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New Zealand secure inaugural Rugby Championship

New Zealand became the inaugural Rugby Championship winners after securing a stunning seven try victory over Argentina to give them a nine point lead at the top of the table with one game remaining.

The final score was 54-15 with Cory Jane starring as he scored a hat trick, while his wing partner Julian Savea grabbed a brace with Nonu and Smith also crossing the whitewash.

The All Blacks were simply sensational, and Richie McCaw spoke after the game of their desire not to rest on their laurels after winning the World Cup, but to live up to the tag of world champions.

They have certainly done that, demonstrating over the last few weeks that they are by far and away the best side in the world. They have been playing at a level so much higher and so much more consistent than the other sides in the championship that it has at times seemed inevitable that they would win.

The win was their 15th in a row and they only need three more to equal the record number of consecutive victories, and with Tests against South Africa and Australia and the Northern Hemisphere tour coming up soon, they do not seem likely to lose their form.

In the other championship match, Bryan Habana ran in a hat trick for South Africa as they romped to a 31-8 victory over an Australian side that was once again disappointing.

The Wallabies were severely depleted to begin with, but lost Adam Ashley-Cooper to a serious shoulder injury, leaving them looking even more vulnerable.

This loss put Robbie Deans under even greater pressure, and with an away match in Argentina to come, you have to feel that a victory is the minimum requirement there or the end could be in sight for him.

Argentina meanwhile will be targeting that as a very winnable game as they look to cap what has been, overall, a successful start to life in the Rugby Championship, with a win.

For South Africa this was a vital and comprehensive victory after two defeats in a row, a fairly inexcusable sequence by South African standards.

For Lions fans though, don’t get too excited by the Wallabies poor form, we are still nearly 9 months away from the first Test, and the Wallabies have world-class players yet to return to the fray.

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