Argentina defeated the All Blacks for the first time in their history, with a 25-15 win at Bankwest Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday.
The loss for New Zealand is the first back-to-back loss for the All Blacks in almost a decade after falling to Australia in Brisbane the previous weekend.
The win for Argentina keeps their Tri Nations hopes alive with a clash against Australia awaiting them in Newcastle next week.
Mario Ledesma on the historic victory
Argentina coach Mario Ledesma said: “It’s surreal what happened, not just the result but playing, getting on the field after everything that has happened this year.”
The Argentinian continued:
“Some of the boys haven’t seen their families for four months but they have all been positive … they have been awesome. I think we will remember this for a long time, not only the game but because of the special situation. I’ve received a lot of messages. For us, and for everyone, I think it’s the only team we haven’t beaten. I guess someone will write a book about it.”
All Blacks “bitterly disappointed”
New Zealand coach Ian Foster said: “Obviously from an All Black view we are bitterly disappointed with the result, with the way we played.
“But what I think we saw was a team that despite the disadvantage of not playing a lot of rugby … they have come here with massive energy and a desire to prove something to their country which has gone through a heck of a hard time.
“I want to congratulate them on the result, it is a bit of an historic day for them.”
Argentina opened the scoring in the fifth minute, before a penalty from Richie Mo’unga levelled the scores soon after.
Argentina soon dominated territory and possession. Sanchez scored the opening try of the match, collecting his own kick for a 13-3 lead.
The All Blacks struggled with poor discipline as Sanchez extended the lead to 16-3 before the break.
They were 19-3 in front soon after the interval when Sanchez slotted over another three points.
New Zealand got a try back in the second half after captain Sam Cane crashed over in the corner from some strong forward play.
Argentina’s defence continued to repel wave after wave of New Zealand attack. Eventually, a frustrated New Zealand gave away another penalty allowing Sanchez kick successfully from 50 metres out for an unassailable lead.
A consolation try to Caleb Clarke brought the scoreline closer but emotional scenes erupted after the final whistle. Argentina’s 30-year wait for a win over the All Blacks was over.
Flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez was named man of the match, having scored all his sides points.
Argentina next play the Wallabies at McDonald Jones Stadium with the Tri Nations up for grabs for both teams.
Result and scorers
Argentina 25 (Sanchez try; Sanchez con; Sanchez pen 6)
New Zealand 15 (Cane, Clarke tries; Mo’unga con; Mo’unga pen)