Maradona, who inspired his nation to victory at the Football World Cup in 1986, was up and out of his seat, waving his scarf around after Argentina overcame a sluggish start to ease to their second win in the group.
A three-try blitz in seven minutes just after the break, with Georgia captain Mamuka Gorgodze in the sin bin, gave the Pumas some breathing space and secured the bonus point. Now, Argentina will face Georgia on Friday.
Another tournament upset possibly looked on the cards until New Zealand got their running game flowing as the hour approached and elusive scrumhalf Smith wiggled his way through to crown a series of attacks close to the Pumas line.
SYDNEY August 3 Australia were dealt a blow ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship decider against old foes New Zealand after lock Rob Simmons was ruled out of the Sydney showdown because of a wrist injury.
A SANZAR Judicial Hearing has found Michael Hooper of Australia guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking after he was cited for alleged foul play during a Rugby Championship match at the weekend.