The Wallabies have secured a victory to be savored by coming from behind and beating Michael Cheika’s Argentina 41-26 in Mendoza.
Despite losing Michael Hooper 24 hours before kick-off due to mental health reasons and Quade Cooper midway through the second half, the Wallabies denied the chances of securing a key, characterful win.
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It also ended in the sweetest possible way, with Len Ikitau scoring the Wallabies’ fifth try in the 85th to give the visitors a major bonus point, taking Dave Rennie’s men for the Springboks to first place at The Rugby Championship.
The Wallabies trailed 19-10 at halftime but scored three tries, including a penalty, to claw their way back and silence the strong Argentine crowd. That seemed unlikely in the 55th minute as Juan Martin Gonzalez completed a stunning long-range counterattack.
But the penalty try, yellow card to Matias Alemanno for illegally collapsing a maul, saw referee Mike Adamson deliver the telling blow.
Folau Fainga’a’s attempt in the 69th minute and Reece Hodge’s conversion from outside gave the Wallabies an important eight-point buffer that turned out to be too big.
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The win breaks a two-match losing streak and comes at a key moment, with the Wallabies missing out on a lot of experience, none more so than Hooper who pulled out late Thursday (local time) because he felt he was not on the right track.” think”. It saw the skipper leave Argentina accompanied by hooker Dave Porecki, who was ruled out earlier in the week due to a concussion.
More to come …
WALLABIES (15-1): Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Fraser McReight, Jed Holloway, Matt Philip, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper (c)
Reservations: Lachlan Lonergan, Matt Gibbon, Taniela Tupou, Nick Frost, Rob Leota, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge
PUMAs (15-1): Juan Cruz Mallia, James Lavanini, Matthias Orlando, Jeronimo De la Fountain, Emiliano Boffelli, James Carreras, Thomas Cubelli, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Thomas Lavanini, Matthias Germanno, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Julian Montoya (c) Nahuel Tetaz Chaparroz
Reservations: Agustin Creevy, Thomas Gallo, Joel Sclavi, Santiago Grondona, Rodrigo Bruni, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Tomas Albornoz, Matias Moroni
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