Australia hold off Argentina at Twickenham

Australia’s Wallabies beat Argentina’s Pumas 21-33 in a historic first Rugby Championship match at Twickenham to finish in second place in the Southern Hemisphere tournament.

The match was the first time that a Rugby Championship match had been played outside of a traditional Sanzaar country and was arranged by the Argentina Rugby Union.

Argentina fell just short of their attendance target of 50 000 but did manage to atract 48,515 which is most likely close enough that more matches could be played at the venue.

Australia’s victory moves them above South Africa in the Rugby Championship standings into second place so the Springboks finish third and Argentina finish in last place.

The All Blacks won the Rugby Championship with two matches spare and went on to become the first team to win all of their matches in one season with bonus points from every match.

Argentina were outscored by four tries to two in the match but almost got the perfect start with a try from a kick chargedown in the second minute but the try was disallowed for offside.

Australia were quick to react and Dane Haylett-Petty offloaded following a break down the wing to Adam Coleman who scored the opening try.

The Wallabies went on to lead 8-18 at half time but their discipline could have cost them dearly as Michael Hooper and Coleman were both sinbinned for a string of Australian high tackles which frustrated the referee.

The Pumas pulled to within three points after the break with a converted try by Jerónimo De la Fuente but then Samu Kerevi scored to give Australia a comfortable lead again.

Two penalties from Argentina cut the deficit to four points and Foley added a third penalty to put Australia 7 points ahead again before Australia scored a late try which put the result beyond doubt.

Wallabies Captain, Stephen Moore said: “It was a very important game for us. We have a lot of young guys in this team who probably haven’t played at this stadium before. I think they learned a lot from tonight.

“Our desperation in defence (was key). They had a lot of possession out there. We hung tight together and tackled well. We didn’t let them over the line and that’s what won us the game.”

In a frenetic start by both sides it was the Wallabies who took first blood with a try to lock, Adam Coleman who powered his way through Argentinian defence to reach out and score. Bernard Foley converted to grab an early 7-0 lead for the visitors.

Matius Alemanno scored Argentina’s first try when the Wallabies were reduced to 14 men with vice-captain Michael Hooper sent to the sin bin for a high tackle.

It was a short-lived swing of momentum in the first quarter with Bernard Foley adding his second penalty of the match to extend the Wallabies lead to 13-5.

A try to centre Samu Kerevi extended Australia’s lead in the first half but the Argentinians clawed back when flyhalf Santiago González Iglesias slotted a penalty goal to close the gap to 8-18 at the interval.

The second half saw a much more willing Argentina shoot out of the blocks and capitalise on a defensive error by the men in gold to register the first points, ignoring a penalty option and taking a quick tap which allowed Jeronimo de la Fuente to barge over.

With the margin at just three points, both sides muscled up in defence before eventually the circuit breaker came through Samu Kerevi on the counter attack, after Michael Hooper disrupted the Pumas attack and gathered the loose ball and popped it up to the powerful centre who raced away to grab his second five-pointer of the night and extend the Wallabies lead to 25-15.

Two penalties to Los Pumas reduced the margin again with Santiago González Iglesias making no mistakes with both attempts to leave the score at 21-25.

After Bernard Foley booted the Aussies another three points clear, the margin remained a converted try before an intercept try to veteran replacement lock Dean Mumm four minutes from full time sealed the result.

The Argentinians never relented throughout the contest but the final score of 33-21 was indicative of the Wallabies’ dominance at key times in the contest and commitment in defence, despite losing two key forwards to the sin bin during the match.

The performance will have pleased Coach Michael Cheika, with many of his younger brigade stepping up. Samu Kerevi delivered a man of the match performance, while lock Adam Coleman continued his ascendency at Test level.

Michael Hooper was again in everything and it was his hustle in defence which led to the Pumas mistake to set up Kerevi’s second try.

Australia’s next match is against New Zealand in Auckland where All Blacks will be attempting to become the first team to win 18 matches in succession.

Final Score Argentina 21 (8) Australia 33 (18) 

Scorers

Argentina
Tries -M. Alemanno, J. De la Fuente,
Pen -S. Iglesias 3
Con – S. Iglesias
Drop –
Cards –

Australia
Tries – A.Coleman, S.Kerevi 2, D.Mumm
Pen – B.Foley 3
Con – B.Foley 2
Drop –
Cards – M.Hooper (17th min yellow), A.Coleman (30th min yellow)

Match Officials
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Ref 1:JP Doyle (England)
Assistant Ref 2:Matthew Carley (England)
TMO : Rowan Kitt (England)

Teams 

Australia

1. Scott Sio ,2. Stephen Moore (c) ,3. Sekope Kepu ,4. Rory Arnold ,5. Adam Coleman ,6. Dean Mumm ,7. Michael Hooper ,8. Lopeti Timani ,9. Will Genia ,10. Quade Cooper,11. Reece Hodge,12. Bernard Foley,13. Samu Kerevi,14. Dane Haylett-Petty ,15. Israel Folau ,

Replacements : 16. James Hanson ,17. Tom Robertson ,18. Allan Alaalatoa ,19. Kane Douglas ,20. Scott Fardy ,21. Leroy Houston*22. Nick Phipps ,23. Tevita Kuridrani ,

*denotes uncapped player

Argentina

15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 10 González Iglesias, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Santiago González Iglesias, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Lucas Noguera

Replacements : 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Tomas Cubelli, 21 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

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