Australia crush Argentina

Wallabies (AFP)
Wallabies (AFP)

Rosario - Australia have kept a pre-match promise to run the ball by scoring seven tries and sweeping aside Argentina 54-17 on Saturday in the closing 2013 Rugby Championship Test.

Fullback Israel Folau was the star, taking full advantage of a license to thrill from coach Ewen McKenzie to bag three tries at Estadio Gigante de Arroyito in Rosario.

The Wallabies revelled in a ball-in-hand approach and wings Adam Ashley-Cooper and Joe Tomane, prop Benn Robinson and replacement back Bernard Foley also crossed the try-line.

Centre Christian Leali'ifano kicked two conversions and two penalties before retiring injured at half-time, fly-half Quade Cooper slotted a conversion and a penalty, and Foley kicked two conversions.

Centre Marcelo Bosch and scrum-half Martin Landajo claimed a try each for the Pumas while fly-half Nicolas Sanchez converted both and kicked a penalty.

Australia turned over 25-10 ahead and the handsome victory contrasted sharply with that over Argentina last month in Perth, where they scraped home by one point.

The Wallabies could not improve on third place, though, finishing 19 points behind champions New Zealand and seven ahead of wooden spooners Argentina.

It was not the end Pumas centre Felipe Contepomi had envisaged to his record 87-cap career with the hosts failing to build on a brave show against the All Blacks in La Plata last weekend.

"That was a real confidence booster," Wallabies skipper and lock James Horwill said.

"There was effort from one to 15 and we are very pleased."

Bosch was saddened by the heavy loss: "We are playing against the best teams in the world and our mistakes were severely punished."

Australia attacked from the kick-off and were rewarded within three minutes when Folau took a Tomane pass and went over in the corner.

Leali'ifano, second highest scorer in the tournament this season behind South Africa fly-half Morne Steyn, converted from the touchline.

The early reverse spurred the Pumas and they laid siege to the Australian line with scrum after scrum awarded to the home side inside the '22'.

Referee Wayne Barnes eventually lost patience and yellow carded Wallaby prop James Slipper, but the visitors weathered the storm and flank Michael Hooper took the ball away from danger.

Leali'ifano and Sanchez exchanged penalties to leave Australia seven points in front half an hour into a high-tempo opening half.

A no-arms tackle by flank Pablo Matera meant 10 minutes in the sin bin and the Wallabies took full advantage as Ashley-Cooper and Folau scored tries.

Leali'ifano converted one and Australia were 25-3 ahead only to concede a late first-half try to Bosch, which Sanchez converted.

Folau completed his hat-trick of tries just two minutes into the second half with a clever inside pass from fly-half Quade Cooper setting him up.

Cooper converted and Australia were 32-10 ahead -- a big lead that lasted seven minutes before Landajo touched down beside the post and Sanchez converted.

Another no-arms tackle, this time from lock Rob Simmons on Contepomi, led to a second yellow card for the Australians.

Cooper, deputising as goal-kicker, slotted a close-range penalty and it was 35-17 for the Wallabies as the game passed the hour mark.

Australia stretched that advantage when Tomane snatched a loose ball in midfield, burst through several tackles and sprinted to the line for a try Cooper failed to convert.

Contepomi left the field to a standing ovation before Robinson and Foley rubbed salt into gaping Argentine wounds with late tries that Foley converted.



15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe (captain), 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Julio Farias Cabello, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Matias Diaz, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Benjamin Macome, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Fernandez, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino


15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper

Substitutes: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Bernard Foley

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
46% - 3437 votes
11% - 816 votes
18% - 1330 votes
2% - 145 votes
1% - 61 votes
2% - 158 votes
5% - 375 votes
7% - 542 votes
3% - 232 votes
Water sports
1% - 63 votes
American sports
1% - 57 votes
3% - 193 votes