Saturday 16 December 2017

Strong second half showing helps Australia come from behind to defeat Argentina

Australia's Nick Phipps scores a try. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Australia's Nick Phipps scores a try. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Australia claimed their first win of the 2017 Rugby Championship as they beat Argentina 45-20 in Canberra.

Israel Folau went over twice for the home side with Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps, Will Genia and Jordan Uelese also scoring tries and Bernard Foley kicking 15 points.

Martin Landajo and Matias Moroni crossed for Argentina - who remain without a point after four games - with 10 points coming from the boot of Nicolas Sanchez.

Foley and Sanchez exchanged early penalties before Landajo went over for the Pumas after some excellent build-up work. The play went through several phases as Argentina got camped on the Wallabies' try-line with Landajo crashing over before Sanchez added the extras.

The home side hit back just five minutes later as the ball was sent out to the right to Folau, who went over with Foley tying things up with the conversion.

A second Sanchez penalty gave Argentina a slender lead at the break, but that was as good as it was going to get for them, with Australia dominating the second 40 minutes.

Kepu dived over after some smart work from a scrum in the 50th minute and Folau followed him over four minutes later, with Foley converting both scores.

Argentina came back into the game but, when Enrique Pieretto was yellow-carded for a series of scrum infringements, the floodgates opened as first Genia from a scrum and then Phipps both scored converted tries inside three minutes.

Moroni chased down his own kick to grab a second converted score for Argentina with a minute to go, but when they kicked the ball straight out of play from the restart, the resulting line-out led to Uelese's closing converted try.

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