South Africa edged New Zealand 31-29 in a test featuring four lead changes in the last 10 minutes, with Elton Jantjies kicking the winning penalty.
It was not until fullback Jordie Barrett kicked his fourth penalty with two minutes left on the clock that the All Blacks took the lead for the final time.
The bonus-point win clinched the title, a 16th in the various versions of the southern hemisphere championship, with a game to spare for the world champions in what was a scrappy but well-deserved victory.
Flyhalf Pollard and hooker Marx were surprise omissions from coach Rassie Erasmus’s starting side last week against Australia, which the Wallabies won 23-18 in Brisbane.
Argentina outscored the South Africans by four tries to three in a fevered performance, aided by a litany of mistakes by their visitors.
The All Blacks' pack were decisive in the 38-13 rout at Sydney's Olympic stadium on Saturday, dominating the set pieces and winning a slew of line-outs from the Wallabies' throw.
The world champions extinguished any chance of an upset with three tries in seven first-half minutes.
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