All Blacks XV
Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of Argentina v New Zealand on matchday five of the 2020 Tri-Nations series. Kick-off at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle is at 7.45pm local time.
A fortnight since the high-water mark of South American rugby Los Pumas are back to prove they are no one-hit wonders against the All Blacks. But with a much changed squad and an opponent desperate for revenge, tonight’s prospect is a daunting one.
It has been a rough month or so for the All Blacks, and coach Ian Foster especially, after suffering back-to-back defeats to the Wallabies and then Argentina. Victory is the least a restless supporter base expects but anything less than a comprehensive thrashing will do little to quieten the discontent that has built up since the 2019 World Cup favourites bowed out in the semi-finals 13 months ago. If New Zealand contrive to lose three in a row for the first time since 1998 there is a risk the Shaky Isles might convulse free of their moorings and drift off into the South Pacific.
The clash at a sweltering McDonald Jones Stadium in New South Wales is the penultimate fixture the hastily arranged Tri-Nations series. With two matches to go all three teams are level on six points apiece with the All Blacks topping the standings courtesy of points difference.
I’ll be back in a short while with line-ups and whatnot. If you want to get in touch at any point, you can reach me on Twitter or email.