Nicolas Sanchez said inspiring a historic victory over New Zealand was extra special as the fly-half thought his Argentina career was over after the Rugby World Cup.

The Pumas had failed to beat the All Blacks in 29 Tests before securing a magnificent 25-15 Tri Nations victory in Sydney on Saturday.

Sanchez scored all of the Pumas' points at Bankwest Stadium, booting six penalties between the posts and touching down for a first-half try.

Argentina had not played since the Rugby World Cup last October due to the coronavirus crisis and 32-year-old Sanchez revealed he did not think he would play for his country again following the tournament in Japan.

The number 10, who is the second-highest points-scorer against the All Blacks behind Matt Burke, said: "It was a very hard year. After the World Cup we all had something very strong inside, but the pandemic helped us transform.

"These last four weeks of preparation were spectacular and today it was spectacular. We knew that with our defence they could not advance. We proposed this, we came to win and we are happy.

"Adversity always makes teams stronger. Now in our heads we only have the idea of ​​continuing to grow. When the World Cup ended I thought my career at the Pumas was over, I didn't think I was going to be able to wear the jersey again. and much less being here."

Emotional Pumas head coach Mario Ledesma was full of praise for his side after they carried out the game plan to perfection.

"These guys are in love with what they do and it was reflected on the pitch," said Ledesma.

"When we sat in the stands, before the game started, it didn't seem real to me to be experiencing something like this. After everything that happened, waiting for a game again was crazy.

"But with the pandemic there are things that are difficult to do. There was a lot of intangibles that came together and that was reflected here. We never beat them and we came to win here.

"We talked about being very disciplined, where we wanted to play, at what pace, and that happened. The players took what we had talked about to the letter. And there are many things that are happening between them, with the appearance of new leaders, new ways of doing things.

"Many people prepared this. And it's nice to see the fruits, because I would have said the same thing if we had lost, but this validates a bit what has been done since the beginning of the year.

"There is a cohesion that is being generated that is very beautiful. We all wanted that to be seen on the field and it happened. In Argentine rugby an immense work is done. I want to thank all those who support us, in some way we play for them also."