Australia overcame Argentina 45-20 in Canberra on Saturday morning. A resilient Argentine performance was not enough, so the wooden spoon is almost a certainty for Los Pumas. Australia on the other hand recorded their fist victory of the tournament.
Argentina took the lead through a try by Martín Landajo in the 25th minute, as the powerful Argentine pack forced its way over the try line allowing the scrumhalf to score. The Wallabie response was almost immediate, with Folau getting into the in-goal in the 29th minute. Good kicking from Sanchez ensured an Argentine lead of 13-10 when the first half came to an end.
Argentina has had two nasty habits of late: capitulating in the final third and a complete and utter lack of discipline. This game was no different.
The Wallabies pushed hard in the second half and soon their lead over Argentina stood at 9 points going into the final 10 minutes. The flurry of late tries from Genia, Phipps and Uelese gave Australia breathing space. The fact that Argentina was able to concede three tries in the space of 8 minutes really shows their difficulty in seeing a match out. However, there was some consolation toward the end as Matias Moroni scored an absolutely sublime individual try in the 78th minute. For Australia, it was their best 40 minutes of rugby in the tournament so far.
Discipline remains the key issue for the Argentine side. Prior to the Australia match, Los Pumas had conceded a shocking 33 penalties over the space of three games, an unheard of number at this level of competition. In last week’s test against New Zealand, Los Pumas had picked up a staggering 2 yellow cards and a red card. You simply can not win matches against the top 10 rugby sides if you are conceding over 10 penalties a game. It was no different on Saturday when Pieretto was sin-binned in the 72nd minute. In total, Los Pumas gave away 9 penalties, from which the Wallabies were able to kick home 24 points.
Argentina remains at the bottom of the Rugby World Championship with 0 points. Even if they are able to beat Australia in Argentina — and let’s be serious, a victory against the All Blacks isn’t going to happen — they would still be 4 points behind as they have yet to secure a bonus point to not end the tournament at the bottom. Again. Australia, on the other hand, has already picked up two.
The two sides have now met 28 times, with the Wallabies coming out on top in 22 of them. In addition, Australia has now won 14 of the last 15 encounters with Los Pumas. The last time Argentina managed a victory against Australia was in Mendoza, back in 2014. The last time Argentina beat Australia in Australia? 1983.
Elsewhere, the All Blacks recorded a record 57-0 win over the Springboks in Albany (NZ).