HAMILTON - The All Blacks overcame difficult conditions and combative opponents to maintain their unbeaten record in the Rugby Championship with a 28-13 win over Argentina.
They scored three tries to one in Hamilton on Saturday night, with halfback Aaron Smith getting a double. However, victory came at a cost for the All Blacks, with skipper Richie McCaw limping off with a knee injury in the 60th minute of his 119th Test.
Rain arrived early in the first half and stayed, making conditions slippery and there were numerous handling errors by both sides.
Argentina showed plenty of spirit, their first scrum a statement of intent with a big shove.
But they were hurt by hooker Eusebio Guinazu's first-half sin-binning for breakdown infringements and by lineout problems that resulted in them losing a number of their throws.
All Blacks No.8 Kieran Reid produced another high work-rate performance, and he had a direct hand in two of his side's tries. It was Argentina who struck first, taking a shock lead in the fifth minute.
All Blacks inside centre Francis Saili made an unfortunate start to his debut Test, dropping the ball in his own 22 and the Pumas swooped.
Five passes later and No.8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon was over for a try that five-eighth Nicolas Sanchez converted. The All Blacks replied with a Dan Carter penalty, a goal that made him the first player to pass 1400 Test points.