Wallabies set up Rugby Championship decider with All Blacks with win over Pumas
Published 26/07/2015 | 10:43
Australia set up a Rugby Championship showdown against New Zealand as they routed Argentina 34-9 in a bonus point victory in Mendoza.
Three second-half tries powered Australia to a win which means both the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup will be on the line when the Wallabies face the All Blacks in the first of back-to-back clashes on August 8.
Australia, wary of their hosts after a 21-17 loss here last year, dominated much of the early going but had to wait until the 18th minute for their first try, which came when Israel Folau opened up space for Joe Tomane to cross in the corner.
But they struggled to make a further impression before the break and penalties kept Argentina close, with Australia leading only 8-6 at half-time.
Bernard Foley kicked two penalties after the break to give Australia a 14-6 lead before Nicolas Sanchez replied in kind for Los Pumas.
Dean Mumm, making his comeback Test appearance after three years playing for Exeter in England, then gave Australia some separation as he marked his return with a try, bursting through two tackles to power his way over the line.
However, Argentina continued to cause Australia problems, particularly after Quade Cooper was sent to the sin bin for a late high tackle on Matias Moroni, and although Foley kicked a fourth penalty Australia could not breathe easy until late tries from Tevita Kuridrani and Adam Ashley-Cooper put the contest to bed.
Australia captain Stephen Moore said on the ARU website: "We're very happy with the win. It's always hard to come over here and win. Obviously we slipped up last year over here, so tonight was very good and I'm very proud of the performance.
"I thought it (the scrum) was a good contest. Argentina has a very strong scrum. It was hard work in the first half but similar to South Africa last week our bench came on and really made a big difference for us.
"It's going to be a massive game in Sydney at our home ground. We're really looking forward to that, we know that they are a quality side but we have two weeks to prepare."