LA PLATA, Argentina - A last-minute Ben Smith try gave New Zealand a bonus-point 33-15 Rugby Championship victory over Argentina in La Plata on Saturday.
The result moved the All Blacks five points clear of South Africa at the top of the table ahead of their showdown in Johannesburg this weekend.
Winger Smith struck for the second time in the match with just 27 seconds left on the clock, using brain and brawn to dive over beside the posts.
New Zealand triumphed 54-15 at Estadio Ciudad de La Plata last season, but it was a much closer contest this time.
"It was tough out there and all credit to Argentina for pushing us so hard," said New Zealand skipper and number 8 Kieran Read. "We were great at times in the second half, giving us a lot of positives to build on before facing the Springboks next weekend."
Argentina is still without a Championship victory since making its debut last year, but this performance offers hope that they can overcome fellow strugglers Australia next weekend.
"Are we ready to take on the Australians? Well, not right now," was the humorous response of Pumas captain and number 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe to a question.
"We must rest first, then prepare to throw everything into our final game of the season against the Wallabies in search of a victory."