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Wallabies beat Pumas after All Blacks pip Springboks to clinch Rugby Championship title

The Wallabies record a third straight win with a 27-8 defeat of the Pumas in Townsville, while the All Blacks claim the Rugby Championship following a gripping 19-17 victory over the Springboks.

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All Blacks pip Springboks to clinch title

All Blacks centre David Havili (left) tries to beat the Springboks defence.(

Getty Images: Ian Hitchcock

)

New Zealand was forced to grind hard before snatching victory over world champions South Africa to secure the Rugby Championship.

In the 100th Test match between two of rugby’s traditional powerhouses, All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett’s 40-metre penalty goal from out wide with two minutes remaining proved the difference.

The win ensured the unbeaten the All Blacks clinched the Rugby Championship title with a match in hand. They face the Springboks again next weekend.

The All Blacks looked headed for an upset loss against the Springboks — chastened after back-to-back losses to the Wallabies — late in the match.

Fly-half Handre Pollard kicked the Springboks ahead 17-16 with just under 15 minutes remaining.

But a crucial turnover by replacement back Quinn Tupaea gave Barrett a chance to complete his perfect goal-kicking performance and send the large contingent of All Blacks supporters into raptures.

The win sees the All Blacks’ overall record extend to 60 wins from 100 Tests with the Springboks, with four draws in their head-to-head history.

The Springboks stuck to their tactical kicking guns throughout the contest, sending 38 kicks the way of their opposition’s back three.

The reigning World Cup winners looked to slowly fight for territory through box kicks via scrum-half Faf De Klerk, with Barrett under sustained barrage throughout.

It was the All Blacks who flew out the blocks in the first half, opening the scoring when hooker Codie Taylor caught the ball off his boot laces and broke away from his own 40-metre line to set up winger Will Jordan for a try in the third minute.

Barrett added the conversion, but the Springboks immediately hit back when Sbu Nkosi picked up a dropped high ball from All Blacks winger George Bridge to score the only other try of the match.

Down 7-5, the Springboks kept to their high-ball pressure on the All Blacks’ back three, earning two penalties for Pollard, who kicked his side to an 11-7 lead.

A territorial struggle then ensued for just under 20 minutes, with neither team eager to play from within their own half.

But when Nkosi was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock down in the 35th minute, Barrett slotted his third kick of the evening to take his side to a 13-11 half-time lead.

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