, given he had left so many key players in New Zealand to prepare to play South Africa in Wellington next weekend.

“When you bring four different franchises, because the fifth one (the Crusaders) is back home, together like that you are always going to be a little bit

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