A flying Will Jordan hat-trick of tries was the icing on the cake of the All Blacks’ spectacular semi-final performance against Argentina at the Stade de France.
When the final whistle blew after more than 80 minutes of play in Paris, the score was 44 – 6 in the New Zealanders’ favor and they were through to their fifth World Cup final.
Although the South Americans enjoyed a good run-up to the match – Emiliano Boffelli’s set-piece skills provided the first points of the matchup after all – the Kiwis just had hopelessly too much shooting material.
Sam Cane and co capitalized on the Argentinians’ lack of discipline and were often able to finish off their opportunities with points.
Jordan scored his tries in the 11th, 62nd and 73rd minutes of the game and he was a threat to his opponents throughout.
The 25-year-old Christchurch native overtook Damian Penaud in between and he is now the leading try-scorer of the tournament with his eight tries.
Add to that the muscle of Shannon Frizell, the vision of Jordie Barrett and the creative play of Aaron Smith and the All Blacks boast seven semi-final tries.
Not bad for a team that lost its opening match against France.
The only blemish on an otherwise masterful All Blacks performance is Scott Barrett’s yellow card for illegal play in the 67th minute.
But even in his absence, the Kiwis didn’t take their foot off the accelerator and they later decided to finish the game with 14 players rather than send Barrett back on the field.
South Africa and England play tomorrow in the second semi-final of the weekend at the very Stade de France.
New Zealand: Tries: Will Jordan (3), Shannon Frizell (2), Jordie Barrett and Aaron Smith. Goals: Richie Mo’unga (3). Penalty kick: Mo’unga.
Argentina: Penalty kicks: Emiliano Boffelli (2).