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Australia’s Wallabies earned back to back victories over Argentina’s Pumas with a 36-20 Rugby Championship victory in Perth.
The Wallabies beat the Pumas in the Rugby World Cup Semi-finals in their last meeting and they followed that up with a bonus point victory in Perth despite having a minority of territory and possession.
The result effectively makes New Zealand’s All Blacks winners of the Rugby Championship as they cannot be caught in the standings.
The Wallabies outscored Argentina by five tries to two in the match and Australia move up from fourth to second in the Rugby Championship standings overtaking South Africa who drop to third with Argentina dropping to last place.
The bonus point victory was built on defence as the Wallabies capitalised on their opportunities to record their 20th win over the Pumas in 26 meetings between the two nations.
The men in gold were able to improve again on their last start victory over the Springboks in Brisbane and will be buoyed for their return matches against South Africa and Argentina (in London) to close out their 2016 Rugby Championship campaign.
It was the perfect start for Australia who opened their account after 43 seconds against Los Pumas with a try through Samu Kerevi.
Soon after they continued their early momentum home-town Western Force star, Dane Haylett-Petty finished off a great set piece try after darting around the covering Argentinean defence to score next to the posts in the seventh minute.
As they continued to pile on the pressure the home side breached the Pumas line again in a counter attacking play through scrumhalf Will Genia. With the ball dropped in back play, the mercurial scrumhalf kicked it through to regather and score under the posts taking the Wallabies lead to 21-0.
Infringements at the breakdown within kicking range for Argentina allowed the Pumas to register their first points of the match through the boot of flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez taking the score to 21-6, where it would remain at half time.
Having dominated possession for the later stages of the second half the Pumas came out firing and capitalised on a Wallabies handling error to register the first points of the second half with a try to winger Santiago Cordero.
Sanchez converted the try to bring the visitors within eight points, at 21-13.
The men in gold fought hard to wrangle back momentum and it came in the form of backrower, Sean McMahon who powered his way through several Argentinian tackles to set up Will Genia for his second try of the match and ease the scoreboard pressure.
Qantas Wallabies vice-captain Michael Hooper became the fourth Australian to cross the try line in Perth when in the 63rd minute he ran the perfect inside line off a ball from flyhalf Quade Cooper to run untouched to score under the posts and put the result beyond doubt.
A late try to Argentina through Facundo Isa provided some consolation for the visitors but the run of traffic continued to flow with the men in gold who held on to take the spoils 36-20.
The Rugby Championship takes a break next weekend and returns on October 1 when South Africa host Australia in Pretoria and Argentina host New Zealand in Buenos Aires.
Final Score Australia 36 (21) Argentina 20 (6)
Tries – S.Kerevi, D.Haylett-Petty, W.Genia 2, M.Hooper
Pen – R.Hodge
Con – B.Foley 4
Cards – S.Sio (32nd minute yellow), Q.Cooper (67th min yellow)
Tries – S.Cordero, F. Isa
Pen – N.Sanchez 2
Con – N.Sanchez 2
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Ref 1:Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Ref 2:Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO : Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
1. Scott Sio,2. Stephen Moore (c) ,3. Sekope Kepu ,4. Rob Simmons ,5. Adam Coleman ,6. Dean Mumm ,7. Michael Hooper ,8. David Pocock ,9. Will Genia ,10. Quade Cooper ,11. Reece Hodge ,12. Bernard Foley ,13. Samu Kerevi ,14. Dane Haylett-Petty ,15. Israel Folau
Replacements : 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Robertson*, 19. Rory Arnold, 20. Lopeti Timani* ,21. Sean McMahon ,22. Nick Phipps, 23. Tevita Kuridrani ,
*denotes uncapped player
1. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2. Agustín Creevy (c), 3. Ramiro Herrera, 4. Javier Ortega Desio, 5. Matías Alemanno, 6. Pablo Matera, 7. Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 8. Facundo Isa, 9. Tomás Cubelli, 10. Nicolás Sánchez, 11. Lucas González Amorosino, 12. Santiago González Iglesias, 13. Matías Moroni, 14. Santiago Cordero, 15. Joaquín Tuculet,
Replacements :16. Julian Montoya, 17. Lucas Noguera, 18. Enrique Pieretto, 19. Marcos Kremer, 20. Leonardo Senatore, 21. Martín Landajo, 22. Gabriel Ascarate, 23. Matías Orlando
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