Australia hope to build momentum against Pumas

Australia’s Wallabies are hoping to build on the momentum they created by beating
South Africa when they take on Argentina in Mendoza Saturday in a Rugby Championship
match.

Australia surged in the final minutes of their test against South Africa who
were leading by two tries with seven minutes remaining.

The Wallabies will now take on Argentina in Mendoza where last year the Pumas
beat Australia to win their first Rugby Championship match.

Last week a try by centre Tevita Kundrani after the siren signaling full-time
sounded earned the Wallabies a 24-20 win against the Springboks in Brisbane.

Victory for an Australian side that trailed by 13 points during the second
half came a day after title-holders New Zealand overcame Argentina 39-18 in
Christchurch in the other first-round game.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made seven changes — three forced by injuries
— for the match at the 40,000-seat Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in the western
city.

Injured centre Matt Giteau, winger Rob Horne and scrum-half Will Genia are
replaced by Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane and Nick Phipps respectively.

An additional back line change sees Bernard Foley recalled to the starting
line-up at fly-half in place of Quade Cooper.

In the pack, a good showing by tight head prop Greg Holmes when he came on
as a replacement against South Africa earns him a start with Sekope Kepu dropping
to the bench.

David Pocock takes over from fellow flanker Michael Hooper and Ben McCalman
has been picked at No. 8 ahead of Scott Higginbotham.

Apart from the injury-induced changes, some are rotational and others form
related with Higginbotham failing to replicate last weekend many outstanding
Super Rugby displays.

“We are fortunate with the level of depth in the squad,” said Cheika,
who steered the Waratahs to the 2014 Super Rugby title.

“All those promoted to the starting line-up against the Pumas are there
on merit and have opportunities to build on what we achieved last weekend.

“We have fine playmakers in Bernard (Foley) and Quade (Cooper) and both
can make an enormous impact.”

Cooper is among the eight replacements. Another substitute, utility back Kurtley
Beale, will win his 50th cap if he comes on.

Cheika believes it will take a 23-man effort to avenge a 21-17 loss to Argentina
last season in Mendoza after the visitors built an early 14-point advantage.

“Argentina will provide a physical challenge and our reserves have significant
roles to play.

“The bench got us home against the Springboks last weekend and I will
be looking for an even greater impact from our replacements this Saturday,”
stressed Cheika.

Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has also made seven changes after a mixed outing
against world champions New Zealand.

He will have been encouraged by the pack power that created two driving-maul
tries for hooker and skipper Agustin Creevy, but leading 2014 Rugby Championship
points scorer Nicolas Sanchez flopped at fly-half.

Sanchez gets a chance to redeem himself against Australia and Santiago Cordero,
switched from left-wing to full-back, is the only other back to survive.

Out go injured full-back Joaquin Tuculet, right wing Horacio Agulla, centres
Marcelo Bosch and Jeronimo de la Fuente, and scrum-half Tomas Cubelli.

And in come wingers Gonzalo Camacho and Juan Imhoff, centres Matias Moroni
and Juan Pablo Socino and scrum-half Martin Landajo.

Forward changes see lock Tomas Lavanini and flanker Javier Ortega Desio replace
Guido Petti Pagadizabal and Juan Manuel Leguizamon.

Tradition is against the Pumas as they have not achieved successive victories
against the Wallabies since their first meeting 36 years ago.

Match Offici

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