Wallabies on the rise

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 09:43
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REPORT: Australia moved to No.2 on the Rugby Championship standings with an impressive 36-20 demolition of Argentina in Perth on Saturday.

Despite the Pumas having more than 70 percent of the possession, the Wallabies outscored the tired-looking visitors by six tries to two, to move from fourth to second on the standings.

The Wallabies were just too energetic and creative for a Pumas outfit that seems to have paid the price for their big effort against New Zealand last week.

A stunning opening salvo with three tries in the first 12 minutes set the hosts on their way and Will Genia grabbed two tries as the Wallabies won their second game in a row.

Before the Wallabies' 23-17 win over South Africa last week, they had been beaten in six successive Tests and coach Michael Cheika was facing increasing pressure.

The Pumas were expected to prove a tough opponent, having shown good early form against New Zealand before fading to be beaten 57-22 in their last outing.

However, the Wallabies scored their first try after just 43 seconds after playmaker Bernard Foley broke through the Argentine defence right from the kick-off.

Michael Hooper fed Samu Kerevi, who was brought down near the try line but was able to get up and drive over to open the scoring.

Dane Haylett-Petty, who plays for Perth's Western Force, then received a superb Quade Cooper pass in the eighth minute and he charged to the line for the Wallabies' second try.

A piece of individual brilliance by scrum-half Genia then added Australia's third try in the 12th minute against a shell-shocked Argentina.

Genia crunched Nicolas Sanchez in a tackle and the ball spilled free, allowing the Australian, who had kept the feet while his opponent went to ground, to kick it forward.

He then collected the ball on the bounce and dived over to further extend the home side's lead, which became 21-0 when Foley notched his third conversion from as many attempts.

Two penalties to Sanchez kept the Pumas in the contest, although they trailed 21-6 at the break.

However, Australia had lost key flank David Pocock to what appeared be an arm injury late in the half.

The Pumas started the second half well and were rewarded with a try in the 44th minute, when Joaquin Tuculet made a break which ended with Santiago Cordero crossing.

The Sanchez conversion made it 21-13 and gave the visitors renewed hope, although veteran Juan Leguizamon was forced from the field after appearing to be knocked out in a tackle by Kerevi during the try-scoring play.

Pumas captain Agustin Creevy then limped off moments later, and was soon followed to the sidelines by Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore as the cost of a hard-hitting contest started to count.

The match was evenly poised, but in the 52nd minute Wallabies substitute Sean McMahon made a charging run, fending off several opponents and leading to Genia's second try and a 26-13 lead.

In the 64th minute, the home team again stretched their lead when Cooper again produced a deft pass to send Hooper through a gap and he scored under the posts to make it 33-13.

Foley crossed again for the home side in the 67th minute, but the try was disallowed due to contact off the ball by Cooper on Sanchez, for which the fly-half was sin-binned.

Facundo Isa added a late try for the Pumas but there was never much hope of the Pumas registering their first win in Australia since 1983.

Man of the match: Joaquin Tuculet and Nicolas Sanchez were Argentina's best backs, while Facundo Isa was their most productive forward by some distance. Israel Folau had his moments, Quade Cooper ad Bernard Foley played well in tandem. As expected David Pocock (before leaving the field injured early in the second half) and Michael Hooper did an enormous around of work at the breakdown and on defence. Adam Coleman also produced another performance the suggested he is going to be a permanent fixture in the Wallaby back row. However, our award goes to veteran Wallaby scrumhalf Will Genia - who has regained his form of old and was the creative spark that got the Aussies on the front foot.

Moment of the match: There were eight great tries, some sublime creative efforts. However, the Samu Kerevi try in the first minute sparked a 21-point blitz in 12 minutes that effectively ended the match as a contest - even though Argentina tried their best to get back into the game.

Villain: Two players spent time in the sin bin - with prop Scott Sio getting yellow-carded at the end of a series of repeat offences by his teammate. Wallaby However, flyhalf Quade Cooper's off-the-ball shoulder charge on an opponent was cynical and smacked of nasty intent.Wallaby However, flyhalf Quade Cooper's off-the-ball shoulder charge on an opponent was cynical and smacked of nasty intent.

The scorers:

For Australia:
Kerevi, Heylett-Petty, Genia 2, Hooper
Cons: Foley 4
Pen: Hodge

For Argentina:
Cordero, Isa
Cons: Sanchez 2
Pens: Sanchez 2

Yellow cards: Scott Sio (Australia, 33 - repeated infringements, playing a man without the ball), Quade Cooper (Australia, 67 - foul play, shoulder-charged a player without the ball)


Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
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.

Argentina: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Javier Ortega Desio, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Matias Orlando.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Nick Briant (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5