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Argentina obliterate shell-shocked New Zealand

(Photograph by Akil Simmons)Going nowhere: New Zealand's John Weston attempts to drive his team forward

Argentina plundered six tries during their 40-14 demolition of New Zealand in the semi-final of the World Rugby Classic at the North Field yesterday.

Tries from Lucas Borges (2), Diego Leberato, Bernardo Stortoni, Rafael Carbello left the All Blacks in a spin and set up a mouth-watering final against South Africa tonight.

Rodolfo Ventura, the Argentina manager, hailed his side’s performance as one of the best displays he had witnessed from his country in the 22 years he has been involved in the annual tournament.

“We didn’t expect such as big score against the All Blacks,” Ventura said.

“I have been coming to Bermuda for 22 years and maybe this has been one of the two or three best games I’ve seen [by Argentina].”

Ventura felt New Zealand struggled to cope with the searing pace of the Argentina backs, especially wing Borges, and were never able to recover from conceding two tries during a ten-minute blitz at the start of the game.

“They never expected us to be so quick and we took advantage of our opportunities,” Ventura added.

“I thought our defence was also fantastic and maybe [New Zealand] got a little confused.

“It was very hard, very tough at the set pieces, but it was somewhat easy outside.”

The Pumas will be chasing their third Classic title tonight against South Africa, who they lost to in the 2013 final 14-7.

Argentina claimed their first Classic title in 1999, adding a second in 2011 after pulling off an upset to defeat the Classic Lions 25-19. South Africa will be in hot pursuit of their sixth Classic title.

“Unfortunately we don’t have much time to recover, but we will look for no excuses when we return here tomorrow to play for the title,” Ventura said.

In yesterday’s Plate semi-final, France defeated a battling United States 28-12 and will now face Canada to tonight’s final.

France led 21-12 at half-time through tries from Sebastian Allard, Farid Sig and Charly Platek, while United States scorers were Dennis Walker and Peter Dalh.

In the second half France, who beat the Eagles 17-5 in last year’s Plate final, absorbed plenty of US pressure before extending their lead through a try from Yann Fior.

The Plate final will start at 7pm, with the Classic final kicking off at 8.30 followed by a prize presentation and a live band at the Gosling’s Tent Tavern. Gates open at 5.30pm.