Ioane: 'It was a forward pass'
Australia may have fought off Argentina to claim a four-point victory at the weekend, but by their own admission it should have been a defeat.
Australia may have fought off a spirited Argentina to claim a narrow four-point victory at the weekend, but by their own admission it should have been a defeat.
After trailing 3-6 at half-time the Wallabies found themselves trailing by two tries within 12 minutes of the second half starting.
The Pumas crossed for the first try of the match in the 50th minute through Tomas Leonardi and then followed up with another just two minutes later from Julio Farais Cabello. A penalty in the 58th minute gave the visitors a 13-point lead.
The flurry of attacking forays by the Argentinians seems to spark the Wallabies to life and after a number of phases a hard running Pat McCabe crossed to get the Wallabies back within six points with 20 minutes to play.
New scrumhalf Nick Phipps then found a gap on the blindside and after missing three tackles released wing Digby Ioane. Berrick Barnes added the extras for the four-point winning margin.
However, the Wallaby flyer, Ioane - while delighted he had scored his first Test try of the season - admitted the try should not have been awarded.
"I didn't think it was even a try, because I thought there was a forward pass," a frank Ioane told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I actually thought it was a forward pass, and the bloke had blown his whistle. But I got away [with it], and it was good to get over the line."
The Wallabies then withstood 10 minutes of attacking charges before they could relax.
Argentina was exactly as expected in its first Rugby Championship encounter against the Wallabies - confrontational and fearless. Its aggressive approach had the desired effect, disrupting the Wallabies and forcing them to take risks.
With it came some excellent play from the Wallabies, who attempted to be expansive and, thankfully, at last gave away the folly of the chip kick, but also moments of pressure-induced indecision.
The Pumas didn't succeed in successfully targeting new halfback Phipps, who provided his backline with good, fast service, but were able to make flyhalf Quade Cooper look edgy.
At least three Pumas defenders always hovered around Cooper, and it worked in the second half when a charge down of his kick led to the Argentina's first try.
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans later had to admit the Pumas had done their homework well on his five-eighth. Deans even for a time considered moving Berrick Barnes or Kurtley Beale to five-eighth, as Cooper was starting to appear uncomfortable.
"Quade put himself in a context that made it difficult for himself," Deans said. "With the [charge-down] kick, clearing from a position where he is behind the whole group isn't ideal, and it is something we've addressed. That was a bit disappointing. He's a better player than that.
"We shouldn't underestimate the fact that it does take time to come back from a significant injury. Maybe that's in the back of his head. Still, some of the unforced errors he made, you wouldn't expect from a player of his background."
The Wallabies will have a break before assembling on Thursday to travel to South Africa for the Test in Pretoria on September 29 and Argentina the following weekend in Rosario.