How the world reacted: All Blacks reach RWC final

7:31 pm on 21 October 2023
Rodrigo Bruni is tackled by Ardie Savea during the Rugby World Cup semi-final match between Argentina and New Zealand at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.

Rodrigo Bruni is tackled by Ardie Savea during the Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photo: AFP / Franck Fife

The All Blacks' brutal 44-6 demolition of Argentina in Saturday morning's Rugby World Cup semi-final has booked them a place in next weekend's final, where they will play either England or South Africa.

Argentina's captain Julián Montoya admitted his side were blown away by the All Blacks in areas they normally pride themselves on.

And he was not the only one.

Global media have heaped praise on the All Blacks for their dominant performance and shown ample sympathy for the "outmatched" Argentinians.

Writing for Rugby Pass, Josh Raisey rated the Argentine players' performances, and said the All Blacks' more clinical approach across the board made the difference.

"Los Pumas huffed and puffed but failed to show the guile that is needed to unlock a world-class defence, but there was certainly no lack of effort."

The Guardian said the All Blacks had run rings not only around the Argentinians, "but around referee Angus Gardner, too".

"He seemed to be so utterly hypnotised by the pace of their play that he simply stopped calling any penalties against them at all for a large part of the first half. Poor old Julián Montoya was left pleading with Gardner to please explain his decisions."

Australian sports opinion website The Roar reflected on the turnaround in coach Ian Foster's fortunes, 15 months after he was "an inch away from getting sacked".

"Should he lead the All Blacks to their fourth Webb Ellis Cup, he'll go down in folklore ...

"That's a thought few thought likely when his side travelled to Ellis Park last year needing to beat the Springboks to keep his job."

The Buenos Aires Herald said the All Blacks were "in control all game" and their play showed why they were a "perennial favourite to lift the Webb Ellis Cup".

"The Pumas started the game winning, when right wing Emiliano Boffelli scored from a penalty to take the lead. However, very quickly the All Blacks recovered, scoring their first try 10 minutes in, and nearly doubling that advantage six minutes later, with Richie Mo'unga missing one of the conversions.

"Despite Argentina's best efforts, New Zealand's defence stood strong."

Writing on Rugby 365, Warren Fortune commended the Pumas for their "never-say-die attitude" but said the tide turned for the All Blacks after the 17th minute thanks to their "scintillating running rugby and composure on attack".

Fortune highlighted the performance of Jordie Barrett as a match-winner: "He delivered the goods in the midfield again. He was a constant threat on attack and he scored a try. His defensive game in that midfield was also excellent."

Ireland's state broadcaster RTE said the match resembled 'more of a training ground exercise for the All Blacks against opponents who were a shadow of the side that edged out Wales".

"Worryingly for either South Africa or England... they will face a side who barely broke sweat and whose bench had been emptied with 14 minutes to go."

The Telegraph's Daniel Schofield labelled the All Blacks' win the "exclamation point on what was already an emphatic statement of intent".

"The All Blacks may have lost some of their aura in recent years but their speed of thought and deed makes them a frightful proposition heading into their fifth final," he wrote.

"Whatever scars that the All Blacks bore from their 19-7 defeat to England at this stage four years ago, they were intent on inflicting far more on an Argentina team which was outmatched in pretty much every department. The try count finished 7-0 and it felt as though Argentina got off lightly."

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