Argentina pushed New Zealand all the way in Buenos Aires, and All Blacks star Ardie Savea agreed the contest felt like war at times.

All Blacks relieved after fending off powerful Argentina in Rugby Championship opener


New Zealand found it "bloody tough" to get the job done against Argentina, number eight Ardie Savea admitted.

The All Blacks came out on top 20-16 in Buenos Aires as they began their Rugby Championship campaign on a winning note.

But after first-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick, and 10 points from the boot of Beauden Barrett, New Zealand were kept scoreless in the second half.

They were clinging on at the end, and Savea agreed when asked if it felt like a "war" against the Pumas.

Savea told SKY Sport NZ: "It was, mate. It was bloody tough out there.

"The Argentinian players came out firing and just kept coming at us the full 80 minutes. I’m just proud of the boys for sticking in there.

"We just talked about the next moment and dominating the next moment, so when we made mistakes we'd just connect and talk about the the next moment and how we could dominate that, and hopefully gain momentum."

New Zealand will regroup for next weekend's home game against South Africa, and look to work out how Argentina caused them so many difficulties.

"They bought a bit of line speed on our attack and they put our skills under pressure," Savea said.

"And at times their pressure worked. We'll learn from that hopefully."



Eddie Jones faces train abuse

England coach Jones to avoid public transport following train abuse

Eddie Jones was reportedly subjected to physical and verbal abuse on a train journey and has vowed to avoid public transport from now on.


Springboks appoint Erasmus

Erasmus to lead new Springboks management team

Former Springbok Rassie Erasmus is the man to replace Allister Coetzee, who was sacked this month.


Scottish Rugby condemn Jones abuse

Scottish Rugby 'appalled' by Jones abuse

Eddie Jones said he feared for his safety on Sunday and Scottish Rugby said it is "appalled" by the abuse he suffered.


Delaigue: Imports harming Les Bleus

Overseas imports harming French rugby - Delaigue

Former France fly-half Yann Delaigue says young players are not being given a chance to develop in the Top 14.


Reds and Chiefs off the mark

Depleted Reds and Chiefs get off the mark

The Chiefs beat the Blues even without a host of players due to injury, while the Reds triumphed despite two key suspensions.